Derek Hough is gearing up for NBC’s Hairspray Live!.
If the Dancing With the Stars vet is nervous about performing in the live TV musical production on Dec. 7, he at least has his younger sister, Julianne, who starred as Sandy in Fox’s Grease: Live, to lean on for advice.
“Grease definitely raised the bar as far as the way it was shot and the way it was done,” a clean-shaven Hough, 31, told ET’s Leanne Aguilera at NBC’s Television Critics Association press day on Tuesday. “And for this musical, it kind of lends itself to that similar style, I suppose.”
In the holiday telecast, Hough will play Corny Collins, the eccentric host of The Corny Collins Show.
“We have a great team, amazing directors, amazing camera operators,” he said, revealing that “they're actually building a studio for us just for this. It's pretty incredible.”
Hairspray Live! will take a page out of Grease: Live’s book, utilizing Universal’s backlot in Universal City, California, and embracing whatever natural elements may come in December.
“We were at Universal Studios the other day and it was this frame of a studio -- nothing there yet, so we're going to be christening this brand new place,” Hough added.
On Tuesday, fellow Hairspray Live! star Ariana Grande adorably showed her excitement over being a part of the all-star cast.
“I don’t even know what’s happening. My theater geek inside, which is what I am, I can’t take it. It’s very overwhelming and very exciting. Penny’s been my favorite character since the start,” the 23-year-old pop star said at Tuesday’s Television Critics Association press tour for the live musical.
“This is such a dream come true for me because at heart, theater is everything to me,” Grande added. “Pop music is so fun, but this is way much more fun. So much more.”
Hairspray Live! also stars newcomer Maddie Baillio, Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Kristin Chenoweth, Dove Cameron and Garrett Clayton, as well as newest additions Rosie O’Donnell and Sean Hayes.