The Real Reason You Don't See Hayden Panettiere Acting Anymore

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Hayden Panettiere is only in her thirties, but it feels like she’s been a fixture on our screens for her whole life. And no wonder: Boy, can she act.

After breaking out in the superhero drama Heroes, the actress moved seamlessly on to the big screen, appearing in films like I Love You, Beth Cooper and slasher sequel Scream 4, before moving back to TV on the soapy musical drama Nashville. But even though she’s enjoyed a prolific career, Panettiere hasn’t appeared in anything since Nashville ended in 2018. The question is: Why?

The actress has admitted to struggling with typecasting in the past. In 2011, she told Movieline:

“Playing such a specific role [in Heroes] — [a] young, female, all-American cheerleader — you definitely tend to get typecast.”

According to a 2013 interview with Vulture, Panettiere almost missed out on Nashville because the producers were worried she couldn’t play such a vulnerable character. After becoming a mother, are her priorities simply elsewhere? Has Panettiere given up on Hollywood for good, or is there a chance she might still make a comeback somewhere down the line?

Panettiere had a rough few years, no doubt about it. After giving birth to daughter Kaya in 2014, she voluntarily checked into treatment for severe postpartum depression in October 2015… and she was very vocal about her struggle. She later told E! News,

“I do feel and hope [speaking out has] made other people’s lives better and more of an understanding because postpartum depression was not something that I ever understood. You could never understand it unless you have a personal involvement with it.”

According to E! News, Panettiere broke up with Kaya’s father and her then-fiancé Wladimir Klitschko in 2018. Thankfully, the two enjoy a strong co-parenting relationship. As People reports, Panettiere then hooked up with a man named Brian Hickerson, but their relationship was unfortunately fraught with drama, culminating in a domestic violence charge against him. For a while, it seemed like Panettiere might say goodbye to Hollywood for good… but the website Gossip Cop insists that this wasn’t the case. With that in mind, what could be in store for Panettiere in the future?

Cheat Sheet suggests that Panettiere could take her talents to Broadway, considering she’s already proven her singing chops on Nashville. For a time it seemed like she might be considering living the country life for real: Opening up about living in Nashville during shooting, she told The Telegraph:

“There’s a real feeling of community and Southern hospitality. It feels much more genuine than LA.”

Meanwhile, Panetttiere told Southern Living that Nashville felt like home to her. Considering paparazzi have been stalking her since she was a teenager, it’s understandable Panettiere would want to escape that. However, she’s since moved back to L.A., with a source telling E! News,

“[She’s trying to] figure things out and have a fresh start.”

In July 2019, an insider told People magazine that Panettiere’s life was “in flux”, mainly due to the fact that Kaya was mostly living in Ukraine with her father. However, a lawyer for the actress claimed that she still sees her daughter regularly, while also confirming that Panettiere is no longer with Hickerson. A source told People,

“Hayden is a wonderful and talented girl who was so happy with her family. I hope she can […] get her life back together.”

In 2013, Panettiere opened up to Glamour, confessing to the magazine,

“I don’t really have a plan. […] I’ve lived a very big life, and I don’t feel my age, and I feel like I was born to be a mother.”

It’s quite possible that she’s simply focused on motherhood and not looking to put her energies elsewhere, at least until Kaya is a little bit older.

One major role Panettiere might take on? We’re hoping she’ll return as Kirby in the recently-announced Scream 5. As you probably know, Kirby is a beloved character in the Scream universe whose death occurred offscreen, suggesting that the character may not have actually died. Although Panettiere hasn’t confirmed or denied the rumors just yet, she posted a photo to social media in December 2019, following a long period of radio silence. The photo featured Panettiere rocking a new, Kirby-esque haircut, alongside the caption:

“Channeling my inner #Kirby.”

Could it be that Panettiere’s big comeback is on the way? We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on any developments. Watch the video to learn The Real Reason You Don’t See Hayden Panettiere Acting Anymore!


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