The girl next door has a new apartment.
Hilary Duff – forever young, forever blonde – found a home on Disney Channel two decades ago as Lizzie McGuire, a self-possessed young man with an animated alter ego. After searching into musicwhere she went platinum, and moviewhere she and her sister, Haylie Duff, earned several Razzie nominations, she stopped pursuing auditions.
“I have been touring for four years,” she said. “And I really just need a break.”
She is married to hockey player Mike Comrie and has a son, now 9 years old. Two years later, in the midst of their divorce, she received an offer to star in Darren Star’s TV Land comedy series, “Younger,” and went on to spend seven enjoyable seasons as lousy publishing executive Kelsey Peters.
Along the way, she has a daughter with musician Matthew Koma, whom she married shortly before the pandemic hit. A year later she was pregnant again. In the ninth month, with “Younger” is newly wrapped, she heard from Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, “This Is Us” co-stars (with Dan Fogelman), who are putting together a new season for the echt-00 sitcom “How I meet your Mother.”
That series, which ran on CBS from 2005-14, starred Josh Radnor as the mother-meet-man, with a supporting cast that included Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, and Jason Segel. In the new show, How I Met Your Father, Duff plays the heartbroken heroine — a striving photographer named Sophie with a posh New York apartment that very few starving artists can actually afford. purchasable. (Kim Cattrall appears on screen as an older version of Sophie, wearing a cashmere coat.)
Duff has only watched a few episodes of the original. “I like to kill people excessively to watch comedies,” she said. But after some initial hesitation, she agreed. The show debuted the first two episodes last week, with another eight following weekly.
Very early on a recent weekday morning, Duff arrived on a video call from her Los Angeles home looking glamorous in a white dress embellished with luscious lines. Despite a few interruptions — bomb hugs from her three-year-old daughter, a TikTok shot by Koma (“He will do anything for some content,” she said passionately. ) – Duff talks about her career past and present and whether she, like Sophie, believes in soul mates. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
You were 13 years old when “Lizzie McGuire” released in 2001. What was it like growing up on camera?
With Lizzie, that’s me – those lines are so blurry. I am the unfit queen in my everyday life. Certain things have happened to her, which I can comfortably say because they are happening to me as well. She became really real to me. Then I film when I was 15, turned 16 and I wanted to have my own identity. I would go out into the street and people would say, “Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie!” I want to be known as Hilary. Now I’m completely at peace with it. I love her, and I am so grateful for that experience. But maybe between 17 and 25, it killed me.
You have turned to music. You made a movie. After that, your career seems to go downhill. How did you find your way back to television?
I’m married. I had my son. I learned that I love to cook; I like entertainment; I love my dogs; I like riding bicycle. I’m just starting to find out who I am, you know? I didn’t get a chance to explore any of that on tour, locked in a hotel room, bus, or stage. “Younger” found me when Mike and I were about to get divorced. No one is good. I read the script and I thought, this could be great. I can play the role of an adult. It’s fun. It’s sweet. Like, I’m that person.
Kelsey is also motivated and very good at her job.
She knows her worth. It took me longer to find my worth. Maybe I learned from her. But I said, “I can’t go to New York. I’m so sorry. I’m about to get divorced. And I have small children”. [Darren Star] like: “No, no, you can. We’ll shoot the pilot. It doesn’t matter.” It felt great to be wanted by someone like Darren Star.I did it, and then it lasted seven years.
Then, the week I was back in LA, I got a call from Isaac and Elizabeth. I was like: “Why are you calling me? I’m going to have a baby. You want me to play this 30 year old girl without children? “Obviously, the title scares me a lot. I don’t want to reboot, and it’s a beloved show. That cast is amazing together, very tight and tight. Then, Isaac was like, it’s a sequel. No one is trying to be one or the other. The actors have set off on their own adventures.
And that sold you?
Well, I love Sophie and I never really had that time in my 30s where I was both dating and trying and failing miserably. I certainly had struggles. But not in that way like Where will I land? Am I just a loser? Sophie is a romantic. She has the idea that her people are out there, but she will learn that she has to make herself completely first.
Have they told you who the child’s father is?
I gave up because they would just cat and mouse, beat me. Sometimes it’s hard to navigate when shooting because I have moments with all the boys. It’s almost like “The Bachelor,” but better. Everyone is a possibility. So I gave up on guesswork.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to know you’ll grow up to be Kim Cattrall?
Right. When I sat next to her in all the pictures, I was like, God, I need your pose. I just need to be you. It feels sweet to me because I have a son, and I can’t wait to drink too much wine and be cozy in my cashmere bed on my couch, tell him. He listens to stories.
Sophie believes in soul mates. You have?
Not really. It can hurt my husband to hear me say that. Because he’s totally the gentler, more caring person, and I don’t think I could do this to anyone but him. I love him more than I ever thought I could love one, and that was just growing up when we had all these damn kids. I’m very happy. I thought I would just do it alone forever. But I don’t think I really believe in soulmates. I think there’s a lot of people out there that you can get along with, fall in love with, and those scales move up and down. It’s just a matter of working to find a way back together, or not.
I understand that you tested positive a week after filming “How I Met Your Father”.
Oh no, the first time I tested positive day of job. I didn’t get Covid at all through the “Younger” scene. I was vaxxed up.
We had the first day of rehearsal. I’ve never done multichannel before and I don’t know what to do. I just gave birth four months ago. I got into the car crying and told my husband: “I don’t know if I can do this job. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. This is not me. ” And that night, I got the results back at 4 a.m. It was so bad. And I shut us down again because my son had Covid.
What happened to the plan “Lizzie McGuire” Revival? Did it fall because the show wanted to acknowledge the existence of sex and the network didn’t?
It’s a wild adventure. I wasn’t really willing to bend, given Lizzie’s age, and they weren’t willing to bend, and we stopped politely and cutely. It’s not dead yet. And it’s not alive. I’m always here to explore that character because it’s such an important part of me. You never know.
The great thing about your career path is that you’ve been able to become an adult actor without having to dismiss a young actor like you. You have continued to play the roles of funny, ambitious, outspoken and open-minded women.
That means a lot to me. Navigating and not giving up is a challenge, when it seems others are trying to make big moves that need to be taken seriously. That’s really not who I am. And I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve done. I finally settled with that.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/25/arts/television/hilary-duff-how-i-met-your-father.html Hilary Duff Is Back, In ‘How I Met Your Father’