12 February 2013 6:34 AM, PST | Huffington Post | See recent Huffington Post news »

In 2007, Julianne Hough won her second "Dancing With the Stars" title. Just six years later, after roles in the 2012 films "Footloose" and "Rock of Ages," she's a movie star. It's in 2013, however, when Hough will take the next step to lead actress.

On Valentine's Day, she stars with Josh Duhamel in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation "Safe Haven" as a young woman who gets a second chance at life and love after escaping an abusive husband. Later this year, Hough plays a devout young woman who loses her faith after surviving a traumatic plane crash in "Paradise."

"I'm really excited," Hough told HuffPost Entertainment about "Paradise," the directorial debut of Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody. "I was so blown away that they gave me the shot to do this. Diablo could have had anybody she wanted."

She wanted Hough, 24, who spoke to HuffPost Entertainment about why "Safe Haven" is her most important »

- Christopher Rosen

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