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Interview: Hilary Duff for "A Cinderella Story"

By Paul Fischer Friday July 16th 2004 02:33PM
Hilary Duff for "A Cinderella Story"

Hilary Duff may be searching for happily ever after in her newest film, A Cinderella Story, but in real life, this 16-year old teen sensation says she is not searching for her own 'happily ever after'. "I work a lot and I don't have time to think about that kind of thing, but maybe someday."

She may be 16, but she dresses as an older adolescent, wearing an extremely short blue denim dress, and loosely fit red top, accompanied to press interviews with a burly bodyguard and other members of her team, as she calls it. Duff, who plays a contemporary LA Cinderella in the not-so-magical take on the classic fairy tale, admits that trying to balance a professional and personal life, is certainly a challenge.

"Both things are very important to me, but I think that right now, I'm really focused on work. It's hard to kind of have a relationship and try and search for the perfect person in my life." But when romance hits, and a boyfriend appears on the horizon, the singer/actress says that she is not dissimilar from Sam, her latest screen character in A Cinderella Story, being "very cautious and not wanting to put yourself out there to get yourself let down or hurt. But I guess if you really care about someone and they really care about you too, then you sometimes go for it and let everything go, have fun with it. It can be exciting." Asked if she sees her own life as a fairy tale, Duff says most definitely. "I don't think that I necessarily relate to THIS story, but I feel very lucky all the time. Why is this me and why do I get this?"

Duff says that in deciding to do A Cinderella Story, she was attracted by the film's modern take, and insisted that at no time did the film attempt to take on a more traditional, magical tone. "I feel like that there've been so many remakes of 'Cinderella' but never really a modern day, high school version of it. I love that about it and I love that the characters are very different. Each character kind of had a twist to it and especially Sam, who was very ambitious. Yet even though she was put down throughout the whole movie, torn down and told that she was nothing, she still had goals for herself and dreams that she'd accomplish. Then the boy came which is great, but it's a good message for girls." Consistently working, Duff emphatically describes herself as being an ambitious person, at the same time, trying to stay ahead of what has become one of the most competitive teen markets seen here in years. "It is so competitive, with so many great movies coming out every single day and great projects. I don't think about it as being competitive like, 'I better get this. If I turn this down, so and so is going to take it.' " Hilary Ann Duff was born to Bob and Susan Duff on September 27th, 1987 in Houston, Texas. She decided to become an actress while touring with the Cechetti Ballet, and began heading to auditions. She won a considerable role in 1999's Soul Collector, for which she received rave reviews and recognition. Duff says that she knew from the outset this is what she wanted to do. "I think that I did my first commercial when I was about six years old. It's really funny the way that some people don't give kids enough credit for really being driven and wanting to do things so badly. When I was six and I filmed that commercial, I just thought that it was fun and then I was kind of like, 'Ah, whatever.' I went back to school for a little while. Then when I was ten years old, I met this girl who was our neighbour who said: 'You could get real movies and stuff like that.' I was like, 'What?' Then I just begged my parents to come out here and do it. Then you just get this feeling of wanting to accomplish something, auditioning and stuff like that. My parents just really supported it, my mom worked her butt off and sacrificed so much and we made it happen." After a starring turn in Casper Meets Wendy (1998), Hilary was cast as the title character in the television series "Lizzie McGuire" (2001). "Lizzie" was an instant hit, and propelled Hilary to international stardom. The Lizzie McGuire Movie was released theatrically in 2003, grossing some $42 million domestically. Hilary also appeared in Agent Cody Banks in 2003. Additionally, Hilary is storming the music charts, with singles "So Yesterday" and "Come Clean" settling into the top 40. Hilary's first album, "Metamorphosis," debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, and eventually ascended to #1 in the following weeks. To date, it has sold more than 2 million copies. She recently toured America in support of "Metamorphosis," but clearly Duff hasn't discarded her film career, with Cinderella Story, and the upcoming Perfect Man and Heart of Summer. .Trying to effectively balance music and acting continues to be a juggling act, but loves both, with equal passion, she says. "They're such different feelings. When I'm on tour, I'm in a new city every single night, and the energy, crowds, kids, the screaming and them knowing every single word of my music and being onstage, is such an energetic feeling with a big payoff. Working on a movie, things are a little more slowly paced. But sometimes if I'm in the middle of touring, I'll be like, 'Man, I really wish that I was working on a movie right now.' Or if I'm working on a movie, I'll be like, 'Oh, I wish that I was touring right now.' I just love them both so much. It's hard to choose which one is the best." Duff is about to return to her musical love, touring with her sister, before promoting her remaining films. This real-life Cinderella is clearly having a ball!

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