Nashville's Hayden Panettiere: My Character Is Not Based on Taylor Swift!

By: Jenna Mullins, E Online
By: Jenna Mullins, E Online

Hayden Panettiere's character on Nashville (Juliette Barnes) is mean, manipulative and couldn't write her own songs to save her life. So why are people comparing her to country music's reigning princess Taylor Swift, who has proved to be nothing like that?

"I've heard the Taylor Swift [comparison] quite a bit," Panettiere said during the Nashville panel at ABC's TCA press day. "I think aside from being about the same age and blond—and not even the same height at all!—once you get to see Juliet you'll disagree wholeheartedly. I think Taylor would disagree. She's much nicer than my character."

Hayden's character is not the only one getting comparisons to real-life musicians. Connie Britton, who plays country music vet Rayna James on the new ABC series, was even stopped by a certain singing icon about the show.

"I ran into Reba McEntire on a plane and she said, 'Did you hear you're playing me in your show?'" the Friday Night Lights star said. "I said I had no idea! For me, it's an amalgam of a lot of different people, but I think it's fun to take from that sort of palette and really let this lone character emerge. I don't have any one person I'm basing the character on."

One thing we can count on when Nasvhille hits our small screens is lots of singing from both Britton and Panettiere, even if one of them is less than confident in her own abilities.

"Hayden has been amazing since the beginning," Britton says. "She is legitimately a great singer. For Connie [the singing] is a journey. I've sung my whole life but not really professionally. Not really professionally at all."

Yes, Mrs. Coach spoke in third person, and we loved every minute of it. Soon after that statement, the former Heroes star jumped to talk up her onscreen rival. "What Connie is not saying is that Connie has been amazing since the beginning, but I recently heard some of the newer tracks that she has recorded and they're pretty unbelievable," Panettiere says. "So she's going to be schooling us all."

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