COUNTRY STRONG, Garrett Hedlund

Scott Garfield/Sony Pictures

Looks like working on the film Country Strong made more than just Gwyneth Paltrow think she was an actual singer!

Turns out hunky Garrett Hedlund, 26, thinks he, too, could be America's next country star/movie idol. That's what we're hearing from pals close to the Minnesota-born boy who was raised on a farm.

Hedlund pals are telling us it's Garrett's friendships with Nashville queen Taylor Swift as well as his other Country Strong costar Tim McGraw that could make the actor's hobby into a reality.

Remember those rumors that Hedlund was down in Nashville working on an album and dining with the singing sensation? Was that the reason? 

Not according to reps for both stars.

Interesting to note, as well, other friends tight with Hedlund hardly think the guy needs to ask for help from Taylor "Country Music Awards' Entertainer of the Year" Swift.

"Garrett is best friends with Tim McGraw and they hang out all the time," one Garrett source tells us. "He would never need Taylor's help recording an album."

Sure enough, McGraw, is majorly getting back to his country roots these days, giving movies a rest for a bit and jumping into the recording business that made him famous in the first place.

And the only musical connection Swift and Hedlund have? One of Taylor's coproducers on her albums also cowrote one of the songs that was used on the Country Strong soundtrack.

And while Hedlund has been doing production on a film in Nashville (that's what he was doing their when he grabbed dinner with Taylor), not recording an album, one of the Hedlund sources assures us he "has been asked" to do an album and would love to do one in the future.

"He loves to sing," this source reveals. "His songs he recorded for Country Strong did really well and got really positive feedback. That has given him the confidence to pursue music more seriously now. He wants to be a country star."

Look, we say Garrett should become the next Tim McGraw (sure has the talent for it), and he should stop all this gonzo dating we hear he's been up to and settle down with Taylor, already.

That way she could so be the next Faith Hill!

OK, we'll stop now. That Garrett just makes us crazier than a drunk one-eyed horse trying to gallop straight.

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