Since then, the 33-year-old actress has found steady work, but the roles she were initially offered usually asked her to play a similar character.
“I definitely went through big frustrations of being like, ‘Why can I not get a shot at being someone else?” Duff recently said to Cosmopolitan. “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.”
The star remembers making it well into the casting process when execs would say something along the lines of “She’s so great and she gave us the best reading and blah blah blah, but she’s Hilary Duff…”
In fact, Duff was hesitant to sign on to join a reboot of the show, which filmed the first two episodes with an intention of ending up on Disney+ before the project came to a standstill to “allow time for some creative redevelopment.”
The “Younger” star said that after turning down reboot offers for years, she finally felt “ready” to take up the mantle of Lizzie McGuire once more.
“It just doesn’t annoy me anymore 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.
Furthermore, she told the outlet: “I’m at such a different place in my life now, being a mother and a wife – it doesn’t weigh on me anymore. 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.”
The reboot’s pause was considered somewhat of a surprise as the streamer was developing original content.
One option championed by Duff herself was relocating the show to Hulu, just as Disney had done with the “Love, Simon”-inspired “Love, Victor.”
The star said in an Instagram post in February that she hoped to break free of the original show’s PG-tone, as the reboot was set to follow a 30-year-old Lizzie.
“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,” she wrote, adding that she hoped her character’s experiences could remain “relatable.”
It seems not all hope is lost just yet, as Duff told the outlet that producers are “pretty confident that” they can make a show that will please both its star and Disney, while keeping the property at Disney+.
“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,” she insisted. “But, you know, 30-year-olds have sexual experiences and drink alcohol so I think they’re just trying to wrap their heads around what that looks like, on that platform. I don’t want to do it unless I can speak to the people I care about, and [Lizzie] can be there for those people again.”