Dave Karger
June 29, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

After establishing herself as the go-to big-screen dance queen (with Footloose and Rock of Ages), former Dancing With the Stars pro Julianne Hough leaves the music behind for her next project, the directorial debut of Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody. In the as-yet-untitled film, Hough plays a devout Christian who doubts her faith after a plane crash leaves her severely burned. The film (release date TBD) gave Hough the chance to work with three Oscar winners (Cody, Holly Hunter, and Octavia Spencer) and even affected her offscreen outlook. ”My whole perspective on life has changed drastically in preparing for this part,” says Hough, who wrapped production in April. ”I told Diablo every day, ‘Thank you so much for this role.’ I’m so grateful.”

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