Is 'Nashville' actress Hayden Panettiere using her role as the up-and-coming country music sensation Juliette Barnes as "practice" for her very own country music career? It seems likely.

"I recorded an album when I was younger, and I always said that if I was going to go back to music, I would do country," the 23-year-old confides to US Weekly. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed."

Of course, filming scenes for 'Nashville' at historic country music institutions such as the Grand Ole Opry would be nerve-wracking for any performer, but Panettiere -- a natural entertainer -- has been up for the challenge. "It's intense and intimidating and, at the same time, thrilling," she admits. "Once I'm up on stage and comfortable, you can't get me off."

Though the actress and singer (that's Panettiere's own voice you hear each week on 'Nashville') is best known for her acting roles in 'Heroes' and 'Guiding Light' -- as well as her more recent roles in the television movie 'Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy' and 'Nashville' -- Panettiere is also an accomplished singer.

In 2008, she released the single 'Wake Up Call.' She contributed songs to 'Disney Girlz Rock' and 'Ice Princess Soundtrack' in 2005. In 2007, she also recorded music for 'Cinderella III: A Twist In Time,' 'Disney Mania 5' and 'Disney Girlz Rock Vol. 2.' Just last year, Panettiere contributed two songs, 'Inseparable' and 'I Can Do It Alone,' to the soundtrack for 'Hoodwinked Too! (Hood vs. Evil).'

Between her experience on 'Nashville' and her previous singing and performing experience, we think this singer-actress is more than ready to launch her own country career.