Julianne Hough is living out her childhood dreams with her big Broadway debut, and she's sharing the monumental career milestone—and its notable fashion moments—directly with us.
Hough is currently starring in POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive at the Shubert Theatre, helmed by playwright Selina Fillinger and director-choreographer Susan Stroman. The political satire comedy—whose title speaks for itself—surrounds a male-dominated presidency, but centers specifically on the women who leverage the figure behind the scenes. One of those women is Hough's character of Dusty, a pregnant farm girl invited to the Oval Office by the president.
In this Day in the Life episode, Hough walks us through the extensive process of becoming the dramatic, fiery-haired force onstage, while delving into the emotions that came along with the Broadway experience. "I'm just so grateful and excited to share it with everyone," Hough says.
Below, see highlights from Hough's exciting and eventful opening day—from her larger-than-life transformation to her life-changing takeaways from Broadway.
Hough's bright-eyed, optimistic character is vibrant and colorful. Her costume features a yellow dress with "lots of peekaboos" involving irregular oval side cutouts that also reflect Hough's own personality. "Literally—my personality is gonna come through these holes," Hough says. She pairs the dress with an equally rosy face, courtesy of makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen, and a twisted low bun styled by Leonardo Manetti to complement the look's "effortless and chic" vibe.
The getup is a departure from what Hough considers to have been her typical style in Hollywood. "I feel like a lot about my career and my life has been about fake tans and rhinestones," she says. She's graduating to a more "chic and understated" style, through both Dusty's looks and beyond. "I'm 33, 34 this year. I just feel like there's something about, like, less is more."
After years of starring in Hollywood films, returning to the stage has made Hough feel like a student again. "I feel like I'm in theater school like when I was 10 years old," she says. "I'm just learning and getting a master class from Susan Stroman every single day, feeling like I'm growing as an artist and [in] my craft."
She's also taking inspiration from the community of "the most incredible group of ladies and women" she's ever been around. "They're the kindest people, and I feel so supported," Hough says. "I feel like I just got all these, like, sisters and aunties and friends for life."
Working with and performing alongside an all-female cast in a close-knit community has been among Hough's favorite parts of taking on the show. "When you think of POTUS, you definitely think of a male president," she says. "This cast is actually all female, so seven women onstage from start to finish. … It just shows how there's lots of really capable women that surround a lot of really powerful men in the world."
Though, amid all its poignant commentary, the play is unhinged—with scenes involving "running around, slamming doors, throwing up, [with] blood on our face," to name a few. "Hopefully, our audience is gonna be rolling on the floor laughing and peeing themselves, because that's the whole purpose," Hough adds, laughing. "Just don't drink a lot of water before you come to the show."