Starting her career as a child star in Disney roles such as Lizzy McGuire, Hilary Duff has transitioned through her teen years and into her twenties almost constantly working on TV and films. Now she takes on a feature drama alongside Val Kilmer and Kris Kristofferson in Bloodworth. She sat down with Buzzine to talk about her recent marriage, pole dancing, and playing pregnant...
Izumi Hasegawa: This is quite different from anything you've done for Disney. Can you talk about why you wanted to take this role and what you're hoping it does for you?
Hilary Duff: Obviously, I hope people see it and think I did a good job in it, and see me in a different way than how they've watched me grow up, which is more lighthearted films. It is different in that I think every actor is looking for a challenge and to play something different, and to be a part of a project with other great actors. It was a great experience, and I think I've been trying to choose roles like that on purpose.
IH: I was talking to someone who wore a baby bump for their role, and they were saying how it was liberating and they could eat more at the craft services table. What was the fake pregnancy experience like for you?
HD: It was funny; it wasn't this big, heavy, real... I think they've made them before that feel heavier and more substantial, and mine was like this lumpy old pillow, so I was just squishing it around a lot and trying to get it to look more like a round bump instead of some lumpy thing. I got to have a big dress on, and I definitely could eat more, and you're not as conscious about sitting pretty like a girl. You can sit wide-legged, waddle around. My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, was on set, and he was just like, "You look ridiculous." I look 14 in the movie too, so it's even worse. But it was fun, except it probably would have looked bad if someone didn't know we were shooting a movie and [saw] people pushing the lump in my stomach, slapping it...
IH: Did he think it looked ridiculous because it was fake, or is he going to be that way when you actually do get pregnant?
HD: I know he better not say I look ridiculous. No, he was like, "Don't get any ideas..."
IH: So you guys plan to wait to get pregnant?
HD: Yes. We've only been married a year; he plays hockey, so he's away from September to April, and we don't really get that much time together, so we're looking to wait. I'm still looking to work more.
IH: Do you see this movie as a cautionary tale for young girls? Are you hoping to get that message out?
HD: I think it's more uplifting toward the end. I don't want to give it away, but...they make it out. I think someone from a small town or living in the circumstances that these two characters are living in, you see that it's possible, even when all the odds are against you, that you can change your life path and change the way things have been going in your family's history. Obviously, they didn't have the best role models to look up to. They endure some torture, but they eventually make it out.
IH: Did Sheila [Kelley] teach you to pole dance?
HD: For my bachelorette party, we definitely went to Sheila's studio. My sister got us clear stripper shoes, and it was so funny. But she's amazing; I loved her. She got crazy quick, and that really helped for some of the scenes. Just to play off of her was amazing, and she has a great body. I'd take that body right now.
IH: It's supposed to be a great way to stay in shape.
HD: Yeah. Well, my arms were sore the next day and everything.
IH: Was this a challenging character for you to find, or did you find it pretty easy to identify with her?
HD: I didn't find it easy to identify with her, but I grew up in Texas and we had a house in the hill country that we'd go to often, and it was really deep into the country, and we had a few friends there growing up that were caretakers of our property, and I actually used them a lot for inspiration because they just had such a quiet life. The town was pretty incestuous -- just back roads country stuff. I didn't relate to it, but I felt like I had some things to draw off of. The accent came pretty easy, and being where we had to be to film it really took you there fast because you were imagining that this was your life, how hard it would be.
IH: Did you read the book before shooting?
HD: I didn't read the book. Shane told me the same thing, but I didn't go read it afterwards. Maybe I should.
IH: How was the atmosphere on set? It sounded like there were a lot of after-hours hanging out at bars...
HD: It was a good group. They film so much up there now that the crew always works together on other projects, so walking in, it was a good group that all got along, worked well together fast... It was cool.
IH: You didn't have any scenes with Kris [Kristofferson], but did you get to sing with him?
HD: No, I didn't. I didn't even get to meet him. I know, it was disappointing. All my stuff we shot in three weeks. I guess, with such a big cast, it was kind of hard to get everyone together and their schedules to meet up, so people shot in chunks. People would get shot out, besides Reece Thompson; he had to be there almost every single day. I think every day, maybe, [he] had to be there.
IH: Do you have any plans with music?
HD: I do, actually. I'm just starting to build a new team of people, and I'm going to start writing, and I think I'm going to make another record. It's been four years. I really just needed that time to take a break and reevaluate, and grow a little bit outside of being onstage and stuff. Trying to change people's perception of who I am now and accept that, I think it's the right time now, and I've got that itch.
IH: Do you want to write all your own songs, or collaborate?
HD: No, I want to collaborate. I think I'm a big believer in collaboration. I haven't done it for four years, so I'm not sure where my competence level is, of just trying to write the whole thing. If there's an amazing song that I love that's done right now, I'd sing it, or I'd love to sit down and write with people. I think it'll be a mish-mash.
IH: Are you going to do the same style of music?
HD: It's definitely going to be pop music. I'm a sucker for a catchy song and dance music -- that's my sweet spot, so I'll definitely do that.
IH: Who do you listen to?
HD: Right now, I'm addicted to Adele's record. I love Robyn's record. I think she's a big inspiration -- that Euro-pop dance music I love, but girl power. Reece will probably be rocking out in his car to my new record, dancing. I also listen to Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan; I have a Beatles song tattooed on my foot... I'm all over the place.
IH: Do you feel that getting married actually attributed to your growth, or do you feel it just came naturally because you're different now?
HD: No, honestly, I don't feel that way at all. It was such a natural thing for me. It wasn't like I had to think, "Am I making the right decision here?" It felt 100% right, and I found the most amazing person that's totally compatible for me, and it wasn't even a question of 'am I too young to be doing this?' or whatever. It just felt right, so I went with it. I'm pretty good at thinking about everything -- all my consequences and all -- before I make a decision. I think about everything that's going to happen because of that decision, and I'm a Libra, and I'm very strategic. It just worked. I don't think I was trying to say, "I'm grown up now, I'm married!" It was just right for my life.
IH: You started working so young, that probably made you more mature, just from the standpoint compared to someone who just went to school and wasn't around adults a lot of the time...
HD: Yes, and I've had a very unique path that's different from everybody else's, and I was never a dater. I never went out that much. I've always had long-distance relationships, and everything has come very fast in my life. I haven't waited for much.
IH: Do you want to work with your sister [Haylie Duff]?
HD: I'd love to. She's not singing right now, but she's been really busy. She does a lot of made-for-TV movies, and she does them like back-to-back-to-back. She's happy; she's working all the time, and she's a great songwriter, so I think, if anything, we'll write music.
IH: When you do a role like this, does it change how you want to approach your career from here on? Are the things you look for in projects different now?
HD: I think, for a while, everything was pretty planned out. Now, the great thing with this business is that you're never bored; every day can bring you something new -- a new opportunity, a new role to go fight for... If some movie came along that was more mainstream or more relatable, like maybe the things I've done in the past, and I loved the script, I would do it. It just depends on how you feel and what you want to tackle.
IH: What's next?
HD: I'm going to start making a record soon, so I don't know how long that will take; it probably will take a year. I signed on to do another movie in September in New York. It's called Donald Kimski.
IH: Can you tell us about your character in that?
HD: I'm going to play this young girl -- the movie is changing a little bit, but this young girl who's working as a dancer -- not a stripper, but a dancer at a club; she's this wild, free spirit, and she meets this man who's gone blind in New York City, and it's about this crazy night that they have together that changes both of their lives for the better. It's not a sexual relationship, but they both free each other in a certain way.
Samuel Goldwyn Films' 'Bloodworth' is in theaters now