WOMEN
09/10/2014 11:45 am ET Updated Sep 10, 2014

Connie Britton: Kirsten Gillibrand Was 'Larger Than Life Even In College'

Before Connie Britton was a major TV star and Kirsten Gillibrand was a major national political force, the two women were friends at Dartmouth College.

In a HuffPost Live interview on Tuesday, Britton reflected on the time they spent studying abroad together as students in China and how "awesome" and "fearless" the senator from New York was, even back then.

"I'm so intensely proud of her and it's really inspiring to watch her because I do know what a powerhouse she is," the "Nashville" actress told host Ricky Camilleri. "She was like that when we were living in China together. She was already at that time a real leader amongst our students there and, you know, almost larger than life -- even back in college."

She recalled how Gillibrand always had a strong sense of purpose, which she has demonstrated in her time on Capitol Hill.

"She just knew who she was and she what she wanted, and, you know, you sort of jumped in line with that, or you didn't," Britton said.

As Gillibrand fights for justice for victims of sexual assault in the military and on college campuses, we certainly hope others "jump in line."

Today, Britton's happy to see her old friend fighting for values that she feels all Americans -- regardless of political affiliation -- can learn from.

"Whatever your political beliefs are, I think sometimes it's easy to feel that our leaders aren't necessarily representing us in the way we want to be represented, and I think Kirsten is really out there fighting the good fight and doing it in a way that can set an example for all of us as Americans, but particularly people in politics" she explained. "So it's very exciting to watch her."

Watch the rest of Connie Britton's awesome conversation with HuffPost Live here.

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