"Why can I not get a shot at being someone else?" Hilary Duff recalled thinking when reading for other roles

By Georgia Slater
September 30, 2020 10:00 AM
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Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty

Despite loving her role as Lizzie McGuire, Hilary Duff said trying to move away from the iconic character was a lot harder than she thought it would be.

In a new interview with Cosmopolitan UK, the 33-year-old revealed that it was difficult to be cast in new roles after starring in the hit Disney Channel show.

″I definitely went through big frustrations of being like, ‘Why can I not get a shot at being someone else?’” she recalled.

“Not that I want to dog every casting director out there, but there’s a very small handful of people who are character actors and can be hired for roles that are truly different from one another. From age 21 to 25, before I became a mom, there was a lot of frustration,″ Duff admitted.

The Younger star explained that people had a hard time seeing her as someone new when she would go to read for an older type of role.

″I would get to producer callback and they’d be like, ‘She’s so great and she gave us the best reading and blah blah blah, but she’s Hilary Duff...’″ she said.

Now, after years of asking Duff — who is a mom to her two kids, Luca Cruz, 8, and Banks Violet, 22 months — to reboot the Disney show, the actress said she finally ″feels ready."

Credit: Disney
The actress with her children
| Credit: Hilary Duff/Instagram

″It just doesn’t annoy me any more when people refer to me as Lizzie McGuire or say that was my biggest role, because it paved the way for all the other roads I’ve been able to take," she said.

"I’m at such a different place in my life now, being a mother and a wife – it doesn’t weigh on me any more,” she continued. “I don’t feel like people only see me that way, but [even] when they do, I feel appreciative of it because she was very impactful on so many people’s lives.”

After filming the first two episodes of the reboot — which stars Duff as the titular character, now a 30-year-old millennial in New York City — Disney+ announced in January that series creator Terri Minsky had exited her post as showrunner.

Variety previously reported that sources said Duff and Minsky wanted to create an ″adult version″ of the beloved tween show, but Disney was looking to keep it kid-friendly.

″Was incredibly excited to launch ‘Lizzie’ on D+ and my passion remains!" Duff shared on Instagram in February. ″However, I feel a huge responsibility to honor the fans' relationship with LIZZIE who, like me, grew up seeing themselves in her. I’d be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30 year old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating.″

Months later in July, the actress said she still has ″high hopes" that the Lizzie McGuire reboot will come to fruition after production on the project was halted.

Speaking to E! News at the time, Duff revealed that conversations are continuing about bringing her character back to viewers' screens, saying, ″We are very much still in conversation with them a couple of times a week, which is really nice.″

″We started shooting, and then obviously that got on hold for a couple of different reasons not involving the pandemic, but you know what, I have high hopes that we are going to make it work," she added.