She may be known for her cha-cha on Dancing With the Stars, but Julianne Hough is a true triple threat. The entertainer has also made audiences fall in love with her by acting in 2013’s Safe Heaven and playing Sandy in the live Fox TV production of Grease.
“I’ve had overflowing love and support from everyone, including Olivia Newton-John. I met her, and she was like, ‘Oh, you’re a perfect Sandy!’ That took some weight off my shoulders a little bit,” the actress previously told Variety about reprising the singer’s role on stage. “I think there are different kinds of performers, and I’m the kind who thrives off the adrenaline and the pressure that something could go wrong.”
Julianne’s fearlessness on Grease Live! helped her win an MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Musical Moment in 2017. Even though that was a big milestone in her career, she already had an Emmy sitting at home for Outstanding Choreography for DWTS.
Now, she’s working on new projects, but none of this would have been possible if she never made her acting debut alongside Christina Aguilera and Cher in 2010’s Burlesque. “She was wonderful,” Julianne told Collider about working with the “If I Could Turn Back Time” singer. “I was definitely intimidated like most people would be. But she was just so down to earth. She really makes people feel so comfortable.”
After Burlesque, Julianne went on to star in 2011’s Footloose as Ariel, but she explained she was “attached” to that project before she even took on Burlesque. “It was just an ongoing thing. I was glad it happened the way it did because I got to do Burlesque first, which really helped prepare me for Footloose,” she said. “I had a small, supporting role in this film and I got to ease my way into it, learn the logistics of filmmaking and that world, and have fun and take it all in.”
In honor of Julianne’s amazing career, scroll below to check out five fun facts you might not know about our favorite dancing queen.
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