Q and A with Julianne Hough


Submitted photo.

Audrey Fletcher

Actress, singer and dancer Julianne Hough recently held a conference call with several colleges to discuss the release of her new movie “Footloose.” The film is going to be released on Oct. 14.

Hough on…

Director Craig Brewer

“I think there wouldn’t have been a better choice to do this film other than Craig Brewer. I think that he did justice with giving the same heart that you felt when you were watching it in 1984 as I think you do today.”

Which part of her career she likes best

“I don’t think I could choose what I like better. I think each career path that I’ve chosen has fulfilled something different inside of me. But I have to say, like, with the momentum that I have right now in this world, in the film world, I want to keep going. This has been such an amazing experience doing ‘Footloose,’ and then I just — I shot ‘Rock of Ages,’ and I finished that a couple weeks ago, and just the amount of focus and hard work and fun that goes into it, it’s a combination of everything. And so I’m just going to be focusing on that.”

Her confidence in the remake

“I think that, if I wasn’t confident, I wouldn’t be promoting this movie the way that we are. I have to tell you, though, like, when I first found out they were doing a remake of an iconic movie like ‘Footloose’ which, like, is really close to my heart, like, I grew up watching this movie and, you know, I lived in Utah where it was filmed. I thought the same thing, like, ugh, remakes, they suck, you know? Like, nobody ever does them justice and — but then when I did find out that Craig Brewer was attached, then there’s nobody — like I said in the first question, there’s nobody that could have done it justice the way that he has. And I really am so proud. I think that the people that saw the original are going to be, you know, impressed. And I think people that haven’t seen it, I think they’re just going to be, you know, surprised.”

The message of the movie

“I think that, you know, in our time right now in America, we kind of need a movie like this. There’s not a lot of teenage movies that have a lot of morals and messages and heart.”

Her favorite part of filming “Footloose”

“I have a lot. I mean, all the dances were so much fun, because there was just good energy. But a lot of the scenes that I really loved were the ones that really challenged my acting. Like my scene that I do with Dennis Quaid in the church.

The banning of something loved

“It would be horrific for me if I couldn’t dance, but that’s what this movie’s about, though. It’s about showing this kid, Ren, coming into town who everybody assumes is going to be this macho bully, trouble-maker, when, in fact, he’s one of the most moral, grounded and respectful of all the people in the town.”

Being the second Ariel

“One thing that I felt like I missed from Ariel back in the original was, I felt like she was just kind of a bad girl, and she was a trouble-maker. Like why does Ren end up with her? She’s not even that cool. She’s kind of a bitch, you know? And so when I saw this version and saw that Craig had re-written her to be more — you show the depth that she has and the relationship that her and her father have, and then you see why he acts like he does.”

Differences from the original film

“It’s very true. We literally — the director had — on his script, he had blue tabs and white tabs. Everything that he kept from the original was tabbed blue, and then things he changed were tabbed white. And you would be surprised how much of the script was actually blue, like, literally word for word. It’s like he always says, ‘It’s not broken; don’t fix it.’ So we chose a lot to keep in there.

Auditioning for the film

“I was actually attached to this movie for quite a long time. I was approached when Kenny Ortega was still going to direct this movie, and Zac Efron and Chace Crawford and all that was were attached. So I was — you know, I auditioned for that, and I got it, and then something went down, and the studio decided to go a different direction.

Once it kind of all fell apart, I was like, you know what, so many people are ditching out of this movie, and it’s probably a good thing. I probably shouldn’t do this movie.

Once Craig joined on, and I read that script, I was like, whoa, this is – this is way different. This is way more like the original. And it basically is the original, with just minor tweaks, and I have to do this.

Working with Kenny Wormald

I feel like the one thing that Kenny and I had that kind of just helped us right from the get-go was our chemistry because of our dancing. I think when we first met each other, I already had the role, and we had to audition, and we did a scene, and then all of a sudden there was — they put some music on, and they were like, all right, dance. And we’re like, ‘Uh, we just met. Like, we haven’t choreographed anything. OK, let’s just dance.’ So we kind of just got together, freestyled.”

Fans comparing the new to the old

“I know for a fact they will, because we’ve been doing these screenings around town, and die-hard ‘Footloose’ fans that are, like, so skeptical about this movie, they’re like, oh, I don’t want to see this movie, but they go in so ready to hate on it, and then they turn around and come out of the theater and are like, oh, my gosh, I’m so shocked, I loved this version.”

The relationship with her castmates

“We felt like we were a bunch of kids at summer camp. Like, we all loved the crap out of each other. Like, we — I mean, the directors, the producers, the music guys, everything just kind of clicked and fell into place.”

How the movie affected her

“Honestly, this movie was like free therapy for me. A lot of people don’t know, but I relate to this character so much on so many different levels, not necessarily direct correlation to things that happened to her, but, I mean, I definitely have experienced things that I could tap into for this role.”

Contact Audrey Fletcher at

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