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Grease: Live’s Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens Reveal Show Secrets: ‘Too Many Hip Thrusts,’ ‘Intense’ Rehearsals

Tell Us more, tell Us more! Fox’s highly anticipated TV musical Grease: Live is just a few days away, and cast members Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Aaron Tveit, Keke Palmer and Carly Rae Jepsen spoke with Us Weekly exclusively to reveal what viewers can expect — and what was deemed too sexy for the actual show!

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Hough says that her version of Sandy in the Sunday, January 31, production will be different from Olivia Newton-John‘s take on the teenage character in the 1978 film, in part because Hough herself is 27. In fact, Grease: Live‘s director told the actress after the first run-through for the hit song “Summer Nights” that she needed to “cut back a little bit” on her suggestive dance moves.

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“I got a little too excited!” Hough tells Us with a laugh. “I said, ‘OK, you’re right — let’s tone it down. Let’s make sure Sandy isn’t doing too many hip thrusts.’ I get to do it later on in ‘You’re the One That I Want,’ but Sandy has to get there first.”

Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens
Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens in Grease: Live

The Dancing With the Stars judge says that the show maintains a frenetic pace even off-camera, requiring the cast to make quick costume changes and move briskly from stage to stage.

“It’s pretty intense behind the scenes!” Hough admits. “My only little nervous concern — but it’s all going to work out in the end — is after the big dance, and I’ve just been dancing really, really hard and breathing heavy … and I only have a minute and a half to run to Sandy’s house to sing ‘Hopelessly Devoted.'”

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Hudgens has Broadway experience after starring in Gigi last year, but she says this production is different from the Great White Way, given that she won’t have a long run of shows during which to perfect the role of Rizzo. She also says that her character will appear a bit more vulnerable than fans might be expecting.

“Rizzo is just as fabulous as she was, with all the attitude, but you get to see her walls fall a little more than you did in the film,” the Spring Breakers star, 27, explains.

Tveit, 32, will be playing leather jacket aficionado Danny Zuko, and the Broadway vet says that “Greased Lightnin'” has been the most difficult tune for him, given that it’s such a physical number.

Grease: Live
Grease: Live Cast

“The song also sits a bit lower in my voice, which is a challenge for me,” he says. “I may be crazy, but it’s easier when the song is higher!”

Palmer (Marty) reveals that she is trying her best to stay “in the moment” during rehearsals as the big day looms.

“I’m so excited about the 31st that I think that’s probably why I’m so anxious, and right now it feels like it’s being so unbelievably stretched out, and I’m just dying to get to the day,” the 22-year-old Scream Queens actress says.

Jepsen played Sandy in her high school’s production of Grease but is now taking on Frenchy. The pop star, 30, says that rehearsals have been so exhausting that they get to a “delirious type of tired” by around 4 p.m.

Additionally, John Travolta — who played Danny in the film — tells Us that he “definitely” plans to watch Sunday’s show, adding about the new cast: “I’m happy for them!”

For more from the Grease: Live cast, pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on stands now!

Grease: Live airs on Fox on Sunday, January 31, at 7 p.m. EST.

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