Hilary Duff Says She 'Desperately Needed to Be' Her Own Person After 'Lizzie McGuire' Ended

The actress starred on the Disney Channel series from 2001-2004.

Hilary Duff is coming clean about her time as Lizzie McGuire. The 35-year-old appeared on Dear Media's Good Guys podcast, and opened up about life after the beloved Disney Channel show ended. 

When talking about making her transition into music, Duff noted that she went on to record an album so she could shed the image of the teenage character.

"I really didn't want to be Lizzie McGuire anymore," she told hosts Josh Peck and Ben Soffer about her transition away from Disney following the end of her breakout role. 

"For so long, people were just like, 'Lizzie, Lizzie, Llizzie,' and still now 'til this day, which it doesn't bother me anymore, but it did for a while. Like, I just desperately needed to be my own person. And I think I thought that music was going to be a way to reintroduce myself."

Duff starred as the title character from 2001-2004. Lizzie McGuire only ran for two seasons, but according to the actress, the series filmed 30 episodes each season and broke them up over time, which was exhausting.

The How I Met Your Father actress admitted that her transition from Disney to music took a while and she still had to navigate the world's perception of her. 

"I mean, I would say that was five years of my life just trying to navigate becoming a person that I wanted to be, outside of who everybody wanted me to be," she shared.

"I was, like, an angsty teenager that had a lot on my shoulders," she added. "And I did want to change, and I wanted to wear different stuff and try on things for size. I think people make up the version of yourself that they want. And you're like, 'I'm actually not that or don't want to be held responsible for changing if I want to.'"

Although she managed to make the transition, Duff added that "it's been tricky." 

Duff also acknowledged how she handled child stardom.

"I think that there's like so many factors," she shared. "I think that I had a very strong foundation in my mom. When I started earning money and taking care of my family, in a different way than normal, I didn't start getting treated better at home. I think a lot of that is within, but a lot of that has to do with the people you surround yourself with. I wasn't really in the cool crowd."

Today, Duff, who is a mother of three, noted that while she is back onscreen, she still longs to create music again.

"I miss that version of myself," she said about the period when she was making music. "And I feel like I have more to do in that department. I just don't know when."