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Hayden Panettiere Interview - Exclusive!

Hayden Panettiere Interview - Exclusive!

Hayden Panettiere hits the red carpet at the premiere of her new film, Scream 4, on Monday (April 11) at Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

The 21-year-old actress recently sat down with to chat about the horror film, why she’s learning Russian, the ups and downs of fame, and “falling in love” with her boxing beau Wladimir Klitschko.

FYI: Hayden is wearing a Zac Posen dress and Brian Atwood‘s “Maniac” pumps.

Click inside for Just Jared‘s exclusive interview with HP…’s Exclusive Hayden Panettiere Interview

JJ: You are liking the gory and the blood, from Heroes to this.
HP: I know! I do like action, I really, really enjoy action. I did sport activities when I was younger, was part of a team and stuff like that, but I always felt like stunts were my sport. So I am always drawn to things that are physical.

JJ: Did you ever break anything when you were younger?
HP: You know what, knock on wood, the weird thing about me is that I’ve never broken a bone.

JJ: Only on Heroes.
HP: (Laughs) But they heal again.

JJ: Obviously you were super young when Scream first came out, so that would have been weird if you had seen the film then.
HP: Yeah, 7 [years old]. My godmother would say to me, “You’re a very willful child,” very polite words for a child. But, I’m sure no one could stop me as I was very willful. I don’t remember exactly when I saw it but it must have been somewhere in my teens and on TV. I remember being genuinely scared, terrified by it. It is one of those great horror films that stands by itself, it’s a very different kind. It has its comic relief aspect to it and I love that part of it. It’s a clever film. The masked person, the Halloween aspect to it, but the reality of it, is that there is something genuinely terrifying of somebody coming after you wielding a knife trying to kill you.

JJ: It makes you want to live in a high-rise versus a house.
HP: Yeah, exactly. I had an experience, where I thought that somebody was breaking into my house and I remember the fear, and it’s the worst fear I have ever felt in my life. It’s horrifying. You go into survival mode. I get what they mean now when they say your life flashes before your eyes.

JJ: Hopefully now you are learning a little boxing so you can protect yourself.
HP: I am. I’m feisty. It’s the little ones you have to worry about, it’s not the big ones. The big ones are nice (laughs).

JJ: Are you going to tackle the Russian voiceovers for Scream 4?
HP: Oh gosh (laughs). Hopefully one day I’ll get a grasp on Russian. It is such a tough language. If there is any language that you are going to learn, Russian is one of the harder ones. It’s great to learn a different language.

JJ: Are you learning a little bit?
HP: I am, I am really trying and [Wladimir's] parents don’t speak English very well, so between the little English they know and the little Russian I know, we get along. It’s an amazing thing to learn a different language, I feel like I am young enough to be able to really grasp it. In our school systems, that is something that I have always was very interesting of how long they waited for us to start learning languages. When we are young our brains are like sponges, and to introduce that into our learning and our thinking, it’s such an important thing and they don’t do it here like they do it in other countries.

JJ: Did you go to school, or were you home schooled since you stated acting at such a young age?
HP: I went to actual school through 8th grade, and then I want to do Racing Stripes and I was 13 and turned 14 in South Africa for the 6-month shoot, so I switched to home schooling and I just stuck with it. It was a difficult thing to keep my grades up, with homework and it was a difficult thing to maneuver. I do feel like I got the best of both worlds in a lot of ways. I got to go to proms! I went to homecomings, I had a picture in the yearbook, which I was stoked about. We were at this homecoming dance, and we were dancing around this kid and he had a huge red afro and he had these glasses on and we were calling him Napoleon Dynamite. Somebody took a picture and it ended up in the yearbook. It was something so small but so exciting to me to be a part of that. You can’t get that back.

JJ: What is next for you?
HP: I don’t have any movies lined up yet. I did a little independent film called Carmel, which is great. I also did Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil, which is an animated film, which I also did with Weinstein.

JJ: Animation must be fun, no hair and makeup!
HP: It’s fun! But it’s hard work in its own respect! You don’t have the physicality, you don’t have your facial expressions to act for, you only have your voice. You would be surprised how much goes into that because you don’t have anything else to lean back on.

JJ: I know you dabbled in music. Any plans to go back?
HP: I did! I love music and I love singing, I will shut down the karaoke bars at 5 a.m. literally.

JJ: Do you have a favorite karaoke song?
HP: Well, first of all, one of my best friends and I, we love to sing Carrie Underwood‘s “Before He Cheats”. I also love to sing [Train's] “Drops of Jupiter.” I literally could sing forever. I’m terrified of the stage though. I present awards and my knees literally buckle. If I have a short dress on, I feel like I can just take two steps and everyone notices that my knees are shaking.

JJ: Why do you think that is? Especially since you are in entertainment acting on sets.
HP: Well, you are standing up on a stage as yourself. You are not a character. You are open to judgement, judgment in this industry is harsh.

JJ: What has been the best and worst thing about fame?
HP: I never want to sound like I’m ungrateful for my life. I love what I do, and I love the life that I live. I feel like I am such a strong personality and I am the kind that would go “I don’t care what anyone thinks” but genuinely that’s not really how I feel. I genuinely like everyone else, I want to be liked. I want people to like me and judge me for me, and feel like I have the ability to defend myself. Some things are so silly, but they strike a chord. Being called a midget or fat or this or that it’s so silly.

JJ: Well being called short is your fault for dating someone so tall!
HP: (Laughs) Well, you can’t help who you fall in love with though. The idea of dating someone that tall terrified me in the beginning. You can’t help who you fall in love with and that’s it. You have to stick to your guns, stick to who you are and [if] people like you, great, people don’t like you, that’s what it is.

JJ: Back to Scream, did you have any favorite props or sets?
HP: We shot one scene in Kirby’s house, which is my character and I loved the house.

JJ: I loved the red walls!
HP: That is exactly what I was going to say! I loved the red walls, and I loved the vibe in it. I loved having the entire younger cast in that scene, just to vibe off each other, to ad-lib off each other, we had a blast. We had a really, really good time. I just loved that set, it was conferrable.

JJ: Summer plans?
HP: You never know that far, it’s tough to plan that far ahead. But, my birthday is in summer, so we will see where I go.


Catch Hayden on the big screen when Scream 4 hits theaters this Friday (April 15)!

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Credit: Kevin Winter, Frazer Harrison; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Exclusive, Hayden Panettiere

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