'Nashville's' starlet Juliette Barnes is so nasty, actress Hayden Panettiere apologizes between takes
Though up-and-coming country music starlet Juliette Barnes seems like a spoiled vixen plotting to take over Rayna Jaymes’ country music empire in “Nashville,” actress Hayden Panettiere says her character has quite the backstory to explain her abominable behavior.
“You love to hate her in the beginning and then you realize that she’s from an Alabama trailer park and she didn’t know whether her mother was going to come home or whether she was going to eat that night. Her mother is a drug addict, and she calls up for money . . . and you see it break her down.”
Juliette fills the emotional void by scandalous relationships with men and reveling in the adoration of her fans, Panettiere says. “But as soon as she’s off stage it opens up again.”
Though Juliette can be petulant and disrespectful, Panettiere says it’s a lot of fun playing a villain, especially after playing Claire Bennet, a cheerleader on “Heroes” for four seasons.
“After playing a character like that for so long, you get type-cast, and you can get pigeon-holed sometimes,” Panettiere says. “It’s really thrilling . . . to get to play an edgy character, who has a lot of different sides to her personality.”
Though Panettiere loves playing a bad girl, she admits it’s not entirely in her nature.
“I would never in a million years treat someone like that,” Panettiere says with a laugh. “Sometimes (I) just (want to) punch myself right in the middle of the line, going ‘Oooh you came off so bad – that was so mean!’
“I kept having to apologize to Connie (Britton, who plays Rayna) in between takes, saying, ‘You don’t really hate me right? Please don’t get too into the character where you actually dislike me.’
The tension between Juliette and Rayna is already growing after Rayna was asked to open for the younger musician on an upcoming tour, the only way the studio believes can revive her waning country music career.
“All of a sudden as soon as your numbers go down, you’re being tossed on the backburner, and having to perform under some young chick, who’s new in this business, who hasn’t learned the ropes yet, who acts like her you-know-what don’t stink,” explains Panettiere. “It’s dramatic but it’s dramatic in a real way.”
Even though Panettiere admits she’s a big country music fan herself, she adds that viewers don’t just have to be country music fans to get into the show.
“You don’t have to be just into country music, you don’t have to be just into politics, you don’t have to just be into drama.
“There’s a little bit for everyone!”
“Nashville” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV two. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.
About Lindsay Zier-Vogel
Lindsay Zier-Vogel has been working for CTV.ca since 2008. Lindsay’s highlights include interviewing the famed American choreographer Bill T. Jones and Canadian prima ballerina Karen Kain, as well as covering the Juno Awards. Follow her on Twitter!