Her Disney days might be so yesterday, but Hilary Duff has finally come to terms with her Lizzie McGuire legacy. In a new cover interview with Cosmopolitan UK published on Tuesday, Sept. 29, the actor opened up about the trials and tribulations of her time on the beloved 2001 Disney Channel sitcom. And while she once struggled with being pigeonholed as her Lizzie counterpart, Duff said she now has a newfound appreciation of her teen icon persona.
“I’m at such a different place in my life now, being a mother and a wife, [so] it doesn’t weigh on me any more,” Duff said of being compared to her iconic character. “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.” Still, Duff said there were times early in her post-Disney career where she “definitely went through big frustrations” and asked herself, “‘Why can I not get a shot at being someone else?’”
“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,” Duff continued. “From age 21 to 25, before I became a mom, there was a lot of frustration.” She added, “I would get to [a] 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…’”
Now in her 30s, Duff has decided to embrace her Lizzie McGuire legacy. "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. She's so at peace with it, in fact, she's keeping Lizzie alive — or at least, she's trying to. Touching on the highly-anticipated Disney+ Lizzie McGuire reboot, which was stalled back in February due to showrunner Terri Minsky‘s departure (and then again due to COVID-19), she told fans to have hope. “There’s still no, like, ‘For sure, this is happening,’ but I think they’re pretty confident that we can make the show that I want, and that they want, for Disney+,” Duff told Cosmo. “I really want to do right by 30-year-olds who grew up with Lizzie and still have that 12-year-old voice inside of them, cheering them on but also making them feel like an idiot at times.”
The reboot is set to follow Lizzie as a 30-year-old interior design assistant living in New York. Despite her dream job and her dream boyfriend (unfortunately not Gordo), adulthood is not all as it seems, and major changes lead her to question who she really is and what she wants. Hallie Todd, Robert Carradine, and Jake Thomas will reprise their roles as Jo, Sam, and Matt McGuire, Lizzie’s parents and brother, respectively, while Adam Lamberg will also return as Gordo. With Duff fully embracing her Lizzie legacy, here's to hoping the reboot arrives soon.