Never satisfied with doing the same old thing, Hilary Duff chooses to continually challenge herself – this time she’s doing it with style.
As you know, every year that goes by is jammed with highs, super highs, lows and never-agains. Smack in the middle of our teenage years is sixteen: a highly transitional year in a series of significant years. And although Hilary Duff isn’t your average sixteen year old, her sixteenth year, just like everyone else’s, was definitely transitional. For those of you who don’t know, the name of Hilary’s platinum-selling, number one-charting, debut-bursting album is Metamorphosis. A coincidence? Definitely not. Over the past year, she has evolved from TV star to movie actress to pop sensation, and most recently, to creative designer — making her a quadruple threat!
“I’ve always sung, since I could talk.”
Hilary Duff the TV star was born in 2001 when she was cast as Lizzie McGuire on a little show called, appropriately enough, Lizzie McGuire. Hilary starred as the likable teen next door, and Lizzie’s day-to-day life with her family, two best friends and animated alter ego quickly became regular viewing for millions of fans around the world. The show was nominated for various Young Artist and Kids’ Choice awards (where it won two years in a row for Favourite TV Show), and even received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Program in 2003, which was a year of evolution for the show and it’s young star. Leaving TV screens behind, Hilary Duff the movie star was about to emerge.
Although in early 2003 Hilary starred alongside Frankie Muniz in Agent Cody Banks, it was The Lizzie McGuire Movie that signaled to the world that Hilary Duff, movie star, was ready for her close-up. In Cheaper by the Dozen, she joined a cast that included Steve Martin and Ashton Kutcher as one of twelve siblings in what turned out to be a holiday season hit.
This year alone, Hilary will star in two movies, A Cinderella Story and Heart of Summer, both of which promise to be more mature roles for Hollywood’s young starlet. But Hilary didn’t want to stop at movies. “I’ve always sung, since I could talk,” she says. So the music industry was her next logical step. Since she doesn’t seem to know how not to be successful, it was only a matter of time before she broke onto the pop music scene in a big way.
Naming her debut album Metamorphosis captured the mood exactly, and Hilary Duff the pop sensation arrived. Change was becoming the theme to her life. “Change is an important and natural thing,” Hilary says, “It’s important because everyone changes as they grow up. With the album, I wanted to let people know that I was maturing.”
Hilary was no stranger to radio success before Metamorphosis. Her single “I Can’t Wait” off the platinum-selling Lizzie McGuire Television Soundtrack was a hit and the single “Why Not?” off the Lizzie McGuire Movie Soundtrack helped that album go platinum as well. Once she left the popular show, Hilary decided to take her singing more seriously and make it more personal. “Music is a good way to get everyone to know the real me. Everyone evolves and changes,” she says.
With the success of her debut album, Hilary proved that evolving from TV actress to movie star to pop star was an important and natural change indeed. The single “So Yesterday” made it to the top of the charts, and Metamorphosis debuted at number two its first week of release, eventually jumping to number one. Having a successful debut album is another important step on her creative path. But all this success comes with a price. Change may be good, but adapting to change can be difficult for anyone. Hilary says it’s hard to find time for herself.
“One of the things that changed for me in the past year is that I have a very busy schedule. Sometimes I feel that I can’t keep up with myself or think about me.” While having time enough to breathe can be an issue, Hilary has conquered an old fear, and grown up a little more, by facing it head on. “Touring was something that I was very nervous about. At first I was very scared to perform in front of lots of people. But after conquering that fear, I gained more confidence.”
Although change can be scary, Hilary’s advice is that it’s better to face fears than to run away. “I think that if there’s something you’re afraid of, you have to face that fear,” she says, and adds “Hiding from your fears will only hurt you.” By facing her fear of playing live shows, Hilary feels ready to tackle her next challenge, to evolve to the next level. “I’ve always loved fashion,” Hilary admits. So it’s no surprise that her old passion has become her new challenge.
Her line, “Stuff by Hilary Duff” (available in several retailers in North America), reflects her youthful taste. “It’s a whole range of things that’s for everyone, but it’s targeted at maybe a little younger audience. There’s make-up, accessories, clothing, sheets, towels, everything.” Hilary is heavily involved in the processes behind Stuff and is learning all the time. One of the things that took her by surprise is the amount of work that goes into putting out a new line. “I go to meetings, choose colours and fabric swatches, I have final say on the products. I work with a great design team, but I’m totally involved. I didn’t know it was going to be so much work! But I love it.” No doubt the upcoming success of Stuff will mark another step in Hilary’s continued evolution.