The A Plus Interview

Hilary Duff On The 15th Anniversary Of 'Metamorphosis,' The Impact Of 'Younger,' And More

"Everyone, no matter what age you are, just wants to be heard and be understood."

The A Plus Interview reimagines the celebrity interview by inviting artists to answer a short series of brief, poignant questions that strive to be more meaningful than those asked by others. Visit on the last Thursday of each month for the latest installment.

For Hilary Duff, nurturing the next generation of humans is something that is very important to her — likely because of what her mom instilled in her at a young age. Now, with a 6-year-old son and a baby on the way, Duff is putting what she has been taught to the test.

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"My mom always made it a mission to have philanthropy instilled in us from a young age," Duff tells A Plus in a phone conversation about the Imagine If, With Jif contest. "We used to adopt families for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, and would drop food off at their homes or share a meal with them during the holidays. We were constantly donating toys or having dinner parties where people were bringing over diapers, formula, or canned food."

It's this philanthropy she got from her mother that drew Duff to the partnership with Jif, as the contest is also giving money to chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that come up with game-changing ideas for the future of our kids. That said, the main focus of the contest is to give one inspiring kid $15,000 to bring their entrepreneurial idea to life. The winner last year for the first-ever contest of this kind? Charlotte Gould, who, having been born with a cleft lip, created a line of surgery companion dolls for kids with medical procedure scars.

"I was so touched by that story. Kids are just incredible. One thing, when it comes to my son, that I learned was really listening. Everyone, no matter what age you are, just wants to be heard and be understood. I think that's what this contest is all about," Duff says. "[Luca] thinks every idea that comes out of his mouth is brilliant and creative and amazing and can probably save the world. He's a little young for the contest, but I love that Jif is nurturing that creative passion out of kids that have an idea that could have the potential to make the world a better place or reach another child that has something in common with the other."

For more from our chat with Duff, check out the interview below. We touched on a variety of topics, ranging from but not limited to: being a mom, the 15th anniversary of Metamorphosis, the impact of Younger, and a few fan-submitted questions.

Hilary Duff smiling in red-and-blue dress in front of Jif imagine if step-and-repeat.
Credit: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Jif

A PLUS: Are you a big fan of peanut butter?

Oh God, we're such a peanut butter family. Not only are we obsessed with peanut butter, it's been a lifelong journey with Jif in our household and we definitely are a Jif family. I'm currently expecting a little girl, and the first three months of my pregnancy I lived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I actually grilled my very first peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day in a pregnancy spiral. It was so delicious. I don't know why I'm so late to that party. 

Smooth or crunchy?

I'm both! It just depends on my mood.

Hilary Duff smiling in a red-and-blue dress holding tray with Jif peanut butter and sandwiches and apples.
Credit: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Jif

What gives you hope in the future of our world in relation to the next generation?

These days, kids are being celebrated for being unique and different. I think kids have the possibility to dream so big, and make big strides and big impacts on people's lives and the future of the world. We have to listen to those things, those ideas, and help nurture that, push them along. I think now, more than ever, people are on a search for the truth and that's such a cool way to grow up. Everything is changing, it seems, which is scary but a great time.

“Metamorphosis,” one of my favorite albums personally, just turned 15. What’s your fondest memory of putting that out?

I literally have to do a post! There's so much going on right now with the baby, Luca going back to school, and traveling to New York that I forgot all about it. I feel like that was such a lifetime ago to me. You know what? That album … I fought so hard for that. That was one of the first things I did after Lizzie McGuire and people were like, "Oh, she thinks she can be a singer now?" I just knew that I had stuff to say, something to say, and it ended up resonating with so many people. I am just so grateful. It's crazy that it's 15 years. I'm like, "How on earth am I 30 and how did I do that when I was 15, you know?" That's really nuts.

Hilary Duff smiling in a red-and-blue dress making Jif peanut butter sandwiches at a kitchen counter.

Did you ever imagine that, five years later, "Younger" would be such a buzzy show and that the role would be so big for you?

No, I didn't. I got really excited, obviously, to be working with Darren Star because I'm such a huge fan of his long career and the way he writes for women. I was like, "Oh, damn, this is a good opportunity for me." I took my time after having Luca picking projects and this kind of fell in my lap. It was a scary move because I had to be in New York with a new baby — I'm based in L.A. — but this role for me was really important. I feel like I relate to [Kelsey Peters] so much. I love that she is a go-getter, I love that she parties a little too hard, I love that her love life is messy, and I love that she is in this big important job and she's scrappy. I feel like I just relate to her a lot. But the show has so many other characters and so many great elements that it's not all on my shoulders. It's really a tale about friendship and women having a place in the world and constantly reinventing yourself.

Do you sometimes watch your movies? — @SelfRevelation

No, I haven't watched them in a long time. But I have to tell you that every time A Cinderella Story is on TV, my sister [Haylie Duff] watches it and she's like texting me the whole time. It's so funny. Like, how many times have you seen that damn movie? It's very cute. If it's on TV I try to get Luca to watch it and he's, like, so not interested. Maybe when he's a little older.

Hilary Duff smiling in red-and-blue dress standing in front of Jif imagine if step-and-repeat.
Credit: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Jif

Favorite character on "Younger"? — @kateincanada

God, that's tough. I feel like probably Lauren. [Molly Bernard]'s so brilliant on the show. They write so well for her and she is very entertaining. You know who else I love this season? Enzo, Diana Trout's love interest. I love him for her.

Who is your role model of all time? — @daniela__duff

That's a tough one because there are so many women I look up to that I'm inspired by. My favorite actress is Cate Blanchett, but I think with someone who is into a lot of different businesses but is still incredibly talented is Reese Witherspoon. She's just a girl boss producing these amazing books into these TV series, what she's done with Draper James, and I love obviously all of her rom-coms. She is that relatable girl that you want to be her friend but she is not to be messed with, you know?

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