You’ll recognise Hayden Panettiere from her various rom-coms and from playing an indestructible cheerleader in Heroes, but it’s her role in music drama series Nashville that you absolutely should not be sleeping on, especially now that it’s streaming on Stan, and here’s why.
In the beloved honky tonk series, Panettiere plays Juliette Barnes, an up and coming country music singer. When we first meet the character, she’s a selfish, demanding starlet. An absolute punish to work with and at times, painful to watch. But despite all her flaws and lack of likability, Panettiere somehow manages to make you… care about her.
As we see early on in the show, Juliette’s upbringing was an incredibly volatile one. Her mother was a drug addict and for that reason, she had to fend for herself from a very young age, forcing her to grow a thick skin and learn to take crap from no one. So even when she does shitty things, you still somehow manage to sympathise with her.
As the series goes on, we find more layers to the character that make us come to realise that her diva-like antics are her reaction to the cards she’s been dealt and her way of navigating through the conflicting celebrity-sphere.
You also come to admire her grit and her ability to hustle in a male dominated industry.
tell ’em, sis
To go from the show’s antagonist to its hero is a tough feat, one that I’m not sure some other actresses could have pulled off quite as well as Panettiere did.
And can we address an even greater triumph here? How does one portray Connie Britton‘s arch-nemesis and still come off as one of your fave characters ever?
The pair go from bitter rivals to forming a bond that is admirable to watch and shows the strength of gals when they stop the petty bitchiness and join forces.
Mind you, she does all this while delivering absolutely killer vocal performances which you probably didn’t realise she was capable of prior to Nashville.
Her musical numbers and vocals have you wishing Hayden would’ve ditched acting IRL to be a country music legend but then again, if that’s how things had went then we wouldn’t have had her stellar performance as Juliette and that is an unimaginable fate.
Nothing but respect for our country music queen.