The new nighttime TV drama Nashville premiered on Wednesday to rave reviews and more than a few questions. One of those questions has been, who are the two main female characters, played by Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton, based on?

For months, the two actresses have been defending their characters, saying they weren’t modeled after anyone in particular. But now Hayden has fessed up to who her character is (and isn’t) based on.

She tells USA Today that, despite Taylor Swift being the most obvious answer to whom her character Juliette Barnes is based on, she’s not the right answer.

“Taylor’s known to be a very nice person and handles herself well,” Hayden said of her own neighbor, who said she loves the show and knows the character isn’t meant to be a nasty version of her.

So who is the nasty, scheming character based on? Surprisingly she’s based–at least a little bit–on Carrie Underwood.

“She’s one of those girls that doesn’t do the whole dancing-around-choreography thing but has that stage presence like no other,” Hayden said of Carrie. “She can just stand there and be incredibly interesting.”

Panettiere also notes that the music in  the show, as a whole, “is truly insane” and that “people are going to get to see that the term ‘country music’ is a very broad term.”

Nashville airs Wednesday nights at 10pm ET on ABC.

– Greg Thunder, KILT/Houston


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