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Footloose director Craig Brewer finds a star in Julianne Hough

Jenna Milly is a screenwriter. She co-created the TBS microseries "Gillian in Georgia." She earned her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLAs School of Theater, Film and Television. She...

On casting DWTS star in a major movie role

SheKnows sits down with writer/director Craig Brewer to hear about how he cast Julianne Hough as the star of his dance movie Footloose.

"I was given permission to not use her," says director and co-writer of the new Footloose Craig Brewer of his choice to cast Julianne Hough in the dance movie remake.

On casting DWTS star in a major movie role

Hough, a two-time Dancing with the Stars winner, plays Ariel, the wild child country girl who falls for the city kid -- played by Kenny Wormald -- in the film about a Southern town where dancing is illegal.

At first, Brewer wasn't sure if Hough was the right choice for the part. This would be the first major acting role for the dancer-turned-actress and her performance would have to carry a large part of the film.

"But then she called me up and said, 'We've got to meet. We both live in Tennessee,'" says Brewer. So he drove from Memphis to Nashville to meet with Hough. And she auditioned for the part -- on the spot.

Brewer says he knew instantly she was perfect for the part. "I remember leaving thinking... Julianne Hough, this girl is gonna be a star."

Julianne Hough shook her caboose to Footloose on Dancing with the Stars >>

The actress has studied performance arts all her life and comes from a family of professional dancers. Her grandparents on both sides, her parents and several of her siblings are professional dancers. With the weight of the film on her shoulders, she jumped in full-force.

SheKnows sat down with the writer/director to hear about casting Hough, keeping the energy alive on set and why Footloose is the dance movie everyone's talking about.

Photo Courtesy: Paramount Pictures

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