Julianne Hough Recalls Being Called Fat While Filming a Movie

Actress and former Dancing With the Stars pro dancer-turned-judge, known for her tiny and fit frame, made her comments to Redbook

By Corinne Heller Dec 28, 2017 6:12 PMTags
Watch: Will Julianne Hough Ever Return as a "DWTS" Judge?

Even Julianne Hough was fat-shamed at one point. Seriously.

The 29-year-old former Dancing With the Stars pro-turned-judge and actress, known for her tiny and fit frame, revealed to Redbook magazine that people used to call her fat.

"I was very self-accepting growing up, then something switched in middle school," she said. "I would compare myself to everyone...and later I did a film where I basically was told I was fat every day, yet I was the skinniest I'd ever been. Now, when I'm self-conscious, I'll do something completely crazy or goofy to get out of my own head—something fun that reminds me of the freedom I felt as a kid before all that happened."

Julianne, who made her comments in an interview posted on Thursday for Redbook's February 2018 issue (out on January 2), did not reveal which movie she was talking about. 

Julianne Hough's Best Looks
Hudson Taylor / Redbook
Hudson Taylor / Redbook

She made her film debut at age 11, playing a Hogwarts schoolgirl in the first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which was released in 2001. It was filmed in England, where Julianne and brother Derek Hough lived with fellow Dancing With the Stars pro Mark Ballas and his parents at the time.

Julianne's next film role came in 2010—at age 22, she played a dancer in the Christina Aguilera and Cher dance drama film Burlesque. The movie was filmed in late 2009 while she was on a break from Dancing With the Stars.

"Right now, I'm using a trainer. It's funny, I've never had an issue with my weight, because I've always danced," she told Self magazine in 2010. "I could eat whatever I wanted—obviously in moderation—never gain a pound and always have a ripped body. Then I stopped dancing, I did Burlesque, I was busy, I was writing, I was doing a bunch of things, so I never prioritized time to work out, and I still ate whatever I wanted, so I actually gained 15-20 pounds like that. That's the most I've ever weighed in my entire life."

"For me, I was like holy crap, what is going on?" she said. "It was really tough because I was still doing red carpets and people would comment, be like, you know, 'Julianne looks really different, I wonder if she's had work done.' No, it's just my face is fat. It's kind of funny. Then I was like, you know what, I really want to get back to Julianne, how I know I feel the best. It's not so much about how I look, it's more like I just feel like Julianne again. I feel healthy, I feel fit, I feel confident, you know what I mean? I literally lost like, 15 pounds in two to three weeks. It was pretty intense."

Julianne went on to star in films such as Footloose, Rock of Ages, Safe Haven and Dirty Grandpa, as well as FOX's hit Grease Live! musical, and recently filmed the movie Bigger, in which she plays pin-up model-turned-fitness pioneer Betty Weider. The drama is set for release next year.

Julianne told Redbook she changed her fitness regimen to prepare for the role.

"Women in that era had bigger hips and bigger busts," she said. "I don't naturally have that hourglass shape—I'm more elongated and square, to be honest. Basically, I cut down on my cardio and was lifting a lot of weights. And if I wanted an extra bit of ice cream that day, I would eat it and it would go right to my hips."

"I was FaceTiming with [husband] Brooks [Laich] this morning, and I was like, 'Look. My butt's bigger, my boobs are bigger, my waist is smaller,'" she said. "It's kind of nice!"