But Panettiere appears to have pulled off the notoriously tricky transition from child and teenage stardom to serious adult acting with aplomb.Earlier this year she earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role as the catty, conniving country-music singer Juliette Barnes in the new More4 drama Nashville. With her bad-girl persona, sequinned dresses and eye-wateringly tight denim hotpants, Barnes is a delicious departure from the good girls the actress is used to playing.‘After Heroes I knew it was going to be an uphill battle for me to be seen as anything other than the all-American cheerleader,’ she says.
At the time, Knox was serving a 26-year sentence for the murder of Meredith Kercher, though she has since been acquitted.
Panettiere found herself fending off intense criticism after calling Knox ‘brave’ and ‘spirited’ and talking of her joy and excitement at winning the role.
Kercher’s father, John, called the film ‘extremely distressing’.
In spite of staying out of trouble, she could not avoid the cruelty of certain segments of the media.
‘I remember being 16 years old, bending over in a shop, and having somebody snap a photo of me from behind and publish it in a magazine, saying that I had cellulite.