Triple threat, country artist, two time Dancing With The Stars champion, and movie actress (Footloose, Rock of Ages) Julianne Hough revealed a history of abuse in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan magazine.

Now 24, Julianne had her lifetime goals set from the age of 10. The youngest of five children, growing up in a family of dancers (parents, grandparents and brother Derek) gave her plenty of opportunity to perform at a young age. Julianne followed in her brother’s footsteps to London’s prestigious Italia Conti Academy of the Arts. It was there that she tells Cosmopolitan the abuse began.

“I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer,” she says. A precociously seductive smile became her public mask—and she rarely took it off. “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.”

Life imitates art, or vica versa. Paralleling her upcoming role in the movie Safe Haven, Julianne’s character Katie is running from a dark haunting secret.

Hough admits she almost wasn’t cast in the role.  Director Lasse Hallström (Dear John, The Cider House Rules) wasn’t convinced because of her “charming” nature that she could fill the emotional role. After fighting for a second audition, Hallström tells Cosmopolitan that he “was surprised to find something different when he saw her up close: a woman who was ‘honest and direct and wonderfully fearless.’ He was even more surprised to find that his star, who seemed so perfectly composed on the surface, had her own painful, hidden story of abuse.”

Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Message In A Bottle, A Walk To Remember), Safe Haven opens in theaters on February 14th.

[PHOTOS] Julianne Hough and ‘Footloose’ Walk the Red Carpet

[PHOTOS] Julianne Hough is hot in Red!

Nanci Haskin/99.5 WYCD


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