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Hayden Panettiere talks return to acting with ‘Scream VI’

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Hayden Panettiere is opening up about how she manifested her return to acting in Scream VI.

The Heroes alum, who hasn’t acted since she played Juliette Barnes on the ABC series Nashville, which ended in 2018, told Good Morning America on Monday that she purposefully set out to once again play her fan-favorite Scream character, Kirby Reed, who first appeared in 2011’s Scream 4.

“I did have to take those four years off, and thank God I did,” the 33-year-old said. “I had to work on myself — my mental health, my physical health, my spiritual health.”

She continued, “And then when [Scream] popped up and came back around, I was like, ‘I want to be a part of that again’ because I hoped that Kirby was still alive. I willed her back into existence and I called them,” she said of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the directors for 2022’s Scream.

Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett got Scream fans hyped for Kirby’s potential return when, in last year’s film, they included an on-screen Easter egg that showed an image of the character with the headline “Interview with Woodsboro Survivor Kirby Reed!”

With Scream VI, which hits theaters March 10, fans see the survivors from the previous film — Melissa Barrera‘s Sam, Jenna Ortega‘s Tara, Jasmin Savoy Brown‘s Mindy and Mason Gooding‘s Chad — head to New York City only to face Ghostface again.

At the end of Panettiere’s segment, GMA co-anchor Michael Strahan expressed condolences to Panettiere and her family on the recent death of her brother, Jansen.

Jansen died suddenly last month at the age of 28 from an enlarged heart.

Panettiere patted her chest, adding that her brother was “right here with me.”

Scream VI arrives in theaters March 10.

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