A Q&A With Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff, star of the breakout Disney Channel program Lizzie McGuire, is, at 15, already a legitimate phenomenon. In addition to her acting, which has spanned stage and screen, Duff's single "I Can't Wait" from the Lizzie McGuire soundtrack went gold this year.

texasmonthly.com: How has your life changed since Lizzie McGuire?

Hilary Duff: My life has changed tremendously, mostly if I trip or spill something I am nervous everyone saw it! There is a lot of privilege as well as responsibility when you are on TV. I have met amazing people like Nelson Mandela and Steven Tyler but I live a very normal life. I do chores around the house and take care of my pets and go to school like all of my friends.

texasmonthly.com: Being from Texas, do you feel that you have a different perspective on the show business industry? Why or why not?

HD: I think being from Texas has really helped to make me not take Hollywood so seriously and given me the confidence that, if my phone stops ringing I can always go home again and be just Hil!

texasmonthly.com: Do you consider yourself a role model?

HD: I don't consider myself a role model but I have had kids and parents refer to me as that. I am only 15 and probably don't know enough about life to be a role model. My mom always tells me and my sister, "You know who you are looking up to but you never know who might be looking up to you." I think it is important to be responsible citizens and on that note, I am starting drivers' education—so look out!

texasmonthly.com: Do you think there's a lack of positive female role models for young people in current society? How would you like to see that change?

HD: I think where we are looking for our role models might be the problem. Entertainers and athletes are always graded on what kind of role model they are, and some are excellent role models, but the everyday person deserves that honor. 9/11 should have demonstrated that to us.

texasmonthly.com: Who are your role models?

HD: My role models are my sister Haylie. She is an amazing young woman with morals and values and inner strength that I see daily. My mom and dad have always lived what they teach. As far as famous people, I wish I could have met Princess Diana. I was privileged to meet Nelson Mandela and Mr. Kofi Annan, and I would like to meet President Bush.

texasmonthly.com: You have a new single out that's already gone gold. What else would you like to do with music?

HD: Can you believe me, with a gold record! This little record was never even sent to Top 40 stations; it has always been a Disney Radio phenomenon! It just shows that conservative art has a place, and that families are enjoying entertainment together. Well, I am working on a new CD which I hope will be Top 40, as well as keeping my Radio Disney base. It will be a little edgier but very appropriate.

texasmonthly.com: What do you see yourself doing in ten years?

HD: In ten years I hope to still be pursuing what makes me happy, whatever that is.

texasmonthly.com: What's your proudest moment in life so far?

HD: I am not sure I have had my proudest moment yet, but I have had many exciting ones. I was happy for our little show and soundtrack to be received so well by families. When we went to Rome and the UK, I was amazed that people are the same everywhere.

texasmonthly.com: What advice do you have for those wanting to pursue a career in show business?

HD: Never, never give up your dream. If you are a kid, have a family behind you all the way. Study your craft and respect those who have gone before you.

texasmonthly.com: What's the best advice you've ever been given?

HD: My friend and dialogue coach, Troy Rowland, tells me to always make my "no" my "no" and my "yes" my "yes." Live up to my commitments and give more than I expect to get!

texasmonthly.com: What are your ultimate goals?

HD: My ultimate goals are to always do my best, to be a good friend, to leave the world a better place, and to enjoy every second.

texasmonthly.com: Anything else you'd like to add?

HD: Yes, thank you for the privilege to be in my mom's favorite magazine! I am in great company. (Special thanks to Alison Leslie for assistance with interview.)

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