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Why Hollywood Stopped Casting Haylie Duff

Haylie Duff — actress, singer, and older sister of Hilary Duff (aka Lizzie McGuire herself) — has been in the spotlight from an early age. Her career first kicked off with guest roles on shows like "The Amanda Show" and "Chicago Hope" before she appeared on Hilary's Disney Channel series "Lizzie McGuire" as Kate's (Ashlie Brillault) older cousin, Amy Sanders. She also famously danced her heart out in the 2004 cult classic "Napoleon Dynamite" as popular girl and class presidential candidate Summer Wheatley. Haylie then teamed up with Hilary once again for "Material Girls," a contemporary "Sense and Sensibility" remake that Hilary co-produced.

But after a series of film and TV roles, including lending her voice to the 2012 CGI disaster "Foodfight!" and appearing in several Hallmark Channel films, Haylie Duff hasn't been on screen in a few years, last seen as Julia McNeil in the 2018 TV movie "Deadly Delusion." 

So what exactly happened? Here's what Haylie Duff has been up to since her rise to fame and why she's been out of the spotlight as of late.

Cookbooks and clothing lines

After launching "Real Girl's Kitchen," a blog documenting her attempts to improve her home cooking, Haylie Duff leveraged the success of the site into a cookbook, "The Real Girl's Kitchen," and a reality show of the same name. "The Real Girl's Kitchen," hosted by Duff, debuted on the Cooking Channel in 2014, featuring recipes inspired by the East Coast and West Coast along with stories about her life. The show aired for two seasons before concluding in 2015. It has since moved to Ora TV, a media company co-founded by the late Larry King, where the series has aired two new seasons.  

In 2017, Duff began a children's clothing line, Little Moon Society, inspired by her two daughters, Lulu and Ryan, whom she shares with her fiancé, entrepreneur Matt Rosenberg. The clothing line, designed "for the conscientious kid," per the brand's website, features comfortable apparel meant for playtime.

In 2021, furthering her career in the food industry, Duff teamed up with food brand Mrs. T's Pierogies to launch Mrs. T's All-Star Moms, "a salute to the moms who go above and beyond for their families every day," according to a press release. Mothers nationwide could be nominated to win various prizes. Duff said, "As a mom to two amazing kiddos, I can easily say it's the most rewarding experience of my life, but it's not always easy. That's why I'm honored to be teaming up with Mrs. T's Pierogies to remind us all that it's important to let the hardworking moms in our lives know that we see them, appreciate them and love them."

For Haylie Duff, it's family first

Despite these side projects, Haylie Duff admitted that she primarily stepped back from acting in order to focus on her children (via Distractify). Meanwhile, there's been internal pressure for Duff to finally tie the knot with fiancé Matt Rosenberg; the two got engaged in 2014. According to Page Six, the couple's older daughter, Ryan, has been inquiring when the big day will actually take place. "Ryan didn't know the difference of married or not married until she started school and I had to, like, write my name and Matt's name," Duff said. "And then she was like, 'Wait a minute!' So now there's a lot of talk of, like, 'at your wedding ...' That kind of stuff."

In response to questions of whether the birth of her new niece — sister Hilary Duff's baby girl, Mae — is giving Haylie baby fever, she seemed to have mixed feelings. "The truth is that whenever your youngest baby turns two, some crazy thing goes off inside you, where you're like, 'Oh, I want another baby.' But I think we're good at two," she told Hollywood Life. "Since Lulu was born, honestly, I feel like I'm not missing another baby. But, if we had another baby, I'd be thrilled. You know? I'm happy to chill it at two, also." It seems that only time will tell on that front.

Haylie and Hilary Duff quarantined side by side

Like for most people, the pandemic put a lot of things on hold for Haylie Duff. Even though Haylie and Hilary Duff are next-door neighbors in Beverly Hills, the sisters have kept their families and homes separately quarantined during the pandemic, and Haylie has been busy homeschooling her daughters. "We have different people that we see, so we've been trying to be very careful about not co-mingling, just for the sake of people that work in her home or people who work in my home," she told Hollywood Life. "So, we see each other from afar and wave outside at the pool."

As to whether the sisters give each other parenting advice now that they're both seasoned mothers and neighbors, Haylie told Page Six, "My sister and my mom don't really give a lot of advice, which is something that's really worked well for us in our family because ... you want to sort of do things your way."

It seems clear that, concerning her career, too, Haylie is set on doing things her own way. And we can't say we blame her.

Haylie Duff has two projects in the works

Though she hasn't appeared on screen since 2018 and has been prioritizing family time lately, Haylie Duff will soon return to the acting world. She has two projects currently in post-production and scheduled to launch in 2021: "Blending Christmas" and "The Baby Pact." 

In the TV movie "Blending Christmas," Duff plays Emma. According to the film's IMDb page, "Blending Christmas" takes place during the height of the holiday season, and follows Emma as she discovers that "the resort where she used to spend Christmases with her family is being redeveloped." Directed by Marla Sokoloff and co-written by Adam Rockoff and Peter Sullivan, "Blended Christmas" also stars Aaron O'Connell as Liam and Beth Broderick as Michelle, along with "The Brady Bunch" alumni Christopher Knight as Brian, Mike Lookinland as Andrew, Susan Olsen as Valerie, and Barry Williams as John.

The second of Duff's upcoming projects, "The Baby Pact" is a follow-up writer-director Matt Berman's 2014 flick "The Wedding Pact," in which Duff played Elizabeth Carter, a woman who made a pact with her friend Mitch Becker (Chris Soldevilla) to get married if they were both single ten years in the future. A decade later, both Elizabeth and Mitch are single, and thus tie the knot. "The Baby Pact" finds Elizabeth leaving Boston, Massachusetts following a life-changing event — and one of its promo posters teases that Elizabeth and Mitch's "happily ever after" isn't quite so sunny after all (via IMDb).

After she spent a number of years away from the limelight, it will no doubt be great to see Duff back on screen. Working in the food industry, being a mother and a fiancée, and acting — Haylie Duff can truly do it all.