Hilary Duff Explains Why She 'Didn't Want to Be Lizzie McGuire Anymore' After Breakout Show Ended

"I just desperately needed to be my own person," Hilary Duff explained of navigating her career after starring as the eponymous spunky preteen in Disney Channel's Lizzie McGuire

Hilary Duff attends the Baby2Baby 10-Year Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell at the Pacific Design Center on November 13, 2021 in West Hollywood, California.
Hilary Duff. Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty

Hilary Duff worked hard to shed her child star image.

The Disney Channel alum, 35, admitted she "really didn't want to be Lizzie McGuire anymore, as cool as it was" after her breakout show ended in 2004.

"For so long people were just like 'Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie,'" she explained while discussing growing up in the public eye on pal Josh Peck and Ben Soffer's Good Guys podcast. "And still, now to this day, which it doesn't bother me anymore but it did for a while, I just desperately needed to be my own person."

"I think that I thought music was gonna be a good way to introduce myself, reintroduce myself, and it was," added Duff.

Duff played the eponymous spunky preteen in Lizzie McGuire for its two-season run from 2001 to 2004 on Disney Channel, as well as in 2003's The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Although a Disney+ reboot was canceled shortly after filming began, Duff previously said she's "optimistic" about the show's fate.

lizzie mcguire
Hilary Duff in Lizzie McGuire. Everett

The actress later went on to star in films like Cheaper By the Dozen, A Cinderella Story, Raise Your Voice, The Perfect Man and Material Girls, and made dozens of appearances across television series, with her other most notable role coming in 2015 until 2021 on TVLand's Younger.

Today, she currently stars on Hulu's How I Met Your Father as the lead role Sophie.

Duff, who released her debut studio album Santa Claus Lane in 2002, also explained on Peck's podcast that music ended up being the key to helping her move away from her Lizzie McGuire image.

"I would say that was five years of my life, just trying to navigate becoming a person that I wanted to be outside of who everybody wanted me to be," she shared.

"I remember being on tour and having mothers come up to me and be like, 'Never change! Whatever you do, just never, never, never change!'" Duff recalled. "And I would go into my dressing room after a meet-and-greet and just be like, 'What?' They probably didn't mean anything by it, but could you imagine telling an 18-year-old or 17-year-old to never change?"

RELATED VIDEO: Hilary Duff Reacts to Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner's Lizzie McGuire Movie-Themed Halloween Costumes

The Metamorphosis artist said "I do want to" make more music, adding: "I miss that version of myself. And I definitely think that I have more to do in that department. I just don't know when."

"I think that I will. I just don't know. Right now, I barely have enough time to give to my three children I decided to bring into the world," added Duff.

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Duff shares Banks Violet, 4, and 11-month-old Mae James with husband Matthew Koma, and she co-parents son Luca Cruz, 10½, with ex-husband Mike Comrie.

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