To think there was a time when all a boy had to do to impress Hayden Panettiere was know how to kick a red rubber ball.
"My biggest crush was in the second grade on this kid named Mike," Panettiere told me the other day. "He was really good at kickball."
Why didn't things work out for the two back then?
Well, Mike had a crush on Panettiere's best friend at the time. "I was jealous, so I told her that he told me that he had a crush on both of us," she confessed. "So it made me feel a little bit better about the whole thing."
Why on earth was I talking to Panettiere about school-yard romance?
Because in her new movie, I Love You, Beth Cooper, Paul Rust plays a high school nerd who finally declares his love for the school's most popular girl (Panettiere) during his graduation speech.
Panettiere never told Mike any such thing.
"He was such a jock, such a stud—you know, for someone in the second grade," she said with a laugh. "But I think he knew. I think he was pretty aware of it."
And speaking of school, former Californication star Madeline Zima will appear in the fourth season of Heroes as Claire's new college roommate.
No word yet if a rivalry ensues. "There have been discussions about it, but I've only read through episode two. I haven't even read episode three yet," Panettiere said. "I honestly have no idea how it's going to unfold."
P.S.: Hayden continues her animal rights work at SocialVibe.com, where she's hoping to collect 1 million signatures by the end of the year for a petition calling for the end of whaling.
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