Actress/dancer/singer Julianne Hough moved to Los Angeles only six years ago, which sounds unfathomable for someone who seems as if she’s been in our stream of pop-culture consciousness for a lifetime. Talk about sky-rocketing to success: The two-time Dancing With the Stars champion and actress (who’s starred in films including Burlesque and Footloose) graces the big screen again this month with her most high-profile role to date starring opposite Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages. The charismatic blond bombshell, 23, chatted with us about working with Cruise, dating Ryan Seacrest and hanging with brother Derek. —Jessica Radloff
Did you have any pinch-yourself moments working on Rock of Ages?
It was surreal. These are actors that I’ve watched my whole life and to be in a movie alongside them is overwhelming, yet I felt so at home. Every day on set with Tom Cruise was a pinch-me moment, as well as working with Mary J. Blige. She and I had this instant connection and got to know each other very well. We had each other’s backs on set and now off-set.
In the movie, you play Sherrie Christian, who has moved to L.A. hoping to break into show biz. What was your first job when you moved here?
“Million Dollar Dancer” in William Shatner’s short-lived game show Show Me the Money.
Fans fell in love with you on Dancing With the Stars. Any chance you’ll return in a future season?
I probably won’t be returning to DWTS anytime soon, but I absolutely miss it.
Is your success everything you thought it would be?
The older I become and the more experience I gain, success to me is now defined as happiness. For me, happiness is defined by family and loved ones. As long as I have my family, the success I have with my career is just the icing on the cake.
What’s one of the best perks of fame you’ve experienced?
Last-minute reservations at some amazing restaurants. Sometimes I feel bad!
Speaking of restaurant reservations, where do you and Ryan go for a romantic date night?
I don’t want to give them away, otherwise they won’t be romantic anymore. Just kidding! I love Ago, Mozza and Pace, which is one of my favorites.
You reside in the Hollywood Hills. Any favorite go-to spots?
I like getting fresh juices from Pressed Juicery in the morning to kick off my day.
Where do you go when you just want to get away from the whole Hollywood scene?
I just veg out and play with my dogs at the house or visit my brother, Derek, at his place. I have two Cavalier King Charles [Spaniels] named Lexi and Harley who I can’t live life without.
What are your skin- and hair-care secrets?
I use Proactiv daily. When I’m not working I hardly ever wear makeup. As for my hair, I go to Nine Zero One Salon in West Hollywood. Riawna Capri keeps my hair healthy.
What are your favorite local boutiques and designers?
A few of my favorites are Decades, which is chic vintage, and Des Kohan, which has designer staple wardrobe pieces. Madison also has a great range of designers that I love including A.L.C., J Brand jeans and Raquel Allegra tees.
Ago 8478 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323.655.6333 Decades 8214 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.655.1960 Des Kohan 671 S. Cloverdale Ave., L.A., 323.857.0200 Madison 8745 W. 3rd St., L.A., 310.275.1930 Nine Zero One Salon 901 Westbourne Drive, West Hollywood, 310.855.9099 Osteria Mozza/Pizzeria Mozza 6602 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.297.0100 Pace 2100 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Hollywood, 323.654.8583 Pressed Juicery 13050 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, 310.451.1010