What is Hilary Duff, aka Lizzie Maguire, aka bubblegum pop star, aka the anti-Lindsay Lohan, doing in the Iraq War satire 'War, Inc.,' co-written and starring
John Cusack? Pleasuring herself by dropping a scorpion down her pants, for one. Ouch. But more importantly, the 20-year-old is flouting expectations and expanding her repertoire beyond the tween-friendly fare for which she's become known. Moviefone talked to her about f-bombs, scary fans ... and that scorpion.
-- By Kevin Polowy
Fredy Perojo, AOL
1. Were you eager to do something provocative to break out of the tween mold?
It was exciting. I hadn't worked on a movie in a while because I didn't want to do the same thing I was doing when I was younger. I think people put me in the box of only being able to do [teen movies] so I was like, "I'll make music and tour," and luckily I was able to do that. Then I get this call from John and he's like "I want you to do this movie, come to Bulgaria." I was like "What?" I [had] never gotten a script like this before.
2. Was it liberating to drop all of those f-bombs in 'War, Inc.'?
No, I mean ... I don't think I hide too much from people. Who I am is who I am, but it's a little different than how everyone perceives me, and it's scary having moms come up to you all the time saying, "We love you. Never change. Never ever change." And I'm like, "OK, but I have to change." That's not a fair thing to say to anyone. It kind of scared me But [I was] a little like, "Oh my god what are the kids going to think?"
3. Will you tell your younger fans not to see the movie?
I think they are warned that this isn't a kids or family movie, but I hope a lot of my fans see it. For the teenagers, I think it's fine to see and I think it will raise awareness for a lot of people about what is going on in the world. And it's not done in a way [that's] lecturing them ... it's done in a really artistic and bizarre, kind of twisted way. It definitely hits you hard ... but it's funny at the same time.
4. What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?
I don't know. I really don't read that much. I know people think I'm a good girl and that's really the only thing that comes to mind. I'm not going to fight it and be like, "I'm not, I'm bad." I don't really care that they think that. I'd rather them think that than think I'm like everyone else.
5. Are you concerned about backlash, being in such a politically charged film?
I'm sure it will have backlash. There are parts of it that are probably going to be very offensive to some people, but hopefully people will have a sense of humor about it. But don't go see it if you are easily offended.
6. Did you feel any hesitation filming the scene where you drop a live scorpion down your pants?
I never really thought about it like, "Oh, this is going to get a lot of attention." And then when you're filming, it just gets lost in the shuffle of another day of work ... But it was a big deal on set. Everyone was like, "Are you really going to do this?" It was toward the end of shooting, and I was like, "Well, I already have done all of this [other] stuff. I might as well. I can't back out now." It was scary, but I'm from Texas so I couldn't disappoint my Texans.
7. Was the scorpion scene nerve-wracking to shoot?
It was. I had to drop it all the way down my pants and it was like really scary. I know all the crew guys and writers were like, "Oh my god I hope this thing doesn't pinch her or bite her or anything horrible." They put a pair of pants on me bigger than my size so I had the space to drop it in. But a couple of times, he didn't go all the way down. He'd be stuck in my pant leg. It was so gross. I start to itch when I think about it.
8. Have you had many bizarre or bad experiences with fans?
A lot of them bring me pickles since they know I love pickles. So I'll get a jar of pickles that's like half the size of my body. The largest jar of pickles they could find. But that's funny. And one guy in Australia stole me a street sign because it was called Duff St. He stole it in the middle of the night. He unscrewed it. I had it in my office. It was really funny.
9. It's good to hear that the most memorable experiences aren't creepy ones.
There was one weird thing in Venezuela that happened. Some guy got backstage [at a concert] and climbed up my lighting poll, and he was like dangling over me as I was about to start my song. He was waving their flag and screaming my name. That was kind of scary. I just walked off stage. I was like, "This guy is going to jump on me." He climbed up there like a monkey, so fast. But at the same time, I don't think he wanted to hurt me, you know?