Five Favorite Films with Hayden Panettiere
The former Heroes star talks about her new film, Fireflies in the Garden.
If you've watched any popular television over the past five years or so, chances are you probably caught an episode or two of the sci-fi/fantasy series Heroes, and if you've seen Heroes, chances are you're already quite familiar with Hayden Panettiere, who played nigh indestructible cheerleader Claire Bennet. The truth is, Panettiere began her career as an infant, when her mother auditioned little Hayden for a number of television commercials. After a couple of stints on daytime soaps like One Life to Live and Guiding Light, Panettiere lent her voice to the role of young Dot in Pixar's A Bug's Life, thereby beginning her feature film career, and two years later, she impressed as Coach Yoast's precocious, football-loving daughter in Remember the Titans.
Since earning widespread exposure on Heroes, Panettiere has focused more on film roles, expanding her resume with teen comedies (I Love You Beth Cooper), animated films (Alpha and Omega), and even a horror flick (Scream 4). This week, she makes a return to ensemble drama with Fireflies in the Garden, starring alongside the likes of Willem Dafoe, Julia Roberts, Emily Watson, and Ryan Reynolds . RT chatted with Hayden about her new movie, as well as what it was like working with such a distinguished cast, and how thankful she is for her career. But before we get to all that, here are Hayden Panettiere's Five Favorite Films!
I always grew up loving Life Is Beautiful. It was one of my dad's favorite movies, and the story is just so moving. You know, the ultimate sacrifice that a parent makes for their kid is just... I mean, the fear that must have gone along with it, but that will to overcome it for the sake of your child is just gut-wrenching.
And Roberto Benigni does it with so much humor.
Oh, so much, and you feel for him. I love that combination, that tone of being in the most horrific position you could be in and ever go through, but not done in a constantly depressing way, but sort of taking life in stride and doing what needs to be done one step at a time. You know, as I said, the ultimate sacrifice for your child.
Another film I love is The Power of One, and that became one of my favorite films because I actually got the chance to work with Armin Mueller-Stahl, who is amazing, and I was also doing a film in South Africa at the time. I turned 14 in South Africa and had learned all about Apartheid and the country and the history of it, so watching that film in South Africa was wild, and I felt a definite connection to it. And it's one of those films that not everyone knows about; you say The Power of One and a lot of people go, "What? I've never seen that."
I've always been a fan of Moulin Rouge. That's one of those films I watch over and over. You know, just the epitome of a love story, done in such a beautiful way. I love music, and just the combination of the music and how they did it; you can't beat that.
I'm a big fan of animation. I was just talking to my manager about how amazing How to Train Your Dragon is. The animation is out of this world, and the story... And I love that animated films now have evolved so much that they're real heart-wrenching stories. It's not just for kids, but adults enjoy them now as well. It's just such a beautifully done film.
Next, Panettiere talks about working with screen legends in Fireflies in the Garden, as well as a surprisingly camera-shy co-star in Remember the Titans.
Legends of the Fall I've watched a million times. That's such a beautiful story, and such a real one and a sad one, about the unexpected things life brings, like certain relationships. And sometimes, a lot of the time, life doesn't end in happy endings. The first time I saw it, I was so young that it was just a beautiful film to me. Obviously, the role of Tristan, the role he plays, is so appealing, and that want and need to tame the wild beast, if you will.