Hilary Duff On Her Big Return To TV, DivaCup Disasters, & Mommy Guilt

Photo: Courtesy of TV Land.
Hilary Duff has been on a campaign lately to get people to see her as adult. Actions speak louder than words, though, so her role on TV Land's new sitcom Younger is what's finally going to do it. Her character, Kelsey Peters, is an ambitious and talented editor at a fictional publishing house. While she may have it together at work, she's still susceptible to the same follies as many women in their 20s, who comprise some of Duff's biggest fans. During the first season (mild spoilers ahead, but nothing that will ruin the show), Kelsey has an affair with a married author, gets her menstrual cup stuck in her vagina, and toasts to her vibrator during a double date. That's right: It takes a show called Younger for Hilary Duff to finally reach adulthood. The irony will hopefully not be lost on anyone. We got the lowdown on her new show and going back to acting from Duff herself. Had you been looking to return to TV?
"Honestly, I was in the middle of making my record, so the timing was not great for me. I’ve always wanted to be back on TV [though], and I just haven’t found the right thing. When you sign up for a show, you’re hoping that the show goes for eight years. I think I was just hoping for the right project." What about Younger made it the right project?
"I’ve always been a big Darren Star fan, so I was excited to read the pilot. I was so surprised at how perfect it was, really. I read a lot of scripts, and this was really funny [and] relatable. It had a lot of heart but also felt very current, very edgy in a comedic kind of way. I know the part seemed like a good space for me right now. A young girl who is really ambitious in her field, and then her personal life is kind of a hot mess; I think a lot of people can relate to that. It’s fun for me to get to play, because it’s so different from how I’ve lead my life." What’s something about the show that will surprise people?
"I think we deal with a lot of really funny female issues. My character in one episode gets obsessed with going green, and she wants to start wearing a DivaCup; her DivaCup gets lodged in her vagina, and she cannot get it out. They’re in the middle of a meeting, and I run to the bathroom, and Liza [Sutton Foster] is like basically doing surgery in the stall on me. It’s so funny. I think that it’s all about friendship and women of all ages coming together, reinventing themselves, and tackling real issues in a funny, heartfelt way."
Photo: Courtesy of TV Land.
There's so much female support on Younger.
"Totally. We were all talking towards the end of the season, and we were like, we love that this show gets all of our problems. Our characters' problems aren’t about men all the time. There’s stuff that happens in the workplace, and with each other — I mean, there’s definitely sex and lots of hot eye candy to look at — but it’s not always about the men, which is cool. It’s very female-driven." In another life, would you want to work at a publishing house like Kelsey?
"One hundred percent; I’d love it. She is like a little bulldog. She goes after what she wants. She fucks up a lot, but she always makes it right. She does little naughties here and there, which is really fun for me to get to do. When you’re watching the show, you’re pulling for her because you like her so much, but you’re kind of cringing, ‘No don’t do that!’ — even though you’d probably want to do it, too. Some of her choices are kind of suspect, but she’s a good girl, and the dynamic in the office is really cool between her and Liza. It’s a good place to work. Like a creative, high-stress, busy workplace. It’d be cool." Is it different going back to work now that you’re a mom?
"Yeah, that part is very hard. I had been working on my record a bit, but I get to make that schedule. So yeah, it was hard. I felt like I missed out on a lot, but when I try to chop it up in my mind, I’m like, I don’t have a normal job, so I probably spend more time with my kid than most people that have like a 9-to-5 job. This is going to be three intense months, and I have the weekends with him, but yeah, I’ve pretty much just been a mom for his whole life. It was challenging, and it was also empowering, too, to be like, ‘You know what? This makes me happy. I feel fulfilled doing this. I know I need it for my life and my sanity. It’s my job.’ I wrapped my head around it, but mommy guilt is like, the heaviest kind. I’m sure any mom you would talk to, you feel extreme guilt for being away or missing things like not putting your kids to bed every night." Does Luca understand what you do?
"I tell him that Mommy’s going to work. He’s kind of starting to figure out that people want to come take pictures with me or treat us a little different, which is kind of unfortunate, but I guess it goes along with the territory. He knows that I’m an actress and a singer. His dad started reading him this book called Good Night, Los Angeles, and there’s a part where it’s like, ‘The actresses and movie stars that live in Los Angeles...say goodnight to them.' I guess Mike told him, ‘That’s what Mommy does. That’s her job.’ So, every time [Luca] sees this glamorous-looking girl in a gown in the book, he’s like, ‘Oh, it’s Mom! Ooh, Mom!’ I don’t think he quite understands the concept, but he’ll be getting it soon."

premieres March 31 on TV Land at 10 p.m. Bonus: Watch costume designer Patricia Field talk about dressing the cast of Younger.

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