Hilary Duff Talks Interoffice Romance and ‘Gossip Girl’ Threesome

by | April 17, 2010 at 12:12 PM | Interviews, TV News

Hillary Duff in Beauty & the Briefcase (ABC Family)

Hillary Duff in Beauty & the Briefcase (ABC Family)

Hilary Duff is known to a generation as Lizzie McGuire, the original Disney Channel sit-com Teen Queen.  She built herself into a powerful brand, endorsing a clothing line, recording multiple albums and starring in several feature films. Now the 22-year-old has returned to the Mouse House to both star in and executive produce the ABC Family original film ‘Beauty & the Briefcase’ (April 18,8/7c).  The story of a journalist who goes undercover at an investment bank to report on interoffice romance with guys with a passion for spreadsheets. Fortunately for her, the bankers looks like Matt Dallas (‘Kyle XY’) and Michael McMillian (‘True Blood‘).  She starts to question her plan when she finds herself falling for music producer Chris Carmack (‘The O.C.‘). Duff talked about her leading men, her infamous ‘Gossip Girl’ sex scene and her advice to the next generation of Disney stars.

Why did you decide not only to star in, but Executive Produce ‘Beauty & the Briefcase’?
I loved the script.  It was a very fun character for me to play. Being an executive producer is something I’ve been wanting to get into.  It seemed like a great first project to start with.  The producers taught me a lot and it was nice to have a little more control over storyline and dialogue and the way that my character was portrayed and her wardrobe.  There’s tons of little things that the job entails.

Did you get to help cast your leading men?
I did. That falls under the title of Executive Producer, which was good because I got to choose people that I think are talented and that fit the role perfectly.

What was it like working with Matt Dallas and Chris Carmack?
Amazing.  We were filming in New Orleans so we all flew down there and we worked every single day.  We really became good friends fast.  They’re both so talented. Chris Carmack plays a British guy.  His accent is just amazing.  He fit the role perfectly.  Matt Dallas is impossibly good looking and funny.  Michael McMillian plays another one of the guys.  It was a great atmosphere on set and a great group of people.  We had a lot of fun.

What were some of the funnier moments that happened on the set?
We were filming in an office building for about three weeks.  We all started to go crazy after the first couple of days.  So the boys all started dancing.  I guess you had to be there, but it was quite entertaining.

You were on a controversial ‘Gossip Girl’ episode earlier this season. Why did you choose to risk your America’s Sweetheart image by playing a character who has a threesome?
I had no idea that the storyline was going there. But I love the show.  Everybody thinks that I have this image.  That might be how people perceive me but it’s not something that I purposely choose.  Being an actress, you’re trying to always challenge yourself and do things that keep people entertained.  They wrote this and asked me if I was okay with it.  It just happened.  It wasn’t something I heard about the character [before I was cast.] This is what she was doing so it just came about organically.

You were the first big star of the Disney Channel. What advice would you give to the current tween stars who hope to follow in your footsteps?
There’s not really a handbook of things you can follow to have a career after [Disney] or it would have been a lot simpler.  I think working hard and trying not to follow what other people have done in the past.  I think breaking the mold and picking projects that you love but being smart about it at the same time.  Knowing your fanbase and making the decisions about the projects that you feel are right for you is the best way to handle things.

After making this movie who do you think makes better boyfriends: musicians or bankers?
I’ve dated a musician in real life. I’ve never dated a banker. I didn’t end up with either in real life so I wouldn’t really know.

After making this movie, how do you feel about  interoffice romance?  I’ve read that the majority of people met their spouses through work.
Can you imagine? You’re at work every single week.  Those are the people you’re around.  Your world becomes kind of small.  It makes sense that you fall for someone you’re around all day.  I think it’s acceptable, depending on what your job is.

What other projects are you working on?
I’ve been working on a book that will be out in October called Elixir.  It’s been nice to write a book because it’s been a whole different process.  It’s still a creative thing, but it’s a little easier to do from home or wherever I am. It’s about a girl who comes from a really well known family and lives under a microscope.  She is in photojournalism and travels around the world and she ends up finding herself, falling in love and finding something that no one else has found before. It takes her on a journey.  She’s definitely a female superhero in her own way but without powers. It’s been really fun.

Which do you like best: acting, singing,writing or producing? Why do you enjoy wearing so many different hats?
I started when I was so young.  After a while you get bored. I had a TV show for two and a half years and thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”  I made four records and then I wanted to act again. I guess that’s just my personality.  It seems like I do a lot, but for me it seems normal.  I feel really lucky to have so many options and get to do what I want to do when I want to do it.