Hilary Duff knows she wouldn’t be where she is now without Lizzie McGuire, but like other former child stars before her, she’s struggled at times to shake off the baggage of that first big break. Reflecting on her career in a new interview with PrideSource, the Disney Channel alum admitted it can be difficult to always be associated with the character.
“As torturous as it has been at some points in my life to be Lizzie McGuire, I think that when that show came out, it was such a part of who I was, I didn’t feel like I was playing a part,” she told the site. “The writers all knew me so well and were writing things that were happening in my life and things that I would say, and I was dressing exactly like I wanted. It was so me.”
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It was so her at the time, at least. As she got older, she wanted to branch out, but Lizzie McGuire followed her wherever she went.
“I don’t think during the filming it was torturous. I loved it during the filming,” she clarified. “I just didn’t know what a success the show was gonna be, and after that — four years, five years after that — and I was still Lizzie McGuire to people and that was super annoying.”
In part because of that, she “chose to bow out for a minute” before making her next big move. “Everyone thought I was just absolutely nuts because I was really successful and making a lot of money,” the singer-actress recalled. “And it was scary, because there was no guarantee that my career was still gonna be there.”
Years later, Duff is thriving. She has a starring role on TV Land’s Younger, a new album called Breathe In. Breathe Out., and a 3-year-old son, Luca, with her ex, Mike Comrie. She’s outgrown Lizzie McGuire in a lot of ways, but she doesn’t mind if people still recognize her from the show.
“I don’t care now,” she said. “I’m grateful for it.”
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