Actress with Utah roots takes stage as Sandy in ‘Grease: Live’

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jan 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 00:07:14-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's own Julianne Hough was born to hand jive.

"I’m so excited! I get to play Sandy! What is happening? I feel like my five year old self in my basement when I was acting out everything and singing every song," Hough said.

From singing in her Orem basement to the coveted role of Sandy in Grease, Hough has never forgotten her Utah roots.

"I love Utah so much and Salt Lake of course," Hough said.

Those roots led to a shout-out in the Grease production. When Danny sees Sandy for the first time, he says, “I thought you were going back to Utah?”

Hough still remembers her favorite place to eat.

"Café Rio for sure," she said. "Pork Salad. Café Rio all the way. I used to ditch high school to go to Café Rio."

She also remembers where she got her first speeding ticket.

"We're driving and my dad warned us once you go past Farmington, there's always a cop there, so slow down and go the speed limit," Hough said. "So we’re singing at the top of our lungs, being a goof. I don't know why, but I put a Skittle in my nose. We were just being stupid 16-year-old girls, and you know how when I laugh, I snort, and it went up my nose. I’m driving and laughing and crying and totally speeding through Farmington. So that was my first speeding ticket ever."

Those memories and experiences shaped the rising star and led her to this iconic role.

"This is the biggest production I've ever been a part of," she said. "We have 44 cameras on two soundstages, and back lot at Warner Brothers. We have a live audience. I don't know what I could do after this that would top it or even compare. This has been the best experience of my life."