EXCLUSIVE: Julianne Hough is set to portray female fitness pioneer Betty Weider in George Gallo’s upcoming feature Bigger

A pin-up model who became a leading role model for women in diet and fitness, Betty Weider was the wife of Joe Weider, and together they co founded Shape magazine, which remains the most successful women’s health and fitness publication today. Bigger tells the story of the Weider brothers, who rose from poverty to create the Mr. Olympia competition, forever changing the face of professional bodybuilding. They would go on to build an empire of equipment and nutrition supplement companies, as well as the powerhouse Weider Publishing.

Hough joins Tyler Hoechlin (Everybody Wants Some!!), Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk) and Kevin Durand (The Strain). Gallo is helming from a script he wrote with Andy Weiss, from an original script written by Brad & Ellen Furman. Shooting starts next month.

Hough herself has appeared on the cover of  Shape four times. She is known to audiences around the world for her roles in Grease: Live!, Footloose, Safe Haven and as a two-time professional champion and judge on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Steve Lee Jones’ Bee Holder Productions is producing with Scott LaStaiti and Eric Weider of Weider Health and Camila Castro of Bee Holder are executive producing.

Hough is repped by WME, Alchemy Entertainment and Sloane Offer.