Hilary Duff on Why ‘How I Met Your Father’ Was Her Perfect Project After ‘Younger’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Elizabeth Wagmeister
·4 min read

With the final season of “Younger” underway, Hilary Duff’s slate was open, as she set her eyes on her next project. And after the hotly anticipated Disney Plus revival of “Lizzie McGuire” fell apart, she was in-demand.

The new mother of three was looking for a project that would shoot in Los Angeles, her home base, after spending years working coast-to-coast, filming “Younger” in New York.

More from Variety

Speaking for the first time since “How I Met Your Father” was announced, Duff tells Variety about her excitement to star in the sequel to “How I Met Your Mother,” which will stream on Hulu.

“After spending so much time on a show with people you love, it’s always hard to permanently say goodbye,” Duff says about “Younger” wrapping up its seventh-and-final season. “I’m not ready for it to end,” she says, but notes she is ready for “a job that shoots in L.A!”

Duff was interested in starring in the “HIMYM” sequel, partly because of the female spin the series will take.

“HIMYF” is set in the near future where Sophie (Duff) is telling her son the story of how she met his father: a story that catapults back to the year 2021 where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life and how to fall in love, in the age of dating apps and limitless options. It remains unclear whether the new show will tie into the original sitcom that ran for nine seasons from 2005-2014 on CBS.

“I’m a fan of Isaac and Elizabeth and was absolutely on board after reading the script for ‘HIMYF,'” Duff says of Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, the “This Is Us” showrunners who will serve as writers and executive producers on “How I Met Your Father.”

“I knew I had to be the one to bring Sophie to life and share the female POV to this legendary show,” Duff adds — with a nod to the catchphrase from the original series.

Duff says she was a fan or the original show, which starred Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segel,Alyson Hannigan and was narrated by Bob Saget.

“I’m such a fan of the original cast,” Duff says. “They were absolutely seamless and brought me many laughs.”

With “HIMYF” given the greenlight, an insider says it’s unlikely Duff would be able to move forward with the “Younger” spinoff, which has been in development and would center around her character from the Paramount Plus series, Kelsey Peters. While the potential spinoff was in the very early stages, the project was described to Variety as a female “Entourage” that would be set in L.A., and occupy a completely different world than that of “Younger.”

Meanwhile, the final season of “Younger” is currently airing with new episodes dropping each Thursday on Paramount Plus. Duff says that the season is her favorite yet.

“I think the writers wrapped everything up nicely,” she says, adding that she is pleased with how her character’s journey ends.

“I love that Kelsey chooses herself, ditches the guys who aren’t good for her and continues on a journey that forces her to take risks,” Duff says, teasing, “The ending especially really got me.”

Duff, who gave birth to a baby girl less than one month ago, was pregnant while filming Season 7 of “Younger” — during a global pandemic, nonetheless.

“I was a little worried with the challenges of COVID and my pregnancy, but everything came together,” Duff says.

“I’m all for mask-wearing, but huffing-and-puffing on set in a mask at eight months pregnant was a challenge,” she quips. “Fitting into clothes that aren’t made for a pregnant body was not always the most comfortable or fun. And just being freaked out to being exposed to COVID — there are always risks, even though our set was super cautious. I had to quarantine a bunch of times and that was really hard!”

New episodes of “Younger” stream Thursdays on Paramount Plus, and will later be available on TV Land. A premiere date for “How I Met Your Father” has not been announced, at this time.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.