Julianne Hough dances into movies with "Burlesque"

Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:33pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Best known as a two-time winner on the hit reality TV series "Dancing With the Stars," Julianne Hough blossoms into a Hollywood movie star when her first feature film, "Burlesque," debuts on Wednesday.

Hough, 22, has already earned a fair share of celebrity in recent years, owing to her winning ways on "Dancing," which for years has been among the highest rated shows on U.S. TV. She is forging a career as a country singer and even has more movies planned for her future.

But the high profile of "Burlesque," which stars Academy Award winner Cher and pop star Christina Aguilera, could vault Hough to global stardom.

"Burlesque" tells the story of a small-town girl named Ali (Aguilera) who moves to Hollywood and becomes famous for dancing in a nightclub owned by the glamorous Tess (Cher). Hough plays Georgia, one of the club's dancers, who befriends Ali.

While at first thought, it might seem easy for a professional dancer to step into a movie role as a dancer, Hough said it wasn't all that simple.

"On 'Dancing with the Stars,' you learn the dance, you dance the dance on TV, and then you're done," she told Reuters. "'Burlesque' was months of preparation, and each number was shot over and over again, over 16-hour days."

Not that Hough minded. She shared a pivotal and emotional scene with Cher and sang alongside Aguilera, whom she's admired since childhood. And Hough is featured in a show-stopping number, which was unlike anything she had done on "Dancing with the Stars."

"When I sang 'Diamonds Are A Girls' Best Friend,' sliding down those beads was probably the coolest thing I've ever done," said Hough. "And the most painful! I had welts on my sides, my legs, my arms and my neck for weeks!"   Continued...