Interview: Julianne Hough 2
Mimi ON Oct 13, 2011 AT 12:38 pm
Today, just over a year on Hough has more in common with Seacrest than she initially must have imagined. She has immense drive and the ability to throw herself at anything. She has just completed two leading lady roles. In the first she plays Ariel in the remake of Footloose, a damaged slutty girl who manages to dance her way into everybody’s hearts. And next up a rock chick songbird who finds fame with Tom Cruise and Russell Brand in Rock Of Ages. In Footloose she pulls off a tough and charismatic performance.
Today she’s wearing a grey T-shirt and a black leather mini skirt and manages to look cool even in the 100 degree heat. She has bright light blue eyes, huge. Long hair expertly highlighted from platinum to honey. Voluminous lips that are glossed in Chanel’s Coral Reef. She is beyond pretty.
Does she think that she is similar to the rebellious Ariel? ‘Ariel starts out as this stone cold girl who doesn’t take crap from anybody, and then you see in her heart she doesn’t want to be this person. When her boyfriend is asking her to take off her shirt you can tell she does this because that’s how people expect her to behave, and I definitely can relate to that. I was at Italia Conti in London from the age of 10 to 15. I felt I was very mature for my age, as the youngest of 5 (four sisters, one brother). I was always very independent and in London teenagers are more mature than America. So when I went back to Utah I had matured so much more than my friends. I had nothing in common with them. It was so hard to relate to anybody and everyone thought I was much more worldly than I was. And Utah was very conservative.’
Can it be possibly true that this gorgeous creature who seems to have it all was a high school outcast? ‘Yes, I was. It was like Mean Girls. I ate lunch in the bathroom alone and girls invited me to parties that were really just abandoned houses. I got asked to the prom only to get ditched and I was like oh, these American high school movies are real.’
There’s only a fleck of bruised ego, a smidgen of pain that remains as she smiles and says, ‘I think all that makes you tougher and stronger. I definitely have my guard up sometimes and I don’t let a lot of people in. I’m very careful.’
So for instance any gossip on her brother and his links to Cheryl Cole is met with a sweet but firm ‘I don’t really speak about my brother’s personal life. We are very close.’
She and her brother both studied at Italia Conti theatre arts school. ‘My parents were going through a divorce so it seemed like a good time. “You two can go away for a couple of months.” We ended up staying for five years.
She talks of that time with nostalgic sweetness and a little triumph.
‘I was at school with Ashley Lilley from Mama Mia and Newton Faulkner. I knew him as Sam though, he still had the dreads.’ She says that when she arrived she wasn’t a very good dancer. A year later she couldn’t stop winning ballroom competitions including the world championships at Blackpool.
‘Dance was my life. I didn’t eat. I wanted to just keep dancing because it was my life 24/7. I got burnt out though. I did too much and I wasn’t really enjoying it any more. I did several seasons of Dancing with the Stars but I was definitely using it to get somewhere else. I don’t mean in a bad way,’ she corrects quickly as if I have just seen her ambition naked and she wants to cover it. And then she carries on, ‘I loved the show. And then I did my music (she’s signed to a country and western label) but I really wanted opportunities for acting.”
Not that she’s content with just acting she want to incorporate the singing and dancing as well. ‘When I think of the people I want to be like it’s old school Hollywood actors. They did everything. They danced, they sang – Judy Garland, Ginger Rodgers. There weren’t so many of them doing everything, that’s why they became über stars.’ There’s no doubt that über stardom is on her horizon. That shared drive and ambition with Seacrest helps power that on.