Hayden Panettiere opened up to People magazine about her years-long addiction to opioids and alcohol, revealing a member of her team gave her “happy pills” before red carpets when she was only 15 years old. The actor’s addiction worsened from there.
“They were to make me peppy during interviews,” Panettiere said of the pills she was told to take as a teenager. “I had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing, or what door that would open for me when it came to my addiction.”
Panettiere gained success as a child with roles in soap operas and Disney’s popular football drama “Remember the Titans” with Denzel Washington. She achieved greater acclaim with her leading role at 16 on NBC’s drama series “Heroes,” and she became a horror favorite with her supporting turn as Kirby in “Scream 4.” Panettiere was also the co-lead on ABC’s popular country music soap “Nashville.”
“I was on top of the world and I ruined it,” Panettiere said. “I’d think I hit rock bottom, but then there’s that trap door that opens…This hasn’t been easy and there were a lot of ups and downs. But I don’t regret even the ugliest things that have happened to me. I feel incredibly accomplished. And I feel like I have a second chance.”
Panettiere is mounting a comeback by reprising the role of Kirby in the upcoming sixth “Scream” movie. The movie will mark the actor’s most notable project since “Nashville” came to an end in 2018. She told “Good Morning America” that she personally asked the “Scream” creative team to return to the franchise and they agreed.
“I wanted to be in it that badly,” Panettiere said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to be disappointed.”
Panettiere told People that she never brought her addiction struggles to work and remained sober on sets, adding, “My saving grace is that I couldn’t be messy while on set and working. But things kept getting out of control [off set]. And as I got older, the drugs and alcohol became something I almost couldn’t live without.”
The yet-to-be-titled sixth “Scream” movie is set for theatrical release on March 31, 2023, from Paramount.