Hayden Panettiere talks 'Nashville,' says she studied footage of Carrie Underwood for research

By Gina DiFalco,

Hayden Panettiere made her debut on the new ABC show Nashville just last week, which she stars in with Connie Britton.

The actress plays Juliette Barnes, the young country singer who is dominating the charts and stealing the spotlight from veteran singer Rayna James (Britton).

"[Juliette] is her individual self and is not based off anybody. She's got her own problems she's running from, a very dark past," Panettiere told MTV News, most likely because of the media comparing her character to that of Taylor Swift.

“But when it comes to the stage presence I watched a lot of Carrie Underwood because Carrie has that energy about her, not super choreographed on stage, but she can just go up there and own it and just take over,” she continued.

Panettiere went on to say that although Juliette seems to be manipulative and backstabbing in what we see of her in the first episode, "She's got the weight of the world on her shoulders, she's got everything in the world as well. It's a combo — I feel like people are going to find that compassion for her," she explained. "I personally like her drive, I like her spunk, I like her sass. I think she's driven and she won't let anyone stand in her way."

She also gives a hint at what goes on in tonight’s new episode – something that was largely hinted in the first.

“Second episode for me, my dearest mommy comes back to town and finds me and causes a world of trouble," she explained. "And you'll get to see more of that vulnerable Juliette, that angry Juliette and understand her a lot more. [There are] some betrayals, some reconnections, some interesting turns for sure."

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