Hayden Panettierre: 'I Feel a Connection to Amanda Knox' After Playing Her in TV Movie

Hayden Panettiere (left) played Amanda Knox (right) in a controversial Lifetime film about Knox's life. (AP)

Hayden Panettiere (left) played Amanda Knox (right) in a controversial Lifetime film about Knox's life. (AP)

Earlier this year, Hayden Panettiere brought the Amanda Knox ordeal to the small screen – Hollywood style – with the controversial Lifetime movie “Amanda Knox: Murder in Italy.” And in the wake of the Seattle native being released from prison and found not guilty of the brutal murder of her British roommate, Panettiere is expressing her excitement.

“Having played her and in a way walked a mile in her shoes, I do feel a certain connection with her and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t exciting to see a young girl get a second chance at life so I hope she makes the most of that,” the actress told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column at the premiere of her drama film “Fireflies in the Garden” in Los Angeles this week.

Panettiere declined to say whether she thought Knox was innocent or guilty, but in any case is simply happy to see her home. 

“It is such a complicated case, there is so much that doesn’t make sense and that doesn’t add up, but she has a second shot at life and that is great,” she added.

However, the film did come under fire following its premiere given its sexual and violent portrayal of the American college student, and Knox subsequently sued under the premise that the movie exploited her and contained several "implausible" scenes. 

According to TMZ, there is still a lawsuit pending in Italy to remove the movie from the airwaves, and Lifetime has since edited the film to make note of Knox’s overturned murder conviction.

But Amanda’s father, Curt Knox, is still bitter with the whole situation.

“The only reason I saw the movie was to write down all the irregularities, what was wrong with it, and provide it to our attorneys because it was – excuse my French – bulls**t,” he told the entertainment website this week, adding this his daughter had not seen the film. “There is a law in Italy that you cannot present information whether in book form or video form while there is an open trial. A clear breaking of the law there. The character portrayal of her in that movie was so wrong it could have potentially had an impact of the results and what people’s perspective of her is.”

Lifetime declined to comment.

Hollie McKay has a been a Fox News Digital staff reporter since 2007. She has extensively reported from war zones including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Burma and investigates global conflicts, war crimes and terrorism around the world. Follow her on twitter and Instagram @holliesmckay