Not-So-Material Girl: Hilary Duff

Not-So-Material Girl: Hilary Duff

vervegirl managed to catch the very genuine, super-nice Duff during a rare break in her crazy schedule.  

vervegirl: So first of all, congratulations on your new movie Material Girls.
HD: Thanks! It was a lot of fun to make.

vervegirl: You and your sister play back-to-back in this movie. Was the chance to work with Haylie part of the reason you wanted to make this film?
HD: Definitely. Haylie had been working on other things and I had been touring so we hadn’t had a chance to work together in a while. It was great to drive to work with her, have her trailer near mine, and to have her there on set for support.

vervegirl: Was there anything about you two knowing each other so well that made it difficult to act together?
HD: I think it makes it easier. I feel totally comfortable with her. I mean, she’s my sister and my best friend. Everything is easier with her.

vervegirl: What about your character drew you to this film? She sounds a little unlikable at first.
HD: I like that she was the girl that you didn’t necessarily pull for in the beginning—that she was kind of out-of-touch with how most people live. But at the beginning of the film you under-stand that her father has recently died. My character records her dad’s favourite shows every day and watches them every morningso even early in the movie you get a sense that’s she’s a real person and she has real feelings.  

vervegirl: You recorded a version of Madonna’s song “Material Girl” for the movie. That’s such a fun song—you must have had a blast recording it.
HD: It was! My sister and I recorded it together and it really was amazing. I don’t know if it’s going to be a single but I’m really happy with it.

vervegirl: I understand you’re involved with a charity called USA Harvest and Alberta Harvest in Canada, and that the last time you were in Edmonton you helped collect enough food to feed 150,000 people in need. Can you tell me more about the charity and that experience?
HD: An American—Stan Curtis—started this charity when he retired in 1989. While I was touring America, I’d do tons of press every day. Whenever I’d go to a radio station to promote the show I’d ask for people to bring in canned food. In exchange we’d offer a chance to win a VIP pass backstage. Mothers would come with their whole car filled with canned goods, and we fed nearly 1 million people in America by doing that! It made me really happy because I thought ‘people really do want to help and give back’, some people just don’t necessarily know how. When I toured Canada [late 2005] we worked with Richard Wright in Edmonton to start Alberta Harvest.

vervegirl: Do you feel like celebrity comes with a certain responsibility? Or do you think it’s everyone’s responsibility to help those less fortunate?
HD: I think we’re all responsible. I hate hearing other celebrities say they won’t talk about the charities they’re involved with. They think that if they talk about it [the public] will only believe the reason they’re involving themselves is to seem like a good person. I don’t feel that’s true at all. I’m not into these big galas and parties that raise money for charities. When you actually spend time with these kids that’s when you feel like a good person. I love hands-on work! It’s important, because I am a celebrity and people know who I am, to spread the word and share the responsibility. Reminding people that—hey, this is going on in our world.

vervegirl: You were a Guest DJ at one of the MisShapes parties in NYC. What was that like?
HD: It was so cool! I think that people look at me and they have an idea about the kind of person I am, and the type of music that I listen to. It’s not that they’re judging me in a bad way, but I get labeled. So being a DJ for one night was great! MisShapes is such a cool partyone of my very good friends started it. When I go out in L.A. it’s all hip hop—and I like that—but in New York, DJs can play different music and it’s appreciated and accepted.

vervegirl: You’re a charter member of Kids with a Cause [an organization that helps kids in need all around the world]. I understand you visit children in hospitals and sometimes do things like take them to Disneyland. Has there been any one child you’ve visited that really moved you or surprised you or made you sure you were doing a really good thing? 
HD: There really are so many kids. It’s hard to single any out because they’re all so special and unique, but there is a little girl in Chicago named Jessica who’s had a tough time for three years because she’s needed a liver.  I think she’s had two transplants that didn’t work. She’s finally doing better now and we talk sometimes. Jessica will call me or I’ll call her, just to see what’s going on and how she’s doing.

vervegirl: When you came in as the Guest DJ last winter at the MisShapes party, was DJing new to you at the time?
HD: No, I had never done it before! They helped me out and I learned so much.
vervegirl: There must have been a lot to learn technically
HD: [laughs]. I’m totally techno-challenged! I’m so lame with technical things. Seriously, I just figured out how to print a page from my computer.
But I did learn how to scratch records a little bit. I can do that. Joel [Madden, of the band Good Charlotte], my boyfriend, has a turntable and he’s taught me a little bit but he’s always like, “You can’t play this song after this song! It doesn’t match.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about?” But I’d play stuff [at MisShapes] and people would get really excited. Obviously Joel and I just have different styles.
vervegirl: How did you choose the music? Was it mostly performers you like or did it take some research?
HD. I just picked my favourite music. I’ll play a lot of The Cure or Interpol or sometimes just a lot of pop music.
vervegirl: Any last thing you’d like your fans to know? Any misconceptions you’d like to clear up?
HD. I think I’d just like to say that I don’t really feel like I have to prove myself to anybody. So many articles come out in magazines and they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re just trying to sell magazines. I’m a normal person, just like everyone else, and I just happen to have a not-so-normal job. But I’m really thankful for all the support that my fans have shown me. I just want them to know that I don’t try and hide things. I just am who I am and I don’t have to be a certain way for anybody. All this stuff that comes out [in magazines and gossip columns] is not necessarily true and people shouldn’t believe everything they read.

Hilary’s favourite songs to throw into a DJ set
– Hairdresser On Fire / Morrissey
– Heart Of Glass / Blondie
– In Over My Head / The Fray
– Ex Girlfriend / No Doubt
– Like Eating Glass / Bloc Party
– Church For Thugs / Game

Material Girls will be in theatres August 18th

photography : Celebrity Pictures USA, Inc.