As evidenced by her sexy "So Yesterday" video, actress-turned-pop star Hilary Duff is so ready to put Lizzie McGuire behind her. But the 15-year-old who this spring parted ways with Lizzie when talks with Disney broke down doesn't think her edgy new image will alienate her core tween-girl fan base. "It's not, like, crazy," she says of the video for the single, which is currently No. 2 on the charts. "I'm not taking my clothes off or anything." Fair enough. But still, it's safe to say a new, more grown-up day has dawned for Duff. In addition to her first solo album Metamorphosis (due Aug. 26), the Texas native has two movies in the works (Cinderella Man and Cheaper by the Dozen), is planning a series of music specials for the WB and is about to launch an ambitious fashion and merchandise line. Lucky for us, she took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to chat about the CD, those romance rumors and that messy falling out with Mickey Mouse.
TVGO: Let's get this out of the way first: The rumor mill is buzzing that you're dating your Cinderella Story leading man Chad Michael Murray. True?
Duff: (Laughs) No, we're just friends.
TV Guide Online: Okay. Tell me about Metamorphosis. Would it be fair to describe it as a cross between Kelly Clarkson and Britney Spears?
Hilary Duff: You know what, it is a little bit different. I love so many [artists] out there and I totally respect them, but I wanted to have my own sound. I wanted it to sound like me and not everybody else. I got to collaborate on lots of the songs and everyone was so open to my opinions; it was really personal. There is pop on it, and there is lots of rock and techno. It is really cool.
TVGO: What was it like when you heard the entire album for the first time?
Duff: It was so surreal, because you work so hard and you never know how it is going to come out. It feels really good to be able to say that I am actually so proud of it.
TVGO: Disney is releasing the album. Isn't that weird given what happened with Lizzie?
Duff: Everything got really blown out of proportion. It's not like we're enemies or anything. We just decided not to do the sequel to [The Lizzie McGuire Movie], and they made it seem like it was about the money, and it really wasn't about that. But no, it is fine. I worked with Buena Vista and Hollywood Records on it and I love them. I never had so much fun in my life.
TVGO: The album ties into your upcoming WB concert special, right?
Duff: Yeah. We're going to do it in Hawaii and it's also going [to tie into] my birthday because I'm going to turn 16 [on Sept. 28] and get my driver's license.
TVGO: What special guest stars are going to appear alongside you?
Duff: We are trying to decide right now. I really love the band Boomkat, so I think they are going to be there.
TVGO: Would you like to do more TV specials?
Duff: I would love to, especially if we can travel around to Hawaii and the Bahamas, it would be fun.... And I want to tour really bad. I'm totally ready.
TVGO: There's talk you may get your own sitcom on the WB. Is it true?
Duff: I definitely want to do another TV show. This [music] schedule is really hard for me. Working [on] TV is so much quicker, and I love that.
TVGO: So, is it going to happen?
Duff: Hopefully. We're going to talk to lots of people. I love the WB; it is definitely one of my favorite stations.
TVGO: Do you think the album will show people a new side of you?
Duff: Definitely. It's me. Most people know me as [Lizzie McGuire], but my music is more about me.
TVGO: Is that why you were ready to move on from Lizzie?
Duff: My album is called Metamorphosis [for a reason].