It’s a kind of excellent spring days — 70 levels and nothing however blue skies — that New Yorkers don’t get sufficient of earlier than the chilly dreariness of winter melts into the sweltering humidity of summer time. Julianne Hough’s blond hair and vibrant smile are glistening in Greenwich Village, only a quick stroll from the Washington Sq. Park space the place she resides her New York dream. Little question, she is absorbing the solar on this manifested second.
Earlier than she even made her Broadway debut within the new political farce “POTUS: Or, Behind Each Nice Dumbass Are Seven Ladies Making an attempt to Maintain Him Alive,” the 33-year-old dancer, actress, singer and entrepreneur was already choreographing a Huge Apple transfer.
“Again in October, I bear in mind calling my supervisor. I used to be like, ‘OK, I need to immerse myself in what’s taking place in Broadway, as a result of they’ve clearly had the toughest time by way of the pandemic,’” says Hough over a salade niçoise and pommes frites at Petite Boucherie. “I used to be like, ‘Maintain a watch out to see if something’s taking place. However I believe I simply have to put myself in proximity, so possibly I’ll simply transfer there in March.’ Then, in February, I get this script out of nowhere, and it was a suggestion for the function. So I very a lot put it on the market, manifested it, not likely figuring out what it was going to be — simply that I needed to be right here.”
After her large break on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2007 led to motion pictures corresponding to “Footloose” and “Rock of Ages,” judging stints on each “DWTS” and “America’s Obtained Expertise,” and even a rustic album, Hough is now precisely the place she needs to be — just some months after her divorce from former hockey star Brooks Laich was finalized in February. It’s not misplaced on Hough that she is embracing her new life as each a part of the Broadway neighborhood and the queer neighborhood, simply steps from the birthplace of LGBTQ rights at Stonewall. “It’s a brand new starting,” she says.
On this subsequent chapter, Hough shares the stage on the Shubert Theatre with an all-female forged, together with Vanessa Williams, Lea DeLaria and “Saturday Night time Stay” alum Rachel Dratch in a play that, set within the White Home, takes satirical purpose on the patriarchy.
“I learn the primary web page, and I believed it was the funniest factor I had learn in a really very long time,” says Hough. “The truth that Selina Fillinger, our playwright, is 28 years previous … and our feminine director [Susan Stroman] is a legend and an icon — particularly for me, as a result of she began as a choreographer — earlier than I even obtained to my character, I used to be like, ‘Sure!’”
As Dusty, the younger and pregnant mistress of the president, Hough has discovered nicely from the seasoned sisterhood within the forged. She made a particular reference to Williams, who performs the primary woman. “Our first dialog was about the truth that she was a ballroom dancer, and that was how I began my profession,” she says. “I bear in mind watching her in ‘Dance With Me’ and being like, ‘Wow — this girl can dance, be an actor and sing.’”
A triple menace herself, Hough’s abilities have been honed in “POTUS.” “The wonderful thing about being part of an ensemble with this type of forged is, I don’t have to hold the present and really feel the strain or really feel the duty,” she says. “I get to be a scholar and soak in all the unimaginable info and the teachings that I really feel like they’re sharing, not even realizing that they’re giving me a lot.”
Even amongst all of that formidable feminine expertise, Hough will get to have maybe the largest second of the present, when her character asserts: “Inexpensive, protected reproductive well being care is a fundamental human proper.”
It’s a sizzling matter in a time when abortion rights are as soon as once more being challenged. “Even earlier than this particular time that has been taking place with Roe v. Wade, it was such a strong line as a result of the rights to privateness and autonomy over our our bodies is so vital,” she says. “The truth that that’s being threatened once more, it’s simply outrageous … Once I mentioned that line for the primary time, that was positively Dusty, however [with] a bit little bit of Julianne in there for positive. And all of us form of checked out one another, and we weren’t positive if we had been gonna begin crying onstage as a result of it was so highly effective to listen to everyone within the viewers. We obtained a standing ovation.”
However Hough is cautious to notice that the cathartic powers of performing “POTUS” — each the consciousness and the comedy — don’t have anything to do together with her divorce. In truth, she insists that there’s no bitterness on this breakup.
“Brooks and I — we had probably the most lovely separation,” she says. “We went by way of issues amicably. It was stuffed with love and respect. Like every relationship which means one thing, you study and also you develop, and you might be blessed with these riches that you simply skilled from that relationship. We each really feel past blessed for having one another in our lives throughout that interval of life. I would like nothing however the very best for him. I want him the very best, no matter that appears like. And in order that’s really the place we’re.”
In 2019, Hough revealed that she informed Laich “I’m not straight” in an interview with Ladies’s Well being journal. Wanting again, she says that it wasn’t meant to be her large coming-out assertion — even when it turned out that means.
“I didn’t actually have a second of like, ‘I’m going to do that.’ It simply was,” says Hough, who now identifies as queer. “I simply mentioned one thing and, you realize, it simply got here out that means. And it’s my reality. All people’s [coming-out] expertise is totally different, and I come from a Mormon background the place … it hasn’t been checked out as one thing that’s accepted. However I do know that my mother and father, my pals, my household love me, they usually’re happy with me. And so I had a extremely good expertise.”
Hough’s household assist system has all the time included her large brother, Derek Hough, who joined “Dancing With the Stars” the season after she did. “By some means we’re by no means on the identical cycle,” she says. “So when he’s having a low second, I’m having a excessive second; and after I’m having a low second, he’s having a excessive second. We can assist one another and stability one another out.”
As of late, Hough’s personal balancing act contains her health enterprise Kinrgy and the Recent Vine Wine firm she co-owns with actress Nina Dobrev. She’s additionally co-hosting “The Tony Awards: Act One” with good buddy Darren Criss earlier than the primary occasion on June 12. However she’s hoping to make time in her busy schedule for some journeys out to the Hamptons and picnics in Central Park this summer time.
And he or she’s open to hitting the relationship scene once more, too. “I’m main with love,” she says. “I’m making an attempt to maintain my coronary heart open, however I simply need to be the very best model of myself. I actually do consider in power and … if I’m in the very best place for me, I’m going to draw individuals which can be proper for me on this second.”
Photographer: Kurt Iswarienko; Editor: Serena French; Stylist: Anahita Moussavian; Style Assistants: Sean Rodriguez, Madeleine Shepherd; Hair: Leonardo Manetti at See Administration; Make-up: Vincent Oquendo at The Wall Group utilizing Chanel