If you watched the premiere of ABC’s new country music drama, Nashville, last night — and if you suspected that Hayden Panettiere‘s character, Juliette Barnes, is based on a famous, real-life blonde country singer — think again. The character is not based on young country-artist sensation Taylor Swift. The only similarities between the two are that they are both young, blonde and rich.
Panettiere put the gossip to rest at the Television Critics Associaton event for Disney/ABC in August, by saying, “I’ve heard the Taylor Swift thing quite a bit. And I think aside from being around the same age and blonde, we’re very different. I think once you see her and get to know my character a little bit better, you’ll see that. I really think Taylor would disagree wholeheartedly as well. She’s much nicer than my character!”
Even though the actress spoke publicly about her character and the show, how does Swift feel about the hubbub?
Well, she told Zap2it that “Hayden [Panettiere] is my neighbor, actually. She pulled me aside and said, ‘I need to talk to you! I need to tell you that my character’s not based on you.’ And I said, ‘I know, Hayden. I saw the pilot. It’s amazing.’ I think she did an incredible job of being sinister and adorable at the same time, and we had a hilarious conversation about it.”
So with that, a public feud is avoided and any further gossip is squashed about the character of Juliette Barnes and Taylor Swift. To stir the pot, could the character be based on a pop music star instead? Only Panettiere knows, and it seems like she doesn’t want to keep the rumor floating out there.
Nashville airs on ABC, on Wednesday nights at 10/9c.