Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Interview With Derek Hough

As I may have said before, one of the things I most like about profiling actors for Backstage is that it puts me into the orbit of performers I wouldn't normally meet when I write about music and movies. For example, I was aware of Derek Hough because of Dancing With the Stars, but I can't say I had any opinion of the guy before sitting down with him at the Universal lot more than a month ago. I found him quite engaging: We talked about his career and his forthcoming Hairspray Live! Hope you enjoy my cover story.

(P.S. It's worth noting that this piece was written and finished before Hough announced he was leaving Dancing. But I wondered if something was up: He obliquely mentioned he was looking for new challenges. "I do feel like I’m reaching the end of a certain chapter in my life," he told me. "Or at least an elongated pause ... into some new adventures and some new opportunities. I think when you feel like you’ve done as much as you can do in a certain space -- when you actually look at a room and you go, 'I feel like I’ve done everything in this room I can creatively' -- you start to go, 'OK, I need a new space to create in.' ... It’s definitely a little scary, but it’s also exciting. I think it's important to live at the edge of your comfort zone. There's a great expression, which I really love, which is 'Passion lies at the edge of uncertainty.' I think that when you’re sort of uncertain about something, there has to be a passion. When you know how it’s gonna play out, it starts to become a little bit arbitrary.")