Hayden Panettiere is a Star Entertainment Weekly Loves

by at . Comments
Cover Girl In its most recent issue, Entertainment Weekly names 100 stars it loves. Topping the magazine's list? None other than Hayden Panettiere.

Why does the magazine feel so strongly about Panettiere? We shouldn't need to tell any fan of Heroes, but here are the reasons given...

WHY HER The breakout star of TV's hottest new drama, Heroes, Panettiere plays Claire Bennet, an unbreakable high school girl who became synonymous with the show when the catchphrase ''Save the cheerleader, save the world!'' entered the pop culture lexicon. '

'I think it was very clever,'' says the New York-born actress, although she admits that calls of ''Hey, cheerleader!'' now follow her around Los Angeles. ''But it's fun. It's not an obnoxious thing.'' Technically speaking, Claire doesn't actually spend much time shaking pom-poms. ''I told [Heroes creator] Tim Kring I need to cheer at some point,'' the actress says with a laugh. ''She wears the outfit all the time!''

CROSSING OVER Her debut record, due in 2008, reflects her diverse tastes. ''I wanted to make every song sound as different as possible,'' she says. ''I hate sitting down and listening to an album where every song sounds the same.''

Panettiere, who trained to be a singer for a while and even sang jingles, co-wrote most of the album's tracks, including ''Saved,'' about the death of a friend. ''You come in with an idea of what you want to write about,'' she says of the collaborative process. ''It's fun when you have a lot of different people that you get to bounce ideas off of.''

Hayden Goes Retro

NEXT Panettiere's day job should keep her busy for years, but she'll start working movies into her schedule before long. First up is the indie drama Fireflies in the Garden, with Julia Roberts. It's a dream job, obviously — and definitely worth sacrificing a vacation for.

''I really wanted to set the tone for the kind of things that I want to do,'' she says. In the film, Panettiere will portray a young woman who leaves home to get an abortion.

SECRET TALENT ''I can ride a zebra! I had to ride one in Racing Stripes, and I'm, like, one of the only people who's ever ridden one. The trick is to hang on tight. They're bouncy little things. And never, ever go by the rear of it. It's not fun. They'll kick the bejesus out of you.''

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

Tags:
Like Us On Facebook

Want more Heroes?

Sign up for our daily newsletter and receive the latest tv news delivered to your inbox for free!

More From TV Fanatic

Aim-taking

Jack Coleman Signs on for Heroes Reborn

Jack Coleman is headed back to Heroes. The actor will appear on the NBC reboot.
Heroes-reborn-logo

Heroes Digital Series to Precede 2015 Reboot

Heroes Reborn is coming to NBC. First, though, Heroes Reborn: Digital Series is coming to NBC.com
Heroes-reborn-promo

Heroes Reborn: Actually Coming to NBC!

A Heroes reboot is actually a go at NBC. We're as shocked as you are.
Nathans-funeral

Heroes to Actually Be Revived by MSN?!?

Heroes may return to the air, TV Fanatics. Really. Read on for the shocking details.