Julianne Hough, Footloose, Ryan Seacrest

K.C. Bailey/Paramount Pictures; Fredrick M. Brown/Getty Images

We don't blame Ryan Seacrest for covering his eyes during a portion of the new Footloose flick.

Sure, he wants to see girlfriend Julianne Hough, who stars in the movie as rebellious high schooler Ariel Moore, on the big screen, but...

READ: Is Kevin Bacon in the Footloose remake?

There's a scene in which Hough gets roughed up by her racecar driver boyfriend (Patrick John Flueger).

"Ryan saw it and said, 'I can't watch that,'" Hough told me yesterday while promoting the movie at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. "He was like, 'When he hits you I just want to punch the screen...When I see you pull some of those faces, those are the faces that I see, so you know so it's hard for me to watch.'"

Seacrest, of course, is a fan of the movie. Hough beamed, "He's proud."

As he should be. Hough does drama really well. "It's like free therapy," she said of acting. "People have seen me as, 'Hey, I'm Julianne Hough. I'm happy and I'm bright.'...But I've also gone through things. I just choose not to talk about them."

After Footloose, we'll see Hough opposite Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones and up-and-coming hottie Diego Boneta in Adam Shankman's movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages.

It was Cruise who came to the rescue when Hough suffered a dance-related neck injury during filming. "He was the one who was really taking care of me, making sure I was OK," she said. "He hooked me up with a massage therapist and stuff like that. I was like, Tom Cruise cares about me! It was pretty cool."

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