This past weekend, Collider got the opportunity to sit down with the stars and director of Footloose, to talk about their take on the classic ‘80s film. Clearly fans of the original, and equally as passionate about this version of the story, which has some minor additions and updates that allow for a grittier feel, everyone involved is eager to share stories about their experience making it.
While we will hold that portion of the interview until closer to the film’s October 14th release, we did want to share what Julianne Hough had to say about her experience making Rock of Ages, about a small-town girl who arrives in Hollywood at the height of the 1980’s rock music scene. Admitting that she almost didn’t sign on because she wasn’t sure about doing another musical until she learned about who would be in the cast, she was very excited to perform such songs as a “More than Words” and “Heaven” mash-up (which apparently almost didn’t make it into the finished product), “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (which she did with Tom Cruise), and “Harden my Heart” and “Shadows of the Night” (which she got to do with Mary J. Blige). She also talked about how scary it is to take a straight acting role, for Diablo Cody’s Lamb of God, but said that she’s up for the challenge. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
Question: What was it like to have the experience of doing something like Rock of Ages, and getting to work with Tom Cruise?
JULIANNE HOUGH: It’s incredible! I’ve been really lucky. I know this does not happen every day, so I definitely don’t take it for granted. I did my first film with Cher, and then Footloose, and then I got to do a film with Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Paul Giamatti. It’s pretty incredible. And, I almost didn’t do it because I was like, “I don’t know if I want to do another musical. I want to branch out.” But then, I found out they were all doing it and I was like, “Okay, maybe I should do one more!” They all are seasoned actors, and they all changed a little bit to play these roles. They were all a little bit intimidated by the next person, so by the time we all came together, there were no egos anywhere. Everybody was wanting to learn from everybody, from all different directions. It was really fascinating and really cool.
What were those songs like to sing, and were there any you were most excited about getting to do?
HOUGH: They were awesome! I love ‘80s rock songs. If you listen to most of today’s country pop music, they’re all basically ‘80s rock songs – all the melodies. I loved them! I was really excited about the “More than Words” and “Heaven” mash-up that we did. That was really good. It almost got cut out of the scene because it was slow, but we kept it, and now it’s the best part of the movie, apparently. We’re really excited about that. “Rock You Like A Hurricane” was a number that I did with Tom [Cruise]. And, Mary J. Blige and I got to sing “Harden my Heart” and “Shadows of the Night” combined together. That was unreal! We’ve become such good friends. I love Mary so much. It was just a weird experience, but weird good. I was like, “How?! What am I doing?! I’m dressing up like an ‘80s girl, on set with Tom Cruise, and I’m best friends with Mary J. Blige now, and my mom was in a scene with Catherine Zeta-Jones!” It’s the weirdest thing ever, but the greatest thing ever.
You’re a world champion dancer, a country singer on the top of the charts, and a lead actress in a movie. Do you have any idea what you want to do next?
HOUGH: Oh, my gosh! I’m just gonna stay on this path, right now. It’s crazy. If I could do everything in the world, I would. I’ve said that since I was eight years old. I was like, “I just wanna do everything!” But, I can’t, and I can’t do all of them very well. So, I’ve got a lot of momentum with the acting right now, and I’m focusing on that. I’m doing another film with Diablo Cody (called Lamb of God), coming up in the beginning of the year, so I’m going to focus on that. And, I have a couple other things in the works. And then, my brother (Derek Hough) and I have a lot of ideas, and he’s so unbelievable behind the camera, so we’re going to start our own production company soon and just play.
Are you excited to take on the acting role for Lamb of God, where you don’t have any of your familiar crutches to fall back on?
HOUGH: It’s amazing! If it’s something scary, I should probably do it, and it is scary. Sometimes it might not work, but you’ve gotta just go full-force ahead and do it, and take those risks and challenges. It’s a little scary, but I love it.