Date of publishing: 14th
Hayden Panettiere stars in NBC’s hit ensemble
drama series “Heroes” as Claire Bennet,
a high school cheerleader in Texas, who learns through
trial-and-error that her flesh is indestructible.
“Heroes” follows the lives of ordinary
people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities.
Brother of actress Julia Roberts, Eric Roberts is
an Academy Award nominee for his role in “Runaway
Train” and a three-time Golden Globe nominee
for “Runaway Train,” “Star 80”
and “King of the Gypsies.” He also won
a Golden Satellite Award for the 2002 season of “Less
Than Perfect.” More recently, Eric Roberts can
be seen in Heroes, playing the mysterious Mr. Thompson.
The Scifi World had the opportunity to take a part
on a press conference with both of them. Here is the
full report of this conference. A few audio files
of this interview are available to download. Check
them below on this page.
the latest episode, five years in the future, it seems
you have somewhat reconciled with your adoptive father.
Do you see that as something that’s to happen
in the real future?
Hayden Panettiere: Well, as of course the story goes
with that episode, it what will happen only if we
don’t save New York City. Only if the bomb explodes.
Something like that I don’t even know the first
episode of the next season, so I’m not positive
about whether in the few seasons, or the end of this
season. I doubt it will come to that bad sort of relationship.
But anything is possible in the series. But as the
story goes in that episode, five years in future and
that will only happen if we don’t save New York
City. So let’s hope we do something about that.
How’s the success of
this show and the fact that you’re suddenly
an iconic tv character, the cheerleader. What effect
has that had on your life? Plus and minues.
Hayden Panettiere: Pluses, it’s
always, always great to be a good role model, and
especially to have people look up to you. I’m
big into charities and foundations. I have a bunch,
a handful, that I’ve been working with. And
as an icon to certain people, if it’s the cheerleader,
or just me as a person, I hope I can get them to maybe
buck up a little bit and see what I’m doing
with charities. And maybe partake and participate
in things like that, and things that they believe
in. And just sort of use your equivalent to my quote
on quote ‘celebrity’--that has to be one
of the worst words in the world--for good. To be in
a spotlight for a good reason. Of course the media
doesn’t want to hear about the good things,
but just want to hear about the bad. There’s
only so much you can do about that. Minus is you’re
constantly being watched, you’re constantly
being looked at to fall off your horse. People are
constantly trying to knock you off to see if you screw
up. At the end of the day, I am still a normal teenage
girl who is making mistakes still in her life, and
trying to find where I am as a person and growing
into an adult. It’s hard when you get that pressure
of “you’re a role model, don’t screw
up.” But it’s been pretty good so far.
a big debate going on in the watercooler blog on TV.com
for Heroes about whether in fact Claire is indestructible.
Whether or not that she can be killed. What can you
add to this discussion?
Hayden Panettiere: I think that’s
a question that was never really answered for me by
anyone. I sort of put together a theory for myself
in my head. I think that she is indestructible. She
can jump off the highest building. She can go through
a wood chopper and she’d be fine. But I do think
that there is a reason why she was so scared when
Sylar comes along. And there’s a reason why
Peter Petrelli has to save her. There’s a reason
why of ‘save the cheerleader’ obviously.
It means the opposite of having her die. I think in
general, yes, she is indestructible, but there is
one spot in the back of your head where if we do get
stabbed, or destroyed, then I do think we do have
the ability to die. Like, for instance, the last episode,
the second episode…the episode before that when
Peter has the glass stuck in his head. He doesn’t
come back alive until I pull that glass out of his
head. And the question kind of remains is, well, if
you leave it in there, how long would we be able to
regenerate before… I’m trying to figure
how to reword this. How long can we leave the glass
in there before we are no longer able to regenerate?
And if, if, we are no longer able to regenerate. There’s
questions I still have.
to be clear, it has to do with that mark on the back
of the neck, you’re saying?
Hayden Panettiere: No. There’s no mark on the
back of the neck. It’s just a spot in your brain,
I think, is kind of my theory.
Hayden Panettiere: Yeah. Kind of.
This is for Hayden and Eric.
How has the fan situation been for both of you guys?
This show is such a major hit. Have you had any fun
or weird encounters with Heroes fans?
Hayden Panettiere: Oh goodness. I usually just get
screamed at, like, “cheerleader”. I’ve
almost gotten into a couple car accidents because
I’ll be driving and people scream at me from
their passing cars. It’ll make me jump. I’m
not quite used to it yet. But I haven’t too
many wacky, weird ones.
Eric Roberts: Every traffic light
I stop at it’s, “Are you a bad guy, dude?
We love the show. Are you bad? We can’t tell
yet!” That’s like every traffic light
I stop at I hear something about it.
Hayden Panettiere: But other than that, I don’t
think we’ve had some really weird, crazed fans.
It’s interesting to hear their theories of what’s
really happening in the show.
you see it coming that Nathan was your biological
father or did they drop that on you suddenly?
Hayden Panettiere: Oh no, I didn’t. I didn’t
at all. I stopped guessing. We all kind of stopped
guessing. We started guessing in the beginning, like
what would happen in the next episode, but the show
is completely unpredictable. The writers are completely
unpredictable. They like to leave us in the dark a
lot of the time. So, no, I had no idea, but I was
guys were all in different universes at first. And
all of a sudden, in particularly, these last couple
of episodes. You’re going to be in one place,
on the plaza and so forth. How new of an experience
is this? For the last few episodes, was this the first
time you pretty much met most of these people?
Hayden Panettiere: Um, yeah. The show is kind of
about people crossing paths and how small the world
really is. Yeah, coming and going, and coming together.
There’s so many of those little near-misses,
where they are having conversations with each other
and they have no idea they are in the same boat.
Eric Roberts: There’s a lot of six degrees
of separation going on.
me an example of how interesting this was for you,
when suddenly all of these characters were thrown
together in one area, for one scene. What did you
find interesting about being with all of these people?
the audio file of this quote by clicking here (Zipped
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Eric Roberts: Every week is like
being thrown into first day of school, of every year
again. It’s like, “Hi, guys.”
You know some people, but don’t know half the
people. And everybody is so happy to be there, because
everybody loves this show. It’s one of the funniest
casts you ever work with on a drama. It’s not
like we’re on a drama at all. But it’s
like starting school every day. It’s like, half
the people have to go to new and then so and so gets
killed, and you go, “Oh no! He’s dead?
I loved him!” That’s what it’s like.
Hayden Panettiere: We’re all really super,
super close. We’re all usually on set. A lot
of us are on set at the same time, but off doing different
scenes. But just to stand there, it wasn’t really
that weird, but it was fun. It’s a good cast
and group of people. We’re very excited. I sometimes
question why we’re doing a drama and not a comedy.
Eric Roberts: Hayden’s one of the most welcoming
cast members in the makeup trailer out of everybody.
Because when I got there, she and Greg Grunberg were
like, “Hi! Do you know how long you’re
going to live yet?” And we hang out and we talk
trash. And we have a great time.
Hayden Panettiere: Ah, Eric, you make me blush.
Eric Roberts: She’s like very welcoming and
very sweet to everybody.
Hayden Panettiere: I don’t know about to everybody,
but to the people I like.
Eric Roberts: Anyway, she was very nice to me every
day when I was new kid on the block. And it’s
just always fun to see Hayden, because she’s
always cutting up. It’s not like running drama
at all doing that show.
So it wasn’t enough
to save the cheerleader one time. This is an ongoing
task for everyone to keep saving you.
Eric Roberts: It’s our damsel.
it seems like we thought you were saved and then we
see in the future that maybe you’re not saved.
And you have to be continually saved. Is that kind
of the feeling that you’re getting from this?
Is that save the cheerleader goes on?
Hayden Panettiere: Well, not really. It was save
the cheerleader in order to save the world, in order
to save New York. And that episode, five years in
the future, is only if we don’t save New York
City. So, if we don’t save New York City, I
could possibly have not so nice ending on life. But
I don’t know. I don’t think it’s
an ongoing thing. She’s pretty indestructible
herself. But she may need saving. I don’t mind
it. I don’t mind being the damsel in distress.
Eric, you can come back from the dead and save me.
didn’t see you five years in the future: why
Eric Roberts: I’m the present…and a part
of the future that you saw, but I wasn’t in.
I wouldn’t scratch me out totally.
Claire’s attitudes are toward her two fathers.
Does she still fully love HRG. How does she feel about
Hayden Panettiere: There’s
a lot of love/hate going on here. HRG, I mean, he’s
the dad that raised her. She loves him more than anything.
I think at this point she’s learning that she
can’t be so naïve. Imagine if you grew
up someone you were raised with, someone you found
this whole dark stuff that you didn’t know.
You’d still love them, but you’d question
them more. I think it’s a relationship that
just needs to be built back, and needs to be understood,
because everybody thought in the HRG was a bad guy,
and now he’s chosen his daughter over his work.
And Nathan, I think she has mixed feelings about Nathan.
She wants to love him, because he is her dad, but
at the same time, she’s listened and watched
him show up at her real mother’s door with a
suitcase full of cash to get rid of her. And trying
to ship her off, and not wanting her there. She’s
a pretty savvy girl. She knows that the election is
worth more to him than his own daughter, which she
might find questionable. But I think there’s
always room for building and understanding.
Thompson a bad guy?
Eric Roberts: It’s ambiguous and like playing
a bad guy, I have to say: bad guys never think they’re
bad guys. So from my point of view, it’s a no.
But I think from everybody’s point of view it’s
would you like to see the characters going? For Hayden,
particularly, since Claire can run into a burning
building and rescue people, would you like to see
her do a little more of that in the future?
Hayden Panettiere: You know, it
keeps me entertained. It’s fun. I love doing
that stuff. She is the invincible one. And I’m
kind of getting jealous of Milo a little bit because
he’s starting to shed more blood than me. And
I’m kind of getting jealous. I think I need
to break something really soon. I think we have to
keep in mind, though, that the series is about ordinary
people who have extraordinary abilities, who are still
trying to keep in touch with their lives. We don’t
want her to be like Kenny from South Park, the guy
that rips. Gotta keep it fresh.
Eric Roberts: And I hope that I recruit Heroes to
restore world peace. There’s this girl who can
change her look and stuff to become like Donald Rumsfield,
under the Bush administration.
I would like to know how
you got involved with the show.
Eric Roberts: They were casting for a character called
Thompson, who recruits the heroes and they had open
call, open auditions. And I was sent in, and I read
for it a couple of times, and they offered me the
job. It was really neat.
else are you working on?
Eric Roberts: I play his nemesis and then I play
go play the mafiaoso in the new Batman movie. So that’s
what I’m doing these days.
this show had a different impact on your career than
Eric Roberts: Well, it’s a comboination I think
from Heroes and a couple of big-hit music videos.
The Mariah Carey video and the Killers video. And
it’s given me a whole new audience under fifteen
that I didn’t have before. And like I said in
an earlier answer about the popularity of the show,
every traffic light I stop at, literally, I hear a
Heroes comment. And I thought I was really famous
up until I got Heroes. I had no idea how much more
famous I could get overnight. It’s been fun
and it has been silly.
you seen a difference in the type of roles you’re
offered or anything like that, just based on playing
this kind of scary character? Has it changed that
aspect for you at all?
Eric Roberts: No, they still want me to play bad
guys and they still want me to kill the good guys.
in a lot of scenes with Jack Coleman and I wanted
to know if you have talked to him about the balance
of your relationship. Is one of you trying to play
more evil versus more good. It has the chemistry working
there. And you both are pretty comedic too. What’s
it like working with him and how’s that process
Eric Roberts: We never talk about work at work. We
talk about everything but work at work and we have
a great relationship that’s absolutely high
school silly. And we tell jokes all day. I mean, literally.
Me, Jack, and Greg Grunberg do nothing except tell
jokes all day. Do knock-knock jokes. We act like adolescents
all day long. And I’m not making this up. And
Greg kind of leads the way, but Jack and Eric follow.
We are just kind of like three stooges all day at
work. And it relieves all the tension of having to
be so dead serious on camera.
this season of playing Thompson, what for you were
been some of the highlight moments of giving shades
to revealing who he is. And it’s like you said:
it’s been very subtle, and he’s obviously
got a very big impact leading towards the finale of
the season. What have some of those moments been for
Eric Roberts: He is almost like proud of the fact
to say that I can recruit the heroes. And to be the
guy, obviously number two, under Malcolm, but I’m
one of the honchos, and I have this ability to know
who has powers. And if you can’t have the powers,
at least know who does, so you’re on the right
I think this show is so interesting
because it really plays with the notion of good and
evil. Nothing is really that clear. I just wondered,
for you, has it changed your perspective about what
equals good and what equals evil. And when you play
Thompson, how do you imbue that role considering you
really don’t know what role you’re one.
Eric Roberts: Okay, good and evil. I think good people
go after peaceful resolutions, and evil people don’t.
So I’m a little of both in this. And the other
question was has it changed my perspective on good
and evil. No it hasn’t. I think that good is
very cut and dry, and evil is very and dry. You’re
either one or the other. Even though I think most
of us are gray, as opposed to black or white, evil
or good, it’s still pretty easy to decide what
is what there.
this show, do you think evil and good are black and
Eric Roberts: No. They stretch that gray area real
big. But I think the end result, in hindsight, I think
you can always tell what was black, what was white,
and what was gray. But as you go through it, of course,
it all looks a bit gray.
you tell us if you are going to be back next season
Eric Roberts: All I can tell you is maybe.
the finale, are there anything we should be looking
for you to be doing in the next few episodes? Do you
have a standout moment that you can hit at?
Eric Roberts: The only thing I can kind of give you
a hint about without giving stuff away is Greg and
I have a scene in the hallway where I’m trying
to sneak up on him. But he keeps hearing my thoughts
so he keeps on getting away from me. We do have a
confrontation, although it does not end up with his
having to pay anything dear.
curious, when you come into a show like this that
has an air of mystery about it, how much did they
tell you about your character, you know, going in?
And does how that affects how you play your role?
Eric Roberts: They told me nothing.
They told me nothing. It was all - what I got - what
I developed for the auditions that I had to do to
get the part. That's what they let me act with. And
said, okay, I'm good with that. And they're really
nice about everything. They allow the actor to have
fun. And it's a good group. I don't really know -
it's a really nice group. And it's also fun. You talked
about walking onto under a show like this, I've been
on - I've been a lot of shows but they haven't been
in the top 10 hits. And also, I've never even done
a show that I didn't have to help make a hit. And
I just walk on this. It was already hit. It's already
in the top ten and it's so much fun to do nothing
except show up. And… And it's just fun because
this show kind of runs itself, story-wise and like
fan-wise. And as an actor for hire, you need just
you walk into it and if you're lucky to have the job,
it just pure fun. Does that answer your question?
for Hayden, have you kind of been a fan of the other
characters/stories and their progress?
Hayden Panettiere: I'm a really
big fan of all of them, honestly. They're just so
completely different and it's like comparing apples
and oranges, like it's - they're all stories that
I've seen developed and I've seen grow. So all of
them just have these really different elements to
them. They are very diverse. And they're intertwining
and they're connecting and then they're sort of coming
together. So, yeah, so I can't really choose.
Hayden, I know that networks
are always trying to hook younger viewers and as a
younger person yourself, I'm just wondering, do you
have time to watch much TV and if so, what do you
And I guess, I would ask both Hayden and Eric. If
you guys weren't on Heroes, is it the type of show
that you would watch? Would you watch Heroes?
Hayden Panettiere: I would - I think Heroes is an
incredible show. I don't really watch a lot of TV.
The only show I actually watch is Heroes.
But I mean when I used to watch TV, I was more of
a Heroes-ish kind of girl. I used to watch things
like Six Feet Under and I loved it. But I think -
I mean personally Heroes is definitely a show I would
about you, Eric?
Eric Roberts: I don't know if I'd
be watching it or not, but I know that I'd made to
watch it because of my stepdaughter Morgan Simon and
my daughter Emma and my stepson Ethan Simons and they
would all drive me to the TV room and they, “Got
to watch your show, dude.”
And I'd be watching it.
in The Dark Knight. You're on Heroes. What draws you
to these superheroes genre movies or shows?
Eric Roberts: I think there is drawn
towards me as I am to them. They say - they asked
me to come addition for them, and they want to see
what I'd bring to them.
Hayden, are we going to get to see Claire cut loose
since she has this ability of not being hurt, she
always runs into building, saves people, et cetera,
et cetera. But do you guys in the last three episodes
have one big knockdown drag-out fight where Claire
gets to use her ability?
Hayden Panettiere: Classical question.
I remember these last three episodes, what's going
on? I mean anything is possible on the show. I think
at the moment we're really concentrating on the human
stories that are going on with the show. And the fact
that there are, there's bigger more, heart pumping
to concentrate and to deal with than on powers because
it's not just about our powers. It's about mankind.
It's about the world. If we don't do this, the world
will be completely changed. Every one's lives will
be shipped and pointed in a different direction and
for the most part as you saw like - it's not for the
good. So at the moment it - I think it's about more
than just our abilities. I think it's about doing
what's right and we're kind of meant to do. But I
am indestructible and things happen all the time.
you have a stunt double on Heroes?
Hayden Panettiere: I do. I have - actually the same
stunt double I had way back in the day on “
Ally McBeal.” She's the best. She's fun. She's
very, very cool. And she's taught me a lot. We have
a lot of fun.
you wish you could ever do your stunts or do you plan
to in the future?
Hayden Panettiere: Well, I do, I
do at times. But she's kind of my coach and she leads
me as well as teaches me, as well as our stunt coordinator
Eric Roberts: I'm on the outside looking in and Hayden
does a lot.
Hayden Panettiere: I do. I pulled
teeth. I pulled teeth. Please let me do it. So I do
as much as they will let me do.
Eric Roberts: Yeah.
Does any of it ever freak
Hayden Panettiere: No, they couldn't afford to break
me so I'm thinking that they're going to be pretty
just had a quick question. Of all the other characters
on the show, if either one of you could take one of
their superpowers, what would it be and why? And you
can't choose Peter or Sylar because that's kind of
Hayden Panettiere: Well I'd like to be able to teleport.
I would be at the meeting that I have to be at right
now and then right after I'd be on a beach somewhere
in a deserted island of the tropics.
Eric Roberts: And I want Grunberg's power to be able
to read minds.
Hayden Panettiere: Oh God, I would
hate to know what people are thinking.
Eric Roberts: I want that power.
Hayden Panettiere: I would love and hate to know.
Eric Roberts: I love that. To always
know what everybody's thinking, yeah…
Hayden Panettiere: You could never have a relationship.
It would go down the drain.
Eric Roberts: Well I would like to think that my
wife is so blatantly honest. I know everything anyway
so it wouldn't change anything even though it's probably
not true, I know.
Hayden Panettiere: You're funny.
Eric Roberts: I know.
first for you. I wanted to ask, you talked about Claire's
perspective on her two fathers, but just as an actress,
what it's been like for you to have all these great
teens with Jack but this interesting dynamic with
Adrian, too, to play out?
Hayden Panettiere: I love it. I
love it. I'm so looking forward to working with every
single person on the show. There are so many actors
that are on the show that I just haven't gotten the
chance to work with that I have kind of worked closely
with them because I'm with then all the time and I'm
just - I'm honestly, I'm just dying to work with them,
the actors and just have that connection and kind
of see what you pull out each other.
Eric Roberts: And wait till you guys see what Adrian
has or does to get reelected.
Hayden Panettiere: But, yeah, I'm
dying to work with everyone and Adrian was definitely
one of the people I'm dying to work with.
can you give any more details about your role in Batman
and what role the character has in the story?
Eric Roberts: All I can tell you is I'm a mafiosa
in Batman and I have not even seen the script. I've
only seen the sides that they gave me.
Eric, can you give us any
more insight into exactly what the company is? Is
it a government organization or a private organization?
Eric Roberts: I can't only because I don't know.
I just talk about like I know, but I really don't.
Hayden Panettiere: That is one of
my biggest question in this show!
Eric Roberts: Yeah, who is the company.
Hayden, can you explain exactly what the bond is between
Claire and Peter Petrelli other than the fact that
obviously he saved your life?
Hayden Panettiere: Well he's my
uncle. Uncle Peter, well I don't know. They had sort
of weird. I think it's kind of like the senses that
you've seen these people who discovered his ability
isn't, most of them want to push it aside. They don't
want to do anything with it. They want to be normal.
They want to go on with their lives. And they've all
found themselves not ignoring it. I'm - not going
on with their lives, but embracing it and just having
kind of a sixth sense and knowing what they have to
do with it. Knowing what they have to use it for.
So I think in a lot of ways, it's kind of the same
thing. So, when they met, it was kind of a weird sixth
sense that they just knew each other and they knew
that they felt safe around each other and like they
belonged in a way. Other than that, I have no idea,
they can do anything in the world. So at the moment,
I'm working with - he's my uncle and we have this
bond because we've kind of had this sixth sense about
can you tell us a bit about what's going on with your
singing career and how you balance that with the show?
Hayden Panettiere: Hi. Well hopefully,
be releasing an album in August and how do I balance?
Actually, that's why I'm on my way to go write a song
right now with Matthew Wilder, so. How do I balance
it? I just - I don't want to sound weird, but you
just kind of do. It's not a question of can you do
this or can you do that. It's really a matter you
can do it. You have to do it. You just do it and -
but it - I mean it's difficult. It's difficult trying
to be a normal human being and balancing work and
personal life and school. Thank God I'm done with
school right now. But it's time management. I've got
some incredible people working with me on my schedule
and stuff. So they make it pretty easy.
Eric, you were talking about how you went to this
open casting call for the show, but did you have a
sense of how successful the show was? Did you have
a sense of all the buzz around it?
Eric Roberts: Well I was very ignorant.
I just gotten back from overseas, making a movie and
I've been over there for many months and I just gotten
back and I was tired, and my agent asked me to come
in to an audition for the show. "It's a big
hit show, Eric, come audition for it". And
I said, “No, I'm too tired.”
And they got a bunch of phone calls to my lawyer,
my daughter, my stepdaughter all saying, “You
idiot. This is a great show. You got to go audition
with this show.” So I went in and I auditioned
and I was lucky enough to get it, but I didn't know
that till I was on the set and then I just - it's
like, I mean, it sounds kind of overwrought, but it's
kind of a paid vacation because all these people are
just - they have such fun everyday and they're so
nice to everybody and they're so - it's just a great
group and it's like being on a sitcom set, even though
it's a drama, that everybody cuts up all day.
your daughter Emma is playing Nancy Drew. And your
character on Heroes is kind of a detective seeking
the people with super abilities. So I thought, do
you guys like share detective tips?
Eric Roberts: I taught her everything
she knows about.
Eric Roberts: No, Nancy Drew is
far more progressed than Thompson is as far as the
Hayden, how do you feel about
the fact that you've brought cheerleading to everyone's
attention. You know, it was already a humungous thing.
Now, cheerleading is skyrocketing past Jupiter. How
do you feel about that? Are you getting calls from
cheerleaders all over the country? What's going on
the audio file of this quote by clicking here (Zipped
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Hayden Panettiere: It's fun. It's
very cool. I definitely have a new found respect for
cheerleading after doing Bring It On. I'm very proud
of it. But it's awesome. I think the reason why they
made Claire the cheerleader is because you needed
her to be a normal teenage girl. You needed her to
be down to earth in a way because our powers are so
farfetched that you needed to ground it and by making
her the cheerleader, it made her very relatable to
girls and to teenagers. And I think she has become
a really amazing role model and I think our show has
become a really great metaphor for people. So I'm
proud of it. I'm privileged, so.
you have any plans to go to any postsecondary education?
Hayden Panettiere: I do plan on
continuing to learn. I believe in learning. I believe
in expanding your mind. Do I see a whole four-year
- full four-year college in my future? I'm not sure.
I'm more interested in really going in and taking
classes and learning about things that I'm really
excited to learn about. Things that really interest
me like psychology or anthropology. Things I really
want to learn about, but they - do I have an interest
in going back and taking my requirements again? If
I wasn't on the show, I would 100% be going to a four-year
college. I would 100% be drawing myself in there,
and it's always been a dream of mine to go to college.
But yes, I do plan on continuing to learn.
episode, it seems to have this kind of big crazy twist
going on. So how long do you guys think the show can
keep it fresh and keep audiences interested before
it goes still?
Eric Roberts: I think it's got a shelf life for about
Hayden Panettiere: I don't - I think
it's got a lot of longevity on it.
Eric Roberts: Really go forever. That's what I'm
Hayden Panettiere: Yeah. I - these
writers, yeah. I sort of had the same question, too,
when I started the show. How are they going to continue
this? This is an awesome episode, awesome pilot, but
how are they going to continue this really. They've
done it incredibly, and I have all the faith in the
world in our writers and Tim Kring, our creator, who
kind of have big pictures for all the potential upcoming
Eric Roberts: Well there are 10 writers and they
all work on every episode.
Heroes to the Dark Knight, do you have a newfound
appreciation for that genre? And then even though
you said you haven't read all the script, but do you
know if your interaction is going to be more with
the Joker or more with Christian Bale, are you a villain?
Are you a good guy?
Eric Roberts: I've been in actions with both those
guys and I am a bad guy.
you thought of newfound appreciation for the comic
Eric Roberts: Oh hell, yeah. I mean
it's - and it was, thanks to Heroes, I think, till
I started to get this newfound appreciation because
Heroes is likea comic book. And yeah. So to answer
your question, succinctly yes.
Hayden, besides - do you
have any other upcoming projects during the hiatus,
movie-wise and stuff?
Hayden Panettiere: I just finished the movie with
Julia Roberts and Willem Dafoe and Emily Watson, Ryan
Reynolds called Fireflies in the Garden, which is
an independent film that is directed by Dennis Lee
and hopefully will be joined at Sundance with something.
I think it's going to be an incredible film.
wondering if there's been any talk of you getting
a boyfriend in the upcoming maybe few episodes or
really next season or is that something…?
Hayden Panettiere: Yes, there has been. It's possibly
in the future. They can't - they won't promise me
anything, and I haven't heard or seen anything from
this upcoming season. So I can't tell you what exactly
is going to happen, but yes, there is potential.
that something you'd like to see for your character?
Hayden Panettiere: Yeah, I think
so. I think people want to see her being a normal
teenage girl. They want to see her have boyfriends.
They want to see the human side of her which is what
normal teenage girls do. They date. They like boys.
They kiss boys.
you feel like you identify with Claire?
Hayden Panettiere: How do I feel
like I identify with Claire? I feel like I've really
grown up with her in a way because the show, it's
not like a movie where you have to do this huge character
arch within two hours. It's a show that we've been
working on for the past year and in this past year
it has held a lot of growth for me as a person.
And so, I think I kind of brought that into her, she
turned out being more naïve and more of a young
girl, more of a little girl in the beginning and it
has now found her footing a little bit and becoming
less naïve and more of a strong human being,
strong girl who's not scared to stand up for herself.
So I think in that way, she's definitely like me,
I'm a Leo… And I think I've been able to bring
that into her, a little fire into her and so that's
been pretty fun.
Eric, how did you get to doing music videos and will
you be featured in more?
Hayden Panettiere: Mine.
Eric Roberts: What, Hayden?
Hayden Panettiere: I said my music video.
Eric Roberts: Good for me. They
called me and it was - they're so much fun to make.
And I went and I made them and they happened to be
huge hits. So suddenly, I've liked hundred video offers,
and my manager was going through them all and we're
just having fun…
Hayden Panettiere: Milo did a video the other day.
I want to be in a music video.
Eric Roberts: There's so much fun.
I just wanted to find out,
as you're talking a lot about being in the public
eye and how it's really hard people watching you fall.
How is it being part of a celebrity couple? You're
in one of the hottest TV shows on TV, you're trying
to live, your private teenage life. What is it like?
Hayden Panettiere: What's it like?
It's difficult, but at the same time it's - I mean
it's sort of like having any other relationship. Being
in the spotlight is difficult because we try not to
take pictures. We try not to talk about it much because
I feel when you put something like that out there,
then you give people the right to formulate their
own opinions about you. You give people the right
to judge. So if you don't put it out there, if you
keep it to yourself, then they have nothing to judge.
Eric Roberts: Can I say something
about how Hayden handles fame? I first heard about
Hayden from my daughter Emma, about when they were
working together, and it was all very positive and
very normal. And then I meet Hayden and the whole
of the circumstance and she's the most charming, welcoming
normal person on that set and that's really a fact,
and it's just so much fun to meet somebody so young
who's a grownup with a sense of humor and she is all
Hayden Panettiere: He makes me blush
every time. He just he just makes me blush.
your boyfriend ever visit you on the set while you're
Hayden Panettiere: Actually, when
I go to work, it's kind of a work thing. It's not,
playtime, although it's fun for me. But he's out doing
his thing. I'm going to work. He'll come once in a
while but it's not a frequent thing. I'm here to do
sure you had an initial perspective on playing Claire,
when you first shot the pilot. And I was wondering
how you think your portrayal of her has evolved and
changed over time?
Hayden Panettiere: Well I think
with the - all of our characters, I think it's been
a learning process for us. I think we came in with
one script and had to discover our characters, had
to develop them and make them our own and really use
what we kind of bring to the table as actors. But
she's evolved from the beginning, she's very naïve,
very young girl who is simply interested in dating
the quarterback of the football team … She's
a normal girl doing what normal girls do. And she
discovered this power and doesn't want any part of
it. She wants to live a normal life, but over time,
she realizes that she has to use this for better.
She's been let down by a lot of people and she learned
that she can't be so naïve and she can't trust
people as much and she needs to really find her footing
and stand her ground. She's really grown by the end
of the season into a very strong girl who is still
sweet. And she'll continue to grow. So we'll see what
happens to her this next season.
has obviously had pretty low ratings over the past
couple of years. I was wondering how you think that
benefited the show as far as you guys being able to
take creative risks, maybe break out from the pack
and mostly maybe having the network be a little more
patient with your growth.
Eric Roberts: Well that's the creator's
question, but I like to think you might have hit it
on the head. They allowed more freedom because they
had more room, because they weren't confined to a
certain kind of structure and/or hit. So they allowed
them to create and they allowed people like Mr. Arkush
to direct. They let everybody take chances…
and they made a great show out of it.
Panettiere: At the same time, it could go
both ways. It could go with the - they've had pretty
low ratings or that they had nothing to lose in a
way, and it's good to really help or it can go in
the way of… I mean we really have high hopes
in this and don't throw it up and we got to make sure,
it's really on track and we really get this right
because this could be it. Fortunately for us this
hasn't been bad at all. They've been the most amazing
group of people to work with and it's really a million
- it's like all of the writers, all the directors,
all the actors putting their heads together - putting
all of our heads together and just creating and being
artistic with each one of our arts. So it's been incredible.
I mean it seems to me, a show like Drive got cancelled
after four episodes, so who knows how it was going
to do, but you guys literally got better with each
episodes this season and a less patient network might
have just been like, oh well it's not as good as we
Hayden Panettiere: Yeah, I think
when we come into the - into a show, it's difficult
because - especially with the show like this, there's
so much to - so much information to grasp that it's
so difficult to make a really good pilot come binding
everything that you really need the audience to know.
There are certain things that you have to put in it,
whether they're boring or not, you have to sort of
make it aware - make people aware that - and there's
sort of no way around it. So the fact that they made
it entertaining was a good thing. But when we got
pass that, the ratings got better, the actors became
more comfortable, they found so much more chemistry
with each other and confidence in the characters that
they've developed. And so I think everyone just really
bumped it up and that we saw, say, halfway through
this season that everyone just took it up…
I guess it's a less than that other network should
pay attention to that, first few episodes aren't necessarily
representative of where the show is going to go.
Hayden Panettiere: Yeah. It's true.
You have to - but at the same time, I've seen amazing
shows go down the drain. I've seen amazing shows -
Friday Night Lights is an incredible show that's on
and that is so incredibly underrated. And it's just
because people just - I don't know whether it's -
you don't know whether it's the time, you don't know
whether it doesn't work with people's days, but somehow
along the way they didn't grab the viewers that they
should have. So it's kind of a master of luck in a
lot of ways and publicity, too.
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