By Chrissy Iley
The first time I met Julianne Hough she was in sequin hot pants on the set of the ill-fated Burlesque. Even then there was something about her that stood out. She was relentlessly polite and talked with gratitude about her background as a dancer on Dancing With The Stars, America’s Strictly, and as soon as she heard my British accent, she was keen to bond with me about her years spent at Italia Conti in London and how in awe she was of Leona Lewis who was a few years above her.
She played up the fact she was an interesting mixture of extremes. Giggling, ‘I’m literally in my bra and panties at the start of that movie. My dad is going to have to cover his eyes.’ Her father and the rest of her family are Mormons from Utah.
She comes from generations of ballroom dancers. Somehow even wearing hardly any clothes she manages to seem wholesome. She seems knowing for her 23 years.
She played down the fact that her brother Derek was at the time all over the tabloids because he was ‘dating’ Cheryl Cole. She played down the fact that she had recently become one half of Hollywood’s hottest and potentially most powerful showbusiness couples.
She’d just begun (spring 2010) her relationship with Ryan Seacrest who as well as being America’s number one host – American Idol, E! News and a national daily radio show – has become one of America’s most successful television producers. He is the man behind the vastly successful Keeping Up With The Kardashians and its various offshoots. And before that Denise Richards: It’s Complicated.
Everyone loves Seacrest, including Hough. But more of that later.