At only 24, Julianne Hough is the epitome of a Hollywood triple threat: a professional dancer, singer and movie star. But the Footloose star's road to success wasn't easy.
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In order to pursue her dreams, Hough attended a prestigious London dance academy, miles away from her parents in Utah. Though her she wasn't without family in London (her brother Derek
was there, as well), Hough revealed in Cosmopolitan
's February issue that the adults around her at the time took advantage of the lack of parental supervision.
"While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," Hough told the magazine. Though she declined to go into specifics, she did add that the abuse worsened "when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."
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"I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life," Hough added.
Hough has learned to draw from her traumatic past, channeling her story into her upcoming role in Safe Haven
. In the film, Hough plays Katie, a girl who escapes an abusive relationship. Though director Lasse Hallstrom initially wrote the actress off as a lightweight, Hough's co-star/onscreen love interest Josh Duhamel
fought for her. "I told Lasse, 'There is a sadness in that room, something more complicated that the character needed to have. And that's what she has," Duhamel said.