Hayden Panettiere on Fears, Body Image & Her Golden Rule to Success

Posted Wednesday November 21, 2012 2:09 PM GMT

Hayden Panettiere is no stranger to the spotlight. The 23-year-old starlet has been acting ever since she was (very) young, earning accolades for her performances in hits like “Remember the Titans,” “Heroes,” and her most recent gig as country superstar, Juliette Barnes, in “Nashville.”

The pint-sized beauty recently opened up in the December 2012 issue of Self magazine, about everything from her success in Tinsletown to feeling comfortable in her own skin.

On "Nashville:"
"I'm having fun playing the bad girl in Nashville! I sang and started an album when I was younger, but I wasn't proud of how it was going, so I quit. I always said that if I did music in the future, I'd do country. I love it. But because I'm from New York, I was afraid people would think I was trying to fit where I didn't belong and go, 'She's trying to be Taylor Swift.' I'm not trying to be anybody but myself."

On being comfortable with her body:
"I've grown into myself and my body. In Nashville, you see women, even successful singers, who have voluptuous bodies and everyone is supportive. You don't get the kind of criticism you might in Hollywood. To me, the confident curvy girl is so much sexier than the insecure skinny girl."

On her fears:
"I have stage fright! It's because I'm a perfectionist, but I have to get over it. Getting to know the music scene here, I see that people are rooting for you, and if you mess up, it's OK. And I've learned from karaoke, if all else fails, a shot of tequila takes the edge off and lets you have fun!"

On the Golden Rule:
"I've been acting since I was little, and kids are often not treated well on sets. Whenever I'd work with an actor who was good to me, my mom would say, 'Look, that's how you want to be.' I don't believe anyone is born bad or mean; they become that way from anger and insecurity. But even when it's my character being aggressive, not me, I find myself apologizing!"

Photo Credit: Kenneth Willardt for SELF

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