Why Julianne Hough's Broadway Debut in POTUS Is Right on Time

As part of E!’s Backstage Pass, Dancing With the Stars fan-favorite Julianne Hough explained why her first performance on Broadway has been beyond her wildest dreams.

By Mike Vulpo May 24, 2022 1:00 PMTags

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Julianne Hough knows what you're thinking.

Based on her experience working on Dancing With the Stars and movies like Footloose and Rock of Ages, how has the performer never taken her talents to Broadway? Well, if you ask her, life is all about timing.

"There's been conversations about coming to Broadway, but I didn't just want to do this as a bucket list item and check it off my list," Julianne exclusively shared with E! News. "I really wanted to do it in a way that was immersing myself in the community, learning and being part of versus just popping in and popping out."

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

Lo and behold, she received a call in February about POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive. And after reading the script, Julianne knew she couldn't say no.

Jenny Anderson

"I said, ‘This is one of the funniest things I've ever read,'" the 33-year-old recalled. "From the first word and first page of the script, even before I saw my character [Dusty], I knew I had to do this."

Since previews kicked off in early April, Julianne and the cast—including Vanessa Williams, Lilli Cooper and Lea DeLaria—have been delighting fans at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre. In fact, Julianne heard from co-star Rachel Dratch that some women "came out of the show and that they peed their pants a little bit" after experiencing the "most wacky farce."

"There's laughter from the minute you start the show to the end," she promised. "There's punching and slapping and a lot of physical comedy. It is wild beyond your actual dreams."

For more behind-the-scenes secrets into Julianne's Broadway debut, keep reading. And purchase tickets for POTUS now before it closes its doors on Aug. 14.

Work Hard, Play Hard

In movies, Julianne Hough said she was used to working with a male lead. But in this Broadway production, it's a whole new ball game. "Everybody is expressing themselves and has the permission to be all parts," she told E! News. "It's just been truly extraordinary. I'm always just watching with awe."

Fun After Dark

The cast's bond continues long after the curtain drops. "Off stage, we'll get together and we'll have a drink backstage and we'll go out to lunches especially during rehearsal and tech," Julianne said. "We would really bond and connect."

Julianne is also planning a game night with the cast where the odds are high that some of her Fresh Vine Wine will be served. 

Backstage Prep

If showtime is near, you can likely find Julianne in her dressing room getting ready for one of her eight weekly shows. "I definitely am a mood setter," she said. "I'll put my little twinkling lights on. I'll drink some tea to get warmed up. On Broadway, everybody does their own makeup so I start doing my makeup and then I wear a wig in the show."

Loud and Proud

Before every show, Julianne loves to blast some music for all her co-stars to hear. "I pick a song every day and as a ritual, I go and get everybody pumped up," she said. "I'll go up and down the staircase and pick a song and get people in the mood. It becomes a moment."


As the founder of Kinrgy, a holistic fitness practice that offers movement, breathwork and expression to nurture your body, mind and spirit, Julianne has always made her health and wellness a priority. As she embraces a Broadway schedule, the actress has learned the art of afternoon rests. "I've never done those in my life," she confessed. "I have now started taking naps." 

Winning Spirit

After POTUS received three 2022 Tony nominations, Julianne has even more respect for the cast and crews of Broadway's biggest shows. "These are true artistic athletes," she said. "It is a true art and a craft and I hope that people are going to come back to Broadway now that it's opened up with just a newfound respect and honor to watch these performers because there really is nothing like live performance."

New Beginnings

After moving to New York City for the first time and making her Broadway debut, Julianne is proof that there are rewards to trying new things. "Anything is possible if it's something that you want to do," she said. "If it's something that you have passion for and you have the health to do, do it!"

Cheers to Success

Ever since POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive debuted on Broadway in April 2022, the cast has been blown away by the support from attendees. 

Want more backstage access? The Backstreet Boys tease their larger than life DNA World Tour. Plus, allow Jersey Shore's Vinny Guadagnino to heat up your day with his Chippendales secrets from Las Vegas.  

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