Hilary Duff’s Best Performances to Watch After ‘How I Met Your Dad’


For those who grew up in the early 2000s, Lizzie McGuire was the predecessor to hit Disney Channel shows that featured pop icons. Hilary DufThe breakout role led to the singer/actress cementing her name in multiple projects that are still cherished by fans to this day. As we kick off her final achievement as Sophie in the Hulu spinoff of how i met your fatherit’s the perfect opportunity to reminisce about the iconic movies and TV projects that made Duff one of the “it girls” of our generation.

By Sam Montgomery in A Cinderella story to Kelsey Peters in Youngerhere are eleven remarkable roles of Hilary Duff to turn up the nostalgia.

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Wendy in Casper meets Wendy (1998)

Casper meets Wendy Hilary Duff
Image via 20th Century Studios

Before Lizzie appeared on screen, Duff starred as a good witch in the classic Casper meets Wendy. The film follows Wendy and her aunts fleeing a devious warlock and settling in a hospitable resort town. While there, Wendy meets Casper, and they immediately become friends, much to the disdain of their families. When the wizard finds their location, Casper must convince his uncles (known as The Ghostly Trio) to protect Wendy and her aunts from the force of evil.


Lizzie McGuire TV Show (2001) / The Lizzie McGuire movie (2003)

lizzie mcguire
LIZZIE MCGUIRE, Hilary Duff (center), (Season 1), 2001-04. © Walt Disney Enterprises / Courtesy: Everett Collection

A few years after playing Wendy, Duff made teenage girls feel seen when she took on the role of 13-year-old Lizzie McGuire. Throughout the show’s four years, audiences have seen her buy her first bra, live through college alongside her best friends Miranda (Wool) and Gordo (Adam Lambert), as well as going crazy with her brother’s many attempts to prank her.

Success only grew when The Lizzie McGuire movie came out in 2003 with Lizzie during a school trip to Rome. In this one, she falls in love with an Italian pop star named Paolo (Yani Gelman), while adopting the identity of his duet partner Isabella (since the two are identical). The scene where Paolo’s singing abilities are revealed to a live audience continues to stand out as a Disney Channel highlight. Although the reboot was shelved due to creative differences, fans can’t help but remain hopeful that one day the cast will reunite for a new chapter.

Agent Cody Banks (2003)

Agent Cody Banks Hilary Duff
Image via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Before Amanda Bynes joined the realm of Agent Cody Banks, Hilary Duff played the spy’s first on-screen romantic interest. The film centers on Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz), a teenage spy trained by the CIA to perform undercover missions. When he’s not doing his homework, Banks grows closer to his classmate Natalie (played by Duff) with the intention of reaching her father, a scientist who made killer nanobots that could destroy the country. Bond’s entertaining story is just one of the many gems the actress has been involved in during this period of her career.

Cheaper by the dozen (2003)

Cheaper by the dozen
Image via 20th Century Fox

“I’m just a kid and life is a nightmare!” This Single plane song became a star in Cheaper by the dozenfrom the chaotic home scene and years later was linked to the movie after trending TikTok. As brain refresher, Cheaper by the dozen focuses on the Baker family as they move to a new town and adjust to their new home, neighborhood, school environment, and new careers.

Although everything seems out of control, their close bond is what keeps them going through all the challenges. Duff plays Lorraine Baker, one of the oldest daughters who usually clashes with her sister Sara (played by Alyson Stoner).

A Cinderella story (2004)

a cinderella story
Image via Warner Bros.

This one easily tops the list for most Duff fans. In this classic adaptation of Cinderella, Sam Montgomery lives with his stepmother and two stepsisters in California. When not attending her high school classes, Sam works as a waitress at the restaurant her father owned before he died and left everything to Sam’s stepmother. Eager to enjoy her school’s Halloween party , Sam dresses up in a beautiful white dress and mask, instantly catching the attention of school idol Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray). When she runs away from the party, she leaves her cellphone behind and the rest is history. Although this story has been told many times on screen, this version’s lightheartedness and iconic football game scene make it worth watching over and over again.

Speak louder (2004)

Raise your voice Hilary Duff
Picture via New Line Cinema

We had seen Hilary Duff sing in The Lizzie McGuire movieas well as in his musical career, but Speak louder was another opportunity for her to show her voice even more. She plays Terri, a student at a prestigious art school in Los Angeles faced with the loss of her older brother Paul (Jason Ritter). As she prepares for the talent show and grows closer to her duet partner Jay (Oliver James), Terri also has to maintain the facade that she’s staying at her aunt’s house so her parents don’t find out.

The perfect man (2005)

The Perfect Man Hilary Duff
Picture via Universal Pictures

Are there hopeless romantics? In The perfect man,Jeans(Heather Locklear) always seems to fall for the wrong guys and when they break her heart, she always decides to pack her bags and drag her two daughters to another town in hopes of a fresh start. Tired of moving around all the time, Jean’s oldest daughter, Holly (Duff), decides to create a fake secret admirer to keep her mother happy and unwilling to take off. However, some obstacles arise when Jean begins to feel romantically involved in a lie.

materialistic girls (2006)

material_girls hilary duff
Image via MGM Distribution Co.

Hilary Duff was already a sought-after name in teen dramas, but what we didn’t know was that when she and her sister Haylie Duff join forces, they are exaggerated. materialistic girls is a living testament to that, featuring the two as the faces of a cosmetics company called Marchetta. When they’re suddenly in the spotlight of bankruptcy, they must adapt to a less glamorous lifestyle and find ways to save the company on their own sweat.

According to Greta (2009)

Based on Greta Hilary Duff
Image via Anchor Bay Entertainment

Although Duff stayed out of the YA genre for a few years, she did star in a romance movie worth watching with a darker tone. According to Greta centers on a rebellious teenage girl who is determined to kill herself. When Greta is sent to her grandparents on the West Coast, things start to look up when she meets a cook at a local restaurant named Julie (Evan Ross). This feature might be a B-side project, but it gives way to deeper conversations about mental health and overcoming trauma.

Gossip Girl Season 3 (2007)

hilary-duff-penn-badgley gossip girl
Image via Warner Bros.

Long absent from a television role, Duff joined Gossip Girl in a recurring role that was incredibly delightful for fans who missed her presence in a teen story. She plays Olivia, a Hollywood actress trying to have a normal life while studying at NYU.

After being asked out on a date by Dan (Penn Badgley), Olivia notices that he is much more laid back than her previous romantic interests. The two become a couple, but their relationship doesn’t last long after Dan begins to develop feelings for Vanessa (Jessica Szohr).

Younger (2015-2021)

Picture via TV Land

Finally and especially, Younger is Duff’s final TV performance before she landed her starring role in how i met your father. the darren star series featuring the Broadway actress Sutton Foster. The show is about a 40-year-old mother named Liza (Foster) looking for a job after divorce, but noticing that few opportunities are available for someone who hasn’t worked in the world of publishing for years. In an attempt to get hired, Liza pretends she is 26 years old. Kelsey Peters (Hilary Duff), quickly befriends Liza when Liza lands the assistant job and the two help each other grow professionally.

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