For a long time, whenever you heard Hilary Duff's name, you associated her with Lizzie McGuire. For many years, even after she stopped being a Disney star, the actress was typecast, playing the same sort of roles over and over again in films like A Cinderella Story, The Perfect Man, and Raise Your Voice.
However, she had always had more success on television that she did in films, and in 2015, she made a comeback by landing a lead role in the hit television series, Younger, which gave audiences the opportunity to see her play a more adult character as well. The show is now about to air its fifth season and Duff has more fans and people rooting for her than ever before.
She may have once been known as the sweet, nice girl, but she has had a long life in the entertainment industry, as an actress and a singer, she's been through a trying divorce, and she's a single mother to her son, Luca. She also had some wild, rebellious days in her youth, and just like the rest of us, she has made some mistakes along the way. Here are 15 things about Hilary Duff that make fans rethink her nice girl image.
15 She Publicly Criticized Her Neighbor On Social Media For Smoking
Hilary Duff has been in the news recently, as in this last few weeks, and not for a great reason. The mother-of-one publicly outed her neighbor in her New York City apartment on Instagram for smoking all day and night, causing her apartment to stink as well. She wrote on her Instagram, "We know your parents pay your rent, we know you've never worked a day in your life, it must be nice. Have some respect for your neighbors who work hard to live in that building. Don't be a [jerk], dude."
According to Complex, Hilary actually violated Instagram's bullying policy with her rant on Instagram, where she named her neighbor's first and last name for her 9.2 million followers to see. She claimed that he was smoking cigarettes and a substance that is only legal in states like California and Colorado.
She also posted a screenshot of her neighbor's Instagram page, which was seemingly taunting her followers to go to his page and leave him angry messages as well.
The police were called after Duff's boyfriend, Matthew Koma, got into a physical altercation with the neighbor earlier in the week. After the incident, Duff's representative told Page Six: "As every mother knows, protecting your kid has to come first and foremost and that is her primary goal. She reached a breaking point after a 15-hour work day and yet another sleepless night."
14 She’s Dropped The Disney Girl Image
Over the years, Hilary's style evolved and she did her best to separate herself from her Disney girl image. However, when anyone saw her, they instantly saw her as Lizzie McGuire. She only really broke out of that typecast in 2015, when the hit TV Land show, Younger began. She stars as one of the leads in the show, Kelsey, who is Liza's best friend at work. Liza turns out to be a 40-year-old divorced woman who is passing as 26-year-old at a publishing company in order to reboot her career.
TV Land is not necessarily a network you would think of for a hit series to air on, but regardless, Younger was an instant hit among viewers.
The series' fifth season is set to premiere in June of this year and the fans are hooked. The actress' style on the series is enviable —sleek and chic. She has certainly come a long way from the bellbottoms and bright colors she used to be synonymous with. Her character, Kelsey, is no angel like her former character, Lizzie, was. Kelsey is a young woman in her twenties, working hard and playing hard, too. There are a few episodes showing her partying and she is almost always seen drinking on her time off from work. While there is nothing wrong with having fun or experimenting in your youth, this character certainly helped Duff break free from her Disney image — for good.
13 She Parties With Her Co-Stars
Fortunately, Hilary and her Younger cast mates get along great. The show is going on its fifth season and the fans seem to love it, and it always makes it better when the cast actually likes each other. Sure, actors are actors and you shouldn't be able to tell on-screen. Regardless, fans love seeing the cast hang out in real life, too.
After her divorce, Hilary actually admitted in an interview with Time that she actually leaned on her Younger cast mates quite a bit during the transitional period following her separation.
She loves hanging out with her costars Sutton Foster, Nico Tortorella, and Debi Mazur, and they can get a bit crazy after hours. She said, "It depends on the day and how much coffee we’ve all had or how late we’re working that night, but we can get pretty rowdy!" She added, "We really got along so great. We’re all very different, but I think we love and respect each other and learn from each other too." She also mentioned that the show's wrap parties got "pretty wild" and "people were pulling all-nighters." It also helps that a lot of Younger's writers are in their twenties, so they "know what's up," according to Duff.
12 She’s An Independent Single Mother
Hilary has a six-year-old son, Luca Cruz Comrie, with her ex-husband, Mike (more on him later). Somehow, Duff makes balancing life as a single mother and a working actress look easy, but we know the truth is different. She does co-parent with her ex, but she still has a huge amount of responsibility. Being a great mother is always Hilary's number one priority. She shared a sweet Instagram post about being a mother, saying that it was the "best thing that ever happened to [her]." She said, "Every day I am grateful for his light… A mother’s job is never done, but what a rewarding job it is."
She told People her advice to new mothers, "I just say enjoy every moment. Hunker down and not put too much pressure on yourself and really enjoy the days as they come."
"Every baby is different and every style of parenting is different. You’ve gotta just find out what works for you and feel confident with that. It’s such an amazing adventure to go on and such a miracle." She does need the occasional break, like any mom, admitting to Redbook, "But it's true, I do get a break. I had Luca by myself for a few weeks, no help, when Mike was on the road, and when he got home I was like, 'He's yours! Bye!'"
11 She Went Through A Trying Divorce
She was only 19 when she met her husband. Hilary got married to the hockey player, Mike Comrie, in 2010. She was young, but she felt ready, later revealing, I had already been working as an adult since I was 12 years old. So 22 doesn't seem that crazy to get married." She says now, "I think that I was in a very successful marriage for a long time. I never want to have any negative [...] feelings." But, sadly, they separated in 2014, with the divorce becoming final in 2016 and agreed to share custody of their son.
To this day, according to People, she says, "He continues to be my very good friend. That's honestly speaking from my heart. So, I think we handled it very consciously and with a lot of love. But marriage is sacred and marriage is not for everyone. Marriage is work. Marriage is really hard. Everyone's like, 'Are you going to get married again?' I'm like, 'I don't know!'" It did not help matters for Hilary that around the same time of their divorce, Mike was accused of assault, but he claimed that the encounter was consensual, according to TMZ. The charges were later dropped but the whole situation was sketchy, and his reputation was tarnished, regardless.
10 Her Wild Hair Color Phase
After Hilary Duff's divorce in 2016, she seemingly did what a lot of women do after they go through a breakup — dyed her hair. Granted, the pastel colored hair trend was rampant around that time, but still, it was something entirely new for Duff, who we were so used to seeing as the cute blonde. She's tried out wild colors like bright teal and baby pink. And they actually look great on her, but it was still a shocking transformation.
According to InStyle, Hilary said about her pastel pink hair, "Toward the end of filming Younger, I knew I wanted to do something fun with my hair."
She was inspired to do this color by photos that she saw on social media, "I always go on Instagram, and this time, I just typed in 'light pink hair.' I saw a bunch of stuff and thought, let’s do this. When I’m not working, dyeing my hair is a fun thing for me to do. I had greenish-blue last year and had a lot of fun with it. And on Instagram, a lot of people are doing fun stuff with their hair, so I got inspired from that." She's back to blonde these days, but who knows, she could try out another fun color soon.
9 Her Love Triangle With Aaron Carter And Lindsay Lohan
Who could forget about the infamous love triangle, consisting of Hilary Duff, Aaron Carter, and Lindsay Lohan? In 2004, Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan were both at the height of their Disney fame. Hilary had been starring in Lizzie McGuire and was a platinum-selling pop star and Lohan was the star in hit teen films like Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Mean Girls.
The two had a lot in common but one thing came between them, or should we say, one person — Aaron Carter.
For those who are unfamiliar, Aaron Carter was the younger brother of Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter. Looking back at the whole love triangle, Carter later admitted, "I started dating Hilary [Duff] on my 13th birthday. I was dating her for like a year and a half and then I just got a little bored so I went and I started getting to know Lindsay [Lohan], dating Lindsay." However, then he went back to dating Duff. Hilary told Allure, "I've never stolen anyone's boyfriend! I don't know how you do that!" Adding, "She was talking about it and I wasn't. It made us both look bad and put up a big weirdness." Their feud continued for years and it is a love triangle that will go down in history.
8 Her Party Girl Past
It happens to a lot of child stars — they get hooked on the party life at a young age and it ends up ruining their lives as adults. Fortunately, Hilary's life was not ruined by her partying days, but she did have quite the partying past. Most people think of Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes when they think of good girls gone bad, but Hilary definitely had her rebel stage. Teenage celebrities are often privy to the same things that adults are because of their wealth, which provides them with access. She was not as innocent as she may have looked back in the day. And while most people thought she was just a sweet teenager, she was actually getting into some trouble.
In her interview with Time, Hilary admitted that she used to go to clubs all the time while she was young.
Since she was a celebrity, people did not care, and the club owners were happy to have a star spotted at their spot. There may be a few paparazzi photos out there of Duff during her partying days, but the former Disney star did a good job of remaining pretty low-key. She left the tabloid headlines open for party girls like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
7 She Used To Lie About Her Age
Speaking of getting into clubs, Hilary definitely lied to the bouncers and bartenders about her age. However, she has such a baby face that it is not likely that anyone believed her. Plus, she was pretty well-known by this time for her role on Lizzie McGuire, so people kind of just let her in because she was a celebrity.
Because her co-star, Sutton Foster's, character lying about her age is basically the plot of the show, she was asked in her Time interview if she ever lied about her age, to which she replied, "Of course!"
She added, "I used to lie about my age to get into clubs and stuff... but I think they would all know how old I was anyway." She admitted, "I was pretty well-known by the time I was trying to get into clubs, and they would just let me in anyway." She also knew a lot of people who worked at all of the hot places, revealing, "I knew most of the people. I’m not trying to sound like a brat or anything!" So, if you were ever wondering how stars like Kylie Jenner or Justin Bieber were always photographed leaving clubs and the latest celebrity hotspots, that is how. If you are well-known and successful, age is nothing but a number.
6 Her Older Sister Helped Her Sneak Into Places
It always helps to have an older sibling who will teach you how to be cool and help you get into all of the clubs. Hilary's older sister, Haylie, may not have had as much success in the entertainment industry, but she is a star in Hilary's eyes. The actress revealed in her interview with Time that she was a former bad girl and used to sneak into clubs "all the time." Haylie would help her get in, either convincing the bouncers to admit her if someone gave her a hard time or letting her use her ID.
The Younger star revealed, "She learned the ropes for me and then I got to just sneak in. Super naughty! Naughty, naughty. A fake ID would never work for me because they’d be like, 'We know who you are.' I think I had my sister’s old ID… I can’t even remember having to use it. Who knows." Apparently, being a celebrity is as good as being 21 in Hollywood. No wonder so many child stars get caught up with partying. Fortunately, it was just a phase for Hilary, and seemingly something that she just had to get out of her system.
5 She Has A Flip-Flopping Music Career
After she reached a certain amount of fame from starring on Lizzie McGuire, Hilary took a shot at being a pop star as well. Back in the day, she was probably most well-known for singing the theme song, "Come Clean," for the hit reality series, Laguna Beach. She is a platinum and gold selling artist, releasing albums like Metamorphosis (2003), Hilary Duff (2004), Most Wanted (2005), and Dignity (2007). In 2015, she made a comeback with RCA Records for her fifth studio album, Breathe In. Breathe Out.
Speaking of her break, she said, "I think I feel really lucky. I made a choice when I was about 19 to stop music and to stop acting. I finished my tour and I took two years where I didn't do anything."
She realized, "Taking that break, I think, really helped me step back from the whole 'Hilary Duff' thing and prioritize." Her music has definitely transformed over the years, from a bubblegum pop sound to a more dance-pop vibe. With her latest album being released in 2015, fans of her music are hoping that this means that there will be more to come soon. Her comeback single, "Sparks," had an electropop feel and Duff debuted her pastel blue hair for the music video.
4 Her Independent Films Failed
Hilary Duff has always had more success starring in television series than in films. She may not like it, but it's just the way it seems to be. She got her start in the entertainment industry on Disney's, Lizzie McGuire, and she made her comeback on TV Land's, Younger. She really has TV to thank for her success. After she released her fourth studio album, Dignity, in 2007, she took a break from music, leaving Hollywood records but continued acting.
She took roles in independent films like War, Inc. in 2008, which was described as a "chaotic attempt at political satire," according to Nicki Swift. The 2009 film, According to Greta, basically went straight to DVD after a limited theater release.
Additionally, Bloodworth in 2010 was not anything noteworthy and did not receive great reviews... So, yeah, you could say that dabbling in independent films did not prove to be a success for Duff. Clearly, Hilary's fan base lies with teenage girls and young women, so she should stick to what she does best. The only successful film she has really been in was The Lizzie McGuire Movie back in 2003, but we're guessing that Hilary does not want to go back to her Disney image.
3 Her On-Again-Off-Again Romance
After her divorce, Hilary got back on the saddle again and was willing to give love another try. She certainly dated her fair share of men, including her trainer, Jason Walsh, and the singer-songwriter, Matthew Koma, who she has had an on-again, off-again relationship with. As of the spring of 2018, Hilary and Matthew are together. Duff confirmed in December of 2017 that they were back together on The Talk, saying, "It’s going so great. I mean, this is the third time that we’ve dated and I think that what [Selena Gomez] says has so much merit to it. Timing is such a big deal […] third time’s a charm!"
Matthew was actually the one who went to address Hilary's neighbor who was smoking, and he ended up punching him in the face. Hilary has posted photos of Koma on Instagram and their relationship is public. However, the two keep things low-key living in New York City. Even after splitting up in the past, Duff was determined to make things work revealing, "I think that you have history and a past with someone and love, and just because it doesn’t work out the first time, the second time, as long as there’s not too much damage done, then, it can always work out again."
2 All Of Her Relationships Have Been In The Public Eye
If you think about it, all of Hilary Duff's relationships have been in the public eye. I mean, she has grown up in front of our eyes and on camera so it only makes sense that we have watched her grow in real life, too. When the Lizzie McGuire star started dated the Good Charlotte rocker, Joel Madden, people were shocked — not only because of the age difference (nine years) but because she had such a good girl image and he was seen as a bad boy. Regardless, she and Madden dated for two years, from 2004 until 2006, according to Ranker.
As we previously mentioned, she was involved with Aaron Carter at a young age. Back in the day, she was also said to have gone out on a date with Shia LaBeouf in 2002. She also had a relationship with the child star, Frankie Muniz, from 2002 until 2004 after meeting on the set of Agent Cody Banks.
Duff told her co-star, Nico Tortorella, during her interview with Time, "All of my relationships have been in the public eye. Whether people care or not, that's a different story. But enough people seem to have cared that it's talked about."
1 She’s Content, And She Doesn’t Care What Anyone Thinks
Hilary Duff has certainly been through a lot in her 30 years. She is a single mother, after enduring a difficult divorce, and she is doing her best to maintain a successful career in acting, as well as the occasional singing. She has grown up in the entertainment industry and she knows the ins and outs. She is used to the public scrutiny by now and, guess what? She doesn't care anymore.
She doesn't care what people think about her, or what kind of mother she is, or her career. She can only live to make herself happy and be the best mother she knows how to be.
She revealed, "I have dreams and aspirations, but I've never really been one of those people who has set dates: 'I'm this age, so this, this and this needs to happen.' That's just not really realistic. I have a kid. My life is very full, so I feel blessed and lucky." She continued, "There are still things I want to do and experiences I want to have, and maybe more kids, but it's not like it needs to happen at this time and I need to be married. All those pressures need to go away."