Julianne Hough Interview for Rock of Ages
Keeping Rock Music Sexy!
June 21, 2012
Interview by: Dan Deevy

Written by: Rocco Passafuime

Julianne Hough got her start winning the fourth season of ABC’s popular reality competition show Dancing With The Stars. She returned to the show during the seventh season three years later, as well as started a career in country music, scoring the hit single “That Song In My Head.”

Hough’s big break in Hollywood came with musicals in the films Burlesque and Footloose. Now the 23 year-old hopes to continue her good fortune with the female lead role as Sherrie Christian in the highly-anticipated film adaptation of the popular 1980’s rock jukebox musical Rock Of Ages.

Pairing up with Hough as Drew Foley is newcomer Diego Boneta. Julianne talks about how he met her co-star.

“We met at Diego’s audition and we definitely hit it off though,” Julianne says, “We got to spend six weeks prior to actually shooting in Miami, we shot the movie there. We recreated the Sunset Strip in Miami. We were there bonding, getting to know each other, making our characters fall in love, all that stuff.”

Julianne talks about the process of participating in the picking of the actor who would play Drew in the film.

“I saw their auditions and this is who I wanted,” Hough says, “I came in, read with them, made sure our chemistry was good, and saw his eyelashes on camera and was like, he was the most beautiful man ever, and his eyelashes, I just got to find out his secrets.”

Hough talks about why it seems like she didn’t dance more in this particular film.

“If I’m going to do a musical, I want to dance,” she says, “But there were probably two or three scenes cut out where I was actually dancing. There was a fantasy scene of Drew when I’m dancing for him in his mind. It was a great dance, but they thought you saw Sherrie as a stripper before she came as a stripper, so they cut that out.”

“Then, there was an amazing dance/musical number duet with Tom and I, called “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, and it was amazing,” Julianne continues, “It will be on the DVD. All those will be on the DVD, so you’ll have to see it then. But, yeah, I was a little bummed that I didn’t see my dancing, but it kind of is cool, because people have seen my dancing and I got to see more of my voice and my acting in this.”

Julianne talks about working one of the film’s biggest stars, Tom Cruise, who plays famous rock singer Stacee Jaxx.

“I think it was more so what he was doing and what we were watching rather than anything actually spoken,” Hough says, “But he was really cool because I actually hurt myself. I’ve never hurt myself or injured myself dancing and I tweaked my neck and had three ribs out at my left, two ribs out at my right, my whole spine was like an ‘S’, and my ribs were out of place.”

“I’ve got that dancer mentality, like, ‘I can keep going; I’m fine,’” she adds, “He’s like, ‘Julianne, this is what insurance is for. You’ve got a very long career ahead of you and a very long shoot ahead of you. Stop,’ and he’s like, ‘You’re fine. Leave it to me. I was like, ‘Tom Cruise cares about me!’”

Hough then talked in greater detail about how the injury with Cruise occurred.

“It was funny,” Julianne says, “I was doing this dance number with Tom two days straight and didn’t hurt myself. It was like 18 hour days. And dancing hardcore, totally fine. And the next day, I was walking and turned my head and it made a noise and it went to the point where I had to lay on my back and I couldn’t breathe. Yeah, I couldn’t turn my head, it was tilted to the left. It was bad. I had a Tom Cruise rescue. It will be on the DVD.”

Julianne was asked if she had time to rehabilitate from the injury.

“Well, fortunately, I had two days in-between something, which was not enough time,” Hough says, “And I had like five days, which was Catherine [Zeta-Jones’s] stuff, so I was really conscious and aware of what I was doing on that one day where I had to pretend that nothing was wrong.”

Hough talks about what it was like to revisit the stage.

“For me, I thought it was really fun because that’s how I feel every time I go on stage,” Julianne says, “There’s this certain confident air that you have to have being an artist and everything. And because you have done it so many times, you have to build that.”

“Everytime I go on stage or do any kind of performance, there’s always butterflies, always nervous,” she continues, “It always feels like the first time, so being Sherrie or Drew, we could really let that come out over and over and over again. It’s incredible.”

Julianne talked about what it was like working with R&B singer Mary J. Blige, who plays Justice Charlier in Rock Of Ages.

“She is one of the most humble people I have ever met and really genuine, loves women,” Hough says, “She leaves me messages on the phone. We’ve became really close. We have a really, really close bond and she’ll leave me messages like, ‘Julianne, I just want to let you know how amazing you are and I’m thinking about you and I love you so much and I’m always here for you, no matter what. I’m your sister, your mom, your aunt, your friend, whatever.’”

“Every time she says that, I’m like, really, wow, what an amazing human being, but the biggest thing is she is so humble,” she continues, “I’d be like, ‘You’re amazing,’ and she’s like, ‘Really? That was OK? You really thought that was good?’ And I’m like, ‘What? I’m so confused. You’re Mary J. Blige.’ So I think she’s one of the most powerful, genuine, and motivating women I’ve ever met.”

Hough also reveals the 1980’s fashions she has to sport for the film.

“That was the worst day of my life,” Julianne recalls, “It was the first day of shooting. We were in Miami. We had been there for six weeks already, hadn’t seen family or my boyfriend.”

“The first thing that’s there is a paparazzi picture of Diego and I in the water with this high-waisted bikini bottom that doesn’t have any coverage at all and we’re kissing,” she continues, “So I’m like, yeah, this is what I’ve been doing in Miami for six weeks, sorry. But the bikini bottoms, literally, doesn’t leave any imagination open.”

Julianne also shared the advice she was given for her career.

“I think my dad always says to me, ‘You got to be able to sit in a room by yourself, Julianne, without your dogs, and be able to be happy and content with who you are,’” Hough recalls, “And I think that relates to relationships, business, career, anything, because before you can really be happy and confident and satisfied with anything and who you are, you can’t really do anything to your best or full potential.”

Hough reveals the next film she is working on, which will be the directorial debut of Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody.

“That movie, which was called Lamb Of God, literally changed my life,” she says of it, “It puts what’s important back into perspective and I’m so grateful for the life that I have. I had to play a burn survivor who was burned over two thirds of her body and trying to find out who she is all over again. So it was one of those movies that you become so grateful and you just want to be a really nice person and want to know everybody’s name.”

“It was one of those times of my life where I’ll always remember that and it’ll bring me back in two seconds,” Julianne continues, “I get emotional talking about it because everyday, I told Diablo, ‘Thank you so much for giving me this role because every girl in Hollywood wanted this role because it’s such a great script, it’s such a great character.’ And she could have had anybody she wanted. She went with the dancer chick. And then on top of it, professionally, I grew so much and personally, I’m back from when I was five years old and loved life.”



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"I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. I won't give in." -Michael Moore

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