The Stunning Transformation Of Hilary Duff

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Hilary Duff is, without a doubt, one of the most beloved celebs in the world. With a career dating back to the late '90s, an entire generation has grown up with the star. She's always been adored, thanks to a successful film career as well as roles on hit shows like "Lizzie McGuire," "Gossip Girl," and "Younger," but she endeared herself even more to her many fans in August 2019 when it was announced that a "Lizzie McGuire" reboot would be hitting streaming service Disney+ (via Entertainment Weekly). Sadly, that reboot never came to be, but not for lack of trying on Duff's part!

Thanks to her decades-long career, many fans feel like they already know Duff, but there's more to her than meets the eye. She's certainly changed a lot over the years, from her child star days to life as a 30-something juggling motherhood and a successful career. Duff only seems to get more popular as the years go by. Here's a closer look at how she's transformed throughout her impressive career.

Hilary Duff auditioned for years before landing her big break

It's hard to remember a time when Hilary Duff wasn't famous. The millennial generation grew up with the actress and remember her years as a child star. It seems like she's always been on our televisions, but it took years of hard work for Duff to break into the acting industry. Duff followed in older sister Haylie's footsteps when she started acting in preschool. Duff soon started going on auditions of her own. After the sisters were cast in a few commercials, they moved with their mother to Los Angeles for pilot season, leaving their father in their home state of Texas and returning home to visit every few weeks. Their mother told Rolling Stone that the decision to pursue the arts was something her daughters chose for themselves and not something they were pushed into. "My husband and I were never involved in anything artistic, so it was never anything we focused on," she said.

After many unsuccessful auditions, the Duff women were ready to call it quits and move back to Texas when Hilary Duff landed the lead role on "Lizzie McGuire." The rest is history. 

Finding out she was famous as a kid was 'a little scary' for Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff's IMDb page lists her first non-commercial role as 1997's "True Women," in which the young actress (who was born in 1987) was an uncredited extra. She told Seventeen, though, that her career truly started with the 1998 straight-to-video cult classic "Casper Meets Wendy." In the years that followed, Duff racked up a few more credits, but she didn't achieve true fame until 2002 when "Lizzie McGuire" debuted. The Disney show didn't just prove to be Duff's big break, but it also elevated her to bona fide celeb status and thrust her into the spotlight with little warning.

Duff described the moment she realized she was famous to BuzzFeed: "'Lizzie McGuire' aired and that weekend I went to go meet my friends at the mall, and I literally had to hide in a janitor's closet. It was like the craziest thing. I had to call my mom from the closet." She added, "It was really crazy. It was actually a little scary."

Lizzie McGuire made it harder for Hilary Duff to transition to more adult roles

Even though "Lizzie McGuire" transformed Hilary Duff's career, the role did come with some setbacks. Playing the wholesome girl-next-door meant that Duff experienced a lot of typecasting after leaving the show, especially in those first few years after "Lizzie McGuire." "In the beginning I definitely dealt with a lot of that," she told Time in 2015. "Even now with certain movie roles, I'll go and get amazing feedback and won't always get the role. There's definitely a stereotype because of my past, starting so young and people growing up with me."

Duff kept fighting to find roles that let her grow as an actress, though. She was excited to join the cast of "Younger" in 2015, which gave her the chance to play a more mature, edgier character. "This show came at a good time and got me really excited where others hadn't," she said.

Being the first of her friends to have a baby was 'isolating' for Hilary Duff

At the age of 22, Hilary Duff married hockey player Mike Comrie. "I had already been working as an adult since I was 12 years old," the actress told Us Weekly of marrying young. "So 22 doesn't seem that crazy to get married."

At the age of 24, Duff gave birth to their son, Luca. The transition to motherhood was difficult for the actress. "I'd say it was a little isolating in the beginning because I didn't have any friends that had babies yet," she told Motherly. "But I had been working for such a long time that it felt like a natural step for me and I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I always knew that was going to be my number one priority in life."

In spite of the challenges, Duff said that becoming a mom transformed her life. "You know I knew it was the most important, biggest job in the world but you know it looks very different once you're just in the household with the baby by yourself all the time... it was also the happiest, most beautiful experience."

Hilary Duff's divorce made her rethink relationships

She might be famous and talented, but, like the rest of us, Hilary Duff has had ups and downs in her love life. The actress went through a divorce in 2015, but she took it in stride. "I don't want to sound bitter because I'm definitely not, but I don't know if people are meant to be together forever," she told Cosmopolitan after the split was announced. "Things happen over a long relationship that you can't always fight. A marriage of 20 years, the accomplishment of that must feel really great, but there are also huge sacrifices. I just always want to fight for happiness."

It looks like Duff kept fighting because, in May 2019, the actress announced on Instagram that she became engaged to singer-songwriter Matthew Koma. She'd previously given birth to their daughter, Banks, in October 2018. A few months before Koma popped the question, Duff had told Entertainment Weekly that they weren't in a rush to get married. 

Hilary Duff's embarrassed about this song from her past

Just like Lizzie McGuire herself, Hilary Duff has done some things that she's embarrassed about. She's grown a lot as an artist since the early years of her career, and she looks back on some of her work with regret, like the start of musical career. "There's a lot on 'Metamorphosis' that I wish I could forget, but then so many people come up to me like, 'That album was everything to me,'" she told BuzzFeed. "And they always call out the most embarrassing songs, like there's this song called 'The Math' and I don't get it at all. That's like one of my most embarrassing moments in life."

Duff added that filming "Lizzie McGuire" could be embarrassing (remember the episode where Lizzie screams that she wants a bra?) but that she finds the show funny today. "All the episodes are kind of like an embarrassing memory book, but none of them really haunt me," she said.

Hilary Duff learned to balance her music and acting careers

Hilary Duff keeps super busy with her acting career, but she's also still passionate about music. In 2015, she made the decision to revive her singing career after a nearly decade-long hiatus, dropping the album "Breath In. Breath Out." "It's tough," the multi-talented Duff told Time in 2015 about balancing her acting and singing careers. "I put some music out last year, and right when I put my single out, we started filming ['Younger']. So it was a little bad timing because I really didn't get a chance to properly promote my single after being out of the music game for seven years. But it was good."

According to Discogs, Duff paused any new music releases after dropping the single "Little Lies" in 2016 and "Never Let You Go," a collaboration with RAC and partner Matthew Koma, in 2020, but we're hopeful that we'll hear more music from her. "I feel like I got a little taste of it again and it got me excited," she said in her Time interview. "It's just a balancing act of trying to have two careers that take up a lot of my time. And also being a mom — the most important one for me."

Hilary Duff decided to move on from her YA literary career

Many people forget that Hilary Duff had a literary career back in the 2010s. Her debut novel, "Elixir," is a paranormal romance. "I have been writing songs and poems since I was a little girl," she told Seventeen in 2010. "I started writing short scripts, which evolved into the idea for a book."

According to the publisher's website, "Elixir" hit the New York Times bestseller list and was followed by two sequels. In spite of her literary success, Duff says that she doesn't have any plans for more sequels or another YA series. "I don't have any plans to write any more books," Duff told BuzzFeed in 2018. "It was one of the hardest things I've ever done." 

For now, at least, it looks like Duff is focusing on her other endeavors, and we can't really blame her for wanting to let one of her many careers go. She is, after all, juggling quite a lot with acting, music, and motherhood!

Hilary Duff escaped the child star curse

While many former child stars go through a wild phase, Hilary Duff has remained down-to-earth throughout her career. According to BET, Duff has pretty much steered clear of scandal, aside from a 2019 controversy where some people accused her of child abuse for piercing her 8-month-old daughter's ears.

"Hilary is personally a modest young woman," Duff's mom told Rolling Stone in 2003, when the actress was 15. "She does not need to go around exposing herself. What you see is what you get with Hilary, basically. It almost sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?"

In a 2015 interview with Cosmopolitan (via Us Weekly), Duff said that she never felt like she had to "wild out" to prove that she was an adult. She added that, at the age of 19, she made a conscious decision to eliminate negativity from her life and dropped a lot of friends. "That was really hard, to sit down with people and say 'We can't be friends anymore,'" she said. "They were like 'That's f***ed up; you're a b****.' But having a good reputation was important to me."

Hilary Duff struggled with her body image for years

Even though she managed to escape the child star curse, Hilary Duff didn't come out of her childhood completely unscathed. Living life in the public eye still took its toll on Duff, as did growing up in an industry that is obsessed with physical appearance. There was a time in her life when she struggled with her body image and made unhealthy choices. "When I was 17, I weighed, like, 98 pounds," she told Health. "I was totally obsessed with everything I put in my mouth. I was way too skinny. Not cute. And my body wasn't that healthy — my hands would cramp up a lot because I wasn't getting the nutrition I needed."

Fortunately, Duff has a much healthier relationship with her body these days and isn't so hard on herself. "That constant pressure of wanting something different than I had? I regret that," she said. "I feel like there was way too much time spent thinking about that."

The actress added that she now accepts herself for who she is. "This is the body that I have," she said. "And I feel good about myself."

This is why Hilary Duff changed her diet and exercise regimen

While Hilary Duff told Shape in 2015 that she's not the biggest gym aficionado and likes to "mix it up every time" she gets her workout on, she's since adopted a more rigorous exercise routine. She explained to Women's Health that after the 2018 birth of her second child, Banks, she stopped doing cardio and turned to weight training to stay fit. Duff was initially afraid that she'd "bulk up" if she lifted weights as she "tend[s] to build muscle fast," but instead found that weightlifting makes her feel "strong but lean."

Duff has also changed her eating habits through the help of a dieting coach and by cutting out snacking. She still eats foods she likes, though. "I lost 10 pounds and I was not starving myself, and just eating things that I like and being more conscious," said the actress.

Hilary Duff was happy to join the Lizzie McGuire reboot

Fans were psyched at the announcement that Hilary Duff would be reprising her breakthrough role in a "Lizzie McGuire" reboot. Duff seemed just as excited about the show, which picks up as Lizzie is about to turn 30, but she wasn't always so enthusiastic about the idea of bringing back the iconic series. "Honestly, the idea sounded terrible two years ago when reboots were happening, but you never know," she told BuzzFeed in 2018. "I don't know. I loved Lizzie McGuire and it might be really fun to see where she is now."

Duff, of course, did change her mind, as she was excited to share the adult Lizzie with the world. "She's everyone's best friend and what everyone loves about her is how relatable she is, so I really wanna go on that 30-year-old journey with everybody," she told Entertainment Weekly.

Hilary Duff tied the knot in an intimate ceremony

Hilary Duff isn't just thriving in her professional life but also her personal life. The actress married Matthew Koma in December 2019, seven months after announcing their engagement on Instagram.

Duff worked with "luxury experience firm" Oren Co's Yifat Oren to plan her perfect winter wedding. Duff wanted something elegant but not overdone. "Our wedding isn't over-the-top 'wedding-y' — it's more understated and for me, that's more powerful," she told Vogue.

The ceremony, which was held just days before Christmas, was an intimate affair held at the couple's Los Angeles home. Duff wore a stunning dress from Jenny Packham and walked down the aisle holding her daughter, Banks, while her son, Luca, walked down the aisle with Koma. Duff's "Younger" co-star Molly Bernard and "Superbad" actor Chris Mintz-Plasse served as the wedding's officiants. Duff summed up the special occasion in an Instagram post, writing, "The most magical day into night with the one that I love."

Hilary Duff started some new hobbies during the pandemic

As pandemic lockdowns spread all over the globe in 2020, many of those fortunate enough to be able to stay at home quickly found themselves rather bored. What's a person to do when they can't go out? If you're Hilary Duff, you pick up some new hobbies. Scratch that, you pick up a lot of new hobbies. The star told Forbes that she turned to tie-dying and learning the guitar as solo hobbies, but also picked up a lot of pastimes with her kids such as hula hooping, doing relay races, "and play[ing] a lot of Monopoly."

While it sounds like Duff mastered the art of quarantine living, she admitted to Cosmopolitan UK that it wasn't all easy. While her husband, Matthew Koma, was totally fine staying home, she said she hankered after "quarantine distanced dinners" with her friends. Koma happily helped her do this, watching the kids while she got some socializing in. "I'm a homebody too, but I do need to go out with my girlfriends once in a while," she admitted.

This is the unconventional way Hilary Duff wrote her first children's book

Another way that Hilary Duff kept busy during quarantine was by writing her first children's book, "My Little Brave Girl." The book was inspired by a special person: her daughter Banks.

Duff explained to People that the idea for the story came to her during her final days of breastfeeding her daughter when she had just returned home from a long day of work. "Tired and emotional, I held my daughter and remembered the many ways I watched my mother be brave and was encouraged to do the same," she said. As Duff held Banks and reflected on how she "was close to the end of [her] breastfeeding journey," she realized that was "just one of the many ways [she] was going to watch her grow into a little brave girl."

The story came to Duff that night and she jotted the words "in a note on my phone." Per the book's description on Amazon, the words Duff came up with that night "encourage girls to reach higher, dream bigger, and approach the world with their hearts wide open."

The cancelation of the Lizzie McGuire reboot left Hilary Duff 'disappointed'

Fans were incredibly excited when the "Lizzie McGuire" reboot was announced in 2019, but the highly anticipated series never got off the ground. While the original cast reunited and even filmed a couple of episodes of the new iteration of the Disney Channel classic, Hilary Duff hinted in an Instagram post that things fell apart over creative differences. "I want any reboot of 'Lizzie' to be honest and authentic to who Lizzie would be today," she wrote when the show was called off in December 2020.

Duff had revealed in a previous Instagram post that she was hoping for the show to be moved from Disney+ to Hulu, as she didn't think the 30-something Lizzie McGuire should "live under the ceiling of a PG rating." In short, it seems studio execs were reluctant to let Lizzie grow up.

While it wasn't officially confirmed that it was these creative differences that led to the show's cancellation, some cast members seem to think that's what happened. "So, you go to all that trouble and they decide at the last minute, out of the blue, that it needs to be more kid-friendly? I don't get that," Robert Carradine, who played Lizzie's dad, told Vice.

Hilary Duff welcomed a third child

Fans who haven't caught up with Hilary Duff since her Disney Channel days may have trouble picturing Lizzie McGuire as a mom of one, let alone a mom of three, but Duff welcomed her third child in March 2021. Duff announced the birth of her newest bundle of joy, Mae James Bair, in an Instagram post. "We LOVE you beauty," she wrote in the caption.

Baby Mae joined the world after an emotional home birth for which the family was present. Duff said on the "Informed Pregnancy" podcast (via Insider) that it was especially meaningful to her that her son, Luca, was there as she is "really big on being open and honest with him about how strong women are and how childbirth looks."

Duff explained that she wants her son to know from a young age that women "bring life into this world." She added, "We move a baby through our body."

Here's how Hilary Duff really felt about Younger ending

There's no doubt about it: Hilary Duff is a TV comedy queen. Fans who grew up watching her on "Lizzie McGuire" were excited to see her take on a more mature — but still funny — role on TV Land's "Younger" for seven glorious seasons. Alas, all good things must come to an end, but saying goodbye to "Younger" as the show wrapped its final season in 2021 was no easy feat for the Disney Channel alum. "After spending so much time on a show with people you love, it's always hard to permanently say goodbye," she admitted to Variety.

That being said, Duff thinks the writers of "Younger" did right by her character, Kelsey. "I love that Kelsey chooses herself, ditches the guys who aren't good for her and continues on a journey that forces her to take risks," she said.

If that all sounds like the character is set for a spin-off, there's a reason for that. While a spin-off hasn't been confirmed, "Younger" creator Darren Star told Variety that a series centered on Duff's character could be in the future. Don't get too excited, though. "It's a big question mark whether it's going to happen," said Star.

Hilary Duff is starring in a spin-off of this hit series

Fans may have been disappointed to learn that Hilary Duff's time on "Younger" would come to an end, but Duff is one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood so she's not hurting for new projects. The actress is slated to take on the lead role in "How I Met Your Father," a spin-off of the hit sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." Duff is set to play Sophie, the lead character who, through a series of flashbacks, tells her son all about her journey to meeting his dad.

Duff told Variety that she couldn't be more thrilled to star on the show, which will air on Hulu. She told the outlet that she was a fan of the original and knew the spin-off was the perfect fit for her as soon as she read the script. "I knew I had to be the one to bring Sophie to life and share the female POV to this legendary show," she said.