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Julianne Hough Speaks About Escaping Dark Past

January 03, 2013

ET was first to sit down with Julianne Hough on the set of her new movie Safe Haven and the actress opens up about a dark period in her past that "sucked the life out of me."

Hough, who recently revealed that she suffered physical and mental abuse while studying dance in her youth, said she identifies with her character in Safe Haven, who's forced to confront an abusive past. "Being Katie, I relate a lot to her. The fact that she had been in one situation that just sucked the life out of her, and it was a bad situation, and she needed to change and move on and kind of find her own again. And through that you find love and everything."

RELATED: Julianne Hough Reveals Horrific Childhood Abuse

The 24-year-old actress -- who is known for playing upbeat roles and appearing on Dancing with the Stars -- said it is the first time she's really opened up publicly about her darker times. "I think a lot of people got to know me through Dancing with the Stars and don't really know about my past before that, which I don't talk about much," Hough said.

"But yeah, I've been through certain things that have sucked the life out of me... and just the light about me was gone... and I was just a dark person," she added. "So I had to leave that situation and kind of come into my own again and I did."

VIDEO: Julianne Hough: Rock of Ages Set with Tom Cruise is a 'Blast'

Tune in to ET tonight for more of Julianne's interview.

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