Danc­ing queen

Julianne Hough is on a great ad­ven­ture.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By MOIRA MAC­DON­ALD

YOU may know Julianne Hough from Danc­ing With The Stars, but now she’s danc­ing with the kids from Bomont High.

Hough wasn’t yet born when the orig­i­nal 1984 Foot­loose ar­rived on the screen, star­ring Kevin Ba­con as a danc­ing teen rebel and Lori Singer as a min­is­ter’s daugh­ter. But she’s been a fan of the movie for a long time.

“I grew up in Utah, where it was filmed,” she said in a tele­phone in­ter­view. “That was one of my favourite movies grow­ing up. I’ve seen it a gazil­lion times.”

In the new Foot­loose, Hough (pro­nounced “Huff”) takes over Singer’s role of Ariel – a role that was a long time com­ing.

Orig­i­nally, Hough said, the new ver­sion was en­vi­sioned very dif­fer­ently. It was go­ing to be a full­blown mu­si­cal, di­rected by Kenny Ortega (who made the High School Mu­si­cal movies and the Michael Jack­son con­cert film This Is It). Then “it all fell apart a lit­tle bit,” in Hough’s words – “ev­ery­body kind of was drop­ping out, do­ing dif­fer­ent things.”

Though Hough was at­tached to play Ariel, she be­gan to have doubts, think­ing “maybe this isn’t right, maybe it’s too far stretched from the orig­i­nal.”

But, as of­ten hap­pens in Hol­ly­wood, the project got re­worked – as a faith­fully up­dated ver­sion of the orig­i­nal, di­rected by Craig Brewer ( Black Snake Moan).

“I could not be more proud of this movie,” Hough said.

A cham­pion ball­room dancer since her early teens, Hough had to ad­just her style for Brewer and chore­og­ra­pher Ja­mal Sims.

“They didn’t want it to look like a mu­sic video,” she said, “or too per­fect or pris­tine; they wanted it to be very real. Craig would tell me to tone it down a bit, so I didn’t look so much like I knew what I was do­ing.”

Though her fo­cus now is pri­mar­ily on act­ing and singing, Hough still speaks fondly of her days with Danc­ing With The Stars (DWTS). She made her de­but in the fourth sea­son of the show in 2007, part­ner­ing with Olympic gold medal­ist Apolo Ohno and fin­ish­ing in first place.

“That samba I did with Apolo, it was kind of my com­ing-out party,” she said of that first sea­son.

She was on the show for five sea­sons, win­ning again in Sea­son Five with race-car driver He­lio Cas­tron­eves. (Favourite dance with He­lio? The bouncy The Mask--fla-flavoured quick­step.)

DWTS brought many un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ences: wardrobe mal­func­tions (usu­ally in dress re­hearsal rather than on live TV – “that was a good thing!”), a sud­den ab­sence in Sea­son Seven for emer­gency ab­dom­i­nal surgery and a new­found ad­dic­tion to spray-tan­ning, de­spite the messi­ness.

“We would do spray tans on a Sun­day and then not take a shower,” she re­called. “You would wake up (Mon­day) and it would look like a crime scene in your bed. It was gross.”

Next up for Hough are more movies: She’s just fin­ished the mu­si­cal Rock Of Ages along­side Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Cather­ine Zeta-Jones, and re­cently signed to star in Juno screen­writer Di­ablo Cody’s un­ti­tled di­rect­ing de­but, op­po­site Rus­sell Brand.

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