Why You Don't See Hayden Panettiere Acting Much Anymore

Hayden Panettiere may only be in her thirties, but it feels like she's been a fixture on our screens her whole life — because she basically has. After breaking out in superhero drama Heroes, the actress moved seamlessly on to the big screen, appearing in the likes of I Love You, Beth Cooper and slasher sequel Scream 4, before moving back to TV on soapy drama Nashville. Although she's enjoyed a prolific career, Panettiere hasn't appeared in anything since Nashville ended in 2018.

The actress has admitted to struggling with typecasting in the past, telling Movieline all the way back in 2011 that Heroes led to her only being offered roles akin to that same, "Young, female, all-American cheerleader," she'd played before. Panettiere even almost missed out on Nashville because the producers worried she couldn't play vulnerable enough, according to a 2013 interview with Vulture. After becoming a mother, are her priorities simply elsewhere? Has Panettiere given up on Hollywood for good, or is there a chance she might be making a comeback soon?

Hayden Panettiere has weathered some tough times

Panettiere has 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, as reported by E! News. She later told the publication how proud she was to have spoken out, revealing, "I do feel and hope it's 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."

Naturally, though, her time in treatment meant Panettiere couldn't seek out roles. She subsequently broke up with Kaya's father, who was her fiancé at the time, Wladimir Klitschko, in 2018 (via E! News). Thankfully, the two enjoy a strong co-parenting relationship. Panettiere then hooked up with fellow actor Brian Hickerson, but their relationship was unfortunately fraught with drama, culminating in a domestic violence charge against him, as per People. It was even suggested at the time that Panettiere may say goodbye to Hollywood for good due to the stress of the situation, but Gossip Cop advised that wasn't the case.

Finding the right environment was important for Hayden Panettiere

Cheat Sheet suggested that Panettiere could take her talents to Broadway, considering she's already proven her singing chops on Nashville. For a time it seemed she might be considering living the country life for real as she gushed to The Telegraph about living in Nashville during shooting, "There's a real feeling of community and Southern hospitality. It feels much more genuine than LA." Likewise, Panetttiere told Southern Living that Nashville felt like home. 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 described Panettiere's life as being "in flux" to People, due to Kaya living predominantly in Ukraine with her father. However, a lawyer for the actress clarified that she sees her daughter regularly, while also confirming Panettiere is no longer with Hickerson, whom Panettiere's family reportedly worry is a bad influence. "Hayden is a wonderful and talented girl who was so happy with her family. I hope she can... get her life back together," advised another source.

Hayden Panettiere's big comeback might be in the cards shortly

In 2013, Panettiere offered a description of herself, and her life, to Glamour that's more telling than she perhaps intended. "I don't really have a plan," the actress opined. "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 very possible, then, 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 could be about to take on, however, is Kirby in the recently-announced Scream 5. Kirby is a beloved character in the Scream universe whose death occurred offscreen, signaling to certain fans that she hasn't actually perished. Although Panettiere hasn't confirmed or denied the rumors just yet, in December 2019 she posted a photo to social media, following a long period of radio silence, with a new, Kirby-esque short haircut, writing alongside it, "Channeling my inner #Kirby #Scream4."

Could it be that Panettiere's big comeback is secretly on the way? Either way, as long as she's happy, healthy, and focused on her family, nothing can stop her.