Nashville star Hayden Panettiere feels that the media tends to be unfair in its treatment of actresses in comparison with actors.

"Female actors have a much harder time in the media," she said in an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine. "Men can get away with a lot more.

"A guy dates 10 women at once and he's 'The Man', and a girl does the same and she's what? There's no nice word for it. It's very unfair."

Panettiere added that media scrutiny has been one of the more challenging aspects of her recent engagement to Ukranian boxer Wladimir Klitschko.

"Can you imagine not having control over what's put out there about you?" she said. "People don't sit down and go, 'I wonder what they were going through?' We are not perfect; we make mistakes.

"That's one of the reasons I love playing Juliette Barnes [on Nashville] - I understand her so well. The audience gets to see the real story - all sides of it - and how she deals with issues when she goes home."

The 24-year-old, who struck fame playing indestructible cheerleader Claire Bennet in Heroes, has known Klitschko since 2009.

"We were friends for a year first. On paper, a relationship between the two of us looked crazy," said Panettiere. "From where we live to where we come from, the differences in our lives are fairly big."

She added: "On the surface, everything about us is unalike. But at our core, our morals and goals in life are very similar, so our differences become a lot less terrifying . . . I'm in awe of what he does and who he is - that's a very strong feeling. He doesn't let me get away with things; he has the patience of a saint, but he is definitely no shrinking violet."