Hayden Panettiere has acquired a whole new level of fame, thanks to her role as tempestuous Juliette Barnes on the hit TV show 'Nashville.' But the actress, who previously portrayed goody-two-shoes Claire Bennet on the sci-fi TV show 'Heroes,' says being the vixen is a welcome change.

"Juliette is so not the good girl that I played on 'Heroes,' but she has to put on the facade as a good girl to get what she wants," Panettiere explains to Nashville's Tennessean. "Juliette is tough, but when she cries, she means it: She's a very damaged young woman running from a dark past. How much more perfect could I ask for?"

The 24-year-old, who recently became engaged to professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko, says that tabloids often get her squeaky-clean lifestyle confused with the behavior of her on-screen role. "[They say] that I've broken up with him, that I've cheated on him, that I'm a home-wrecker, that I've become a mess in Nashville," she notes. "I've been portrayed as a person that I'm so far from being, that I have spent years of my life making sure that I never become!"

Still, Panettiere acknowledges that her early start in TV, as a five-year-old on the soap opera 'One Life to Live,' could have led her down a path similar to what she currently portrays on TV.

"I grew up in the entertainment industry, in the spotlight, and have had to deal with some of the same struggles," she concedes. "In this business, there are so many doors wide open to walk through and it looks like the normal thing to do. The difference is, I've always had people around me to yank me back before I went too far."

'Nashville' airs on Wednesday nights on ABC at 10PM ET.