Hayden Panettiere Has Plenty to Cheer About

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Actress Hayden Panettiere rocketed to fame as the self-healing cheerleader Claire Bennet on Heroes. But the 17-year-old is just getting started.

Since becoming the focal point of the show's "save the cheerleader" plot line, the sexy and adorable Hayden Panettiere has also started filming a new drama, Fireflies in the Garden, with Julia Roberts, and is gearing up to promote her debut pop album this fall.

Sexy Hero

"With singing, I get to be myself," she tells People in its new issue.

That's all well and good. But later this spring, Hayden Panettiere will celebrate another important milestone - high school graduation.

"Thank God!" says the Nyack, N.Y., native. "School was difficult; when you come and go, you miss out on a lot. Cliques are formed and you're just lingering."

In L.A., Panettiere has found a new BFF in Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's daughter Rumer Willis, 18.

"I stole my pink belly-button ring from Rumer," she admits.

Moreover, she's found a boyfriend in Laguna Beach alum Stephen Colletti, 21, whom she's been dating for more than a year.

Colletti, of course, used to date Kristin Cavallari. And Lauren Conrad. At the same time. We can only take our collective hat off to the young man.

But Panettiere and Colletti are so low-key (their big nights out usually consist of dinner and a movie) that the actress almost feels guilty about not giving Hollywood Gossip hounds like us more to work with.

It's safe to say Justin Timberlake doesn't share that attitude.

"I had paparazzi on my street for a while," she says. "I think I bored them to tears. I'm no fun to watch."

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