Actress and dancer (and Ryan Seacrest’s better half) Julianne Hough has recently revealed she was emotionally and physically abused as a child dancer.
In an upcoming interview with Cosmopolitan, Hough explains: “I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer.” She continues, “I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love.”
Hough, now 24, reveals the abuse occurred while she was dancing in London. “I was abused, mentally, physically, everything,” she said.
The actress did not name her abuser or give further details, only noting “I’m a very forgiving person, and I don’t want to hurt anybody. What’s past is past.”
Hough chose to reveal her childhood abuse along with the release of her upcoming film, Safe Haven, in which she plays a woman running from an abusive marriage. It was actually Hough’s painful past that gave her the ability to play the role convincingly.
Director Lasse Hallstrom initially did not even want to cast her, only seeing the bubbly blonde from Dancing with the Stars. “I had a perception that she was just a very light and charming girl that might not have the emotional range,” director Lasse Hallstrom said.
But Hough’s Safe Haven co-star Josh Duhamel disagreed and persuaded Hallstrom to reconsider.
Duhamel argued to Hallstrom, “There is a sadness in that room, something more complicated that the character needed to have. And that’s what she has.”
In the film (based on a Nicholas Sparks novel), Duhamel plays a widower who falls in love with Hough’s character, once she escapes to small-town Southport, North Carolina. As the two begin a relationship, Hough tries to hide her painful past and hopes her abuser will not find her.
Safe Haven appropriately hits theaters on Valentines Day.