Hilary Duff finds herself gracing the cover of ELLE Canada’s December issue flaunting her voluminous blonde hair in a sequined black dress with matching nail polish and vamp-like eyeliner.
After a seven-year break, she’s releasing her fifth studio album this winter. The heady mix of pop and folk, like the single “All About You,” which has already ripped through the charts, signals Duff’s re-entry into stardom. ELLE Canada sat down to talk to the crossover star about the growing up that happens after first loves, tattoos and fame.
Read excerpts from the interview:
Why was now the right time to release this album?
When I decided to take a break, I was burned out and wanted to do smaller things that made me happy. Then I had Luca and was just sitting and reflecting on my journey; the thing I missed most about my old life was performing and being onstage. I didn’t really go into this thinking ‘Oh, this is going to be my big musical comeback.’ I just started writing and it started to feel good in my bones again.Hillary Duff
Do you think your son is getting a sense of your fame?
I think he’s starting to figure it out, but I don’t really know what he thinks yet. I don’t tell him anything about my job, but he knows Mommy’s a singer and an actress. We have this book called Goodnight Los Angeles. It’s like, ‘Goodnight, movie stars and entertainers of Los Angeles!’ and it shows people working on a set and having their names in lights. Mike’s always telling Luca ‘This is where Mommy is!’ when I’m at work.Hillary Duff
How do you deal with going through some very difficult events, like your recent separation, in the midst of constant media attention?
I have a good therapist! [Laughs] I’ve dealt with [attention] for such a long time. But some of the bigger struggles that came my way in the past two years—like my separation or when my parents separated—were the first times I had to deal with people knowing about something personal happening to my family. It just felt so invasive and insensitive. It got really gross, and I think part of you gets a bit desensitized. The best way to handle it is by just owning your shit. I’m human and this is what happened. None of us is perfect.Hillary Duff
You’re still young, yet you’ve been an influencing icon for some of the biggest stars right now, like Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande. Does that feel strange?
All the time, because I’m a fan of theirs. I see tweets that Miley is excited that I was at her show, and when I gave Ariana an award the other day, she was like, ‘I can’t breathe right now.’ That admiration goes both ways. It’s sweet—[being in their position] just feels like such a lifetime ago for me.Hillary Duff
And now you’re getting back to TV, with Younger, which is airing in January.
I didn’t really mean to. My agent called me and was like, ‘I have a really good show; it’s a Darren Star show and he wants you for it.’ I said: ‘I can’t do that right now. I have Luca, and I definitely can’t move to New York.’ She told me to just read it. It was really, really good…. I either take a break or just slam myself full throttle, so here I am shooting the show and making a record at the same time again. [Laughs]Hillary Duff
What’s your character like in the show?
She’s a book editor who has gotten to where she is pretty quickly, but she’s still fighting to get to the top. She’s strong-willed and ambitious, yet her personal life is kind of a hot mess because she’s submissive when it comes to men. It’s nice to be able to play a role that’s so different from me in my real life! I am not submissive at all. It’s a bit of a challenge, to be honest, but she’s fun and the show has the heart of New York City in it, and it’s aimed toward women, which I love.Hillary Duff
Photo Credit: Ryan Seacrest