Hilary Duff has come a long way since making a name for herself in Disney’s “Lizzie McGuire”. For one, she has a three-year-old son named Luca, with estranged husband, and former ice hockey player Mike Comrie. But, as Taylor Swift will tell you, bad breakups make for good songwriting material. And that’s just what the 27-year-old Duff has done with her new album “Breathe In. Breathe Out”. Clearly, the singer has got romance in mind, with single “Sparks” fueled by her recent foray into the dating app Tinder. If you’re not lucky enough to have the star pop up on your smartphone screen, fear not, as the actress will be back on the box in comedy “Younger” – from “Sex and the City” creator Darren Star – for its second season. Here, Duff talks to us about music, matches and getting madeup for a date.
What was your inspiration for the new album?
It started out as an emotional outlet for me. It’s the expression of what I was going through, and what I was feeling on a day-to-day basis — a range of so many different things. I started with my feelings at the moment and tried to create a story from them.
You’ve worked with Ed Sheeran, but also with Swedish pop artist Tove Lo. What did you want her to bring to the album?
Tove Lo is a very different artist than I am. She is so incredibly talented, and she’s collaborated with great artists before. When I heard “Sparks”, which she wrote, I just felt like it was a fresh sound. I think she really brings an edge to my record.
Is there a song on the album that is extra special for you?
“Brave Heart” is really special for me. It’s about what I was going through in my personal life at the time, and I feel like a lot of people will be able to relate to it. It’s an uplifting song about being scared of the unknown and wanting to take a chance.
You started a serious buzz about being on Tinder. Was it just for the “Sparks” music video or are you actually serious about it?
When I first joined Tinder, it had nothing to do with the video, it was just for fun. I was with my girlfriends one night and they were all on Tinder and I was like, “What are you guys doing? What is it all about?” and I couldn’t believe how “normal” it was for them. Obviously we were laughing and giggling about the whole thing and I said “I’m gonna get on Tinder”, and they were like, “No, you can’t!” – so I said, “Watch me!”. And it’s been fun! Obviously I’m not trying to look for love, but I did join just to do something people wouldn’t think I would do. It was to surprise people and surprise myself, and be a part of something that is going on in the world, and that is so normal these days.
So you got the idea to turn it into a music video?
Yes! A lot of people think it was a campaign for Tinder but it wasn’t! I wanted something fun, something kind of crazy, that no one had ever done before.
Any successful encounters yet?
I still talk to one guy. It’s funny — I don’t think it’s gonna be a love match, but we are definitely good friends. It was a good social experience!
Since you are now a Tinder pro, can you tell us what’s a good profile picture for Tinder?
Do a selfie and try to get an above angle. Hold the camera up and then face it down: it always looks good.
I have a Tinder date tonight, what should I wear?
For any date, I’d say try and look like you’ve put a bit of effort in, but nothing too over-the-top.
Your new show “Younger”, got renewed for a second season. What did you like about your character, Kelsey Peters?
I’m such a Darren Star [creator and producer] fan, and the show really has his mark on it. I really connected with all of the women on the show, and I got excited to play a character that was very driven in the working world. But also makes mistakes — she is in her twenties, and this is what your twenties are all about: learning who you are, fighting for your place and making mistakes. I’m happy to be in a show with such inspiring female roles, and I love that it is about reinventing yourself at any age.
You shot in New York. Did you get influenced by the style of the people there?
We shot in Brooklyn from September to December. I think one of the coolest things about New York is how inspiring it is, whether it’s the architecture or the way people are dressing — everything is just super cool. Everyone seems to have such a personal style. For the show, we have Patricia Field [who was the costume designer on “Sex and the City”], who comes up with some brilliant stuff for our characters.
Kelsey has a young working girl wardrobe. Could you wear her clothes in real life?
My character has a “business chic” style: she is working in an office nine-to-five, so she looks a bit more “professional” than I would on my day-to-day. But she does a good job at trying to keep it not too serious.
What will you be wearing this summer?
I’m really getting into this Seventies trend. I just recently bought a few bell-bottoms that are really cute. I also got some really cool rose gold Dior glasses – kind of angular. But because I have a kid, I usually dress casual.
You’ve been experimenting quite a lot with your hair color recently. Was it for your “Sparks” video?
I did my hair just for fun! I kept it for about two months. And my hair really inspired all the colors for the video, with that Eighties super pop feeling. I just changed it back: it’s too hard to keep up with! I was dying my hair twice a week; it’s a lot of work. I’m shooting again in September, so I probably won’t do anything for a while.