Lindsay Lohan auditioned for the role of Lizzie.
Lindsay Lohan was in the running for the role of Lizzie McGuire.
“There was a great pool of talent that included Lindsay Lohan, Sara Paxton, and Halle Hirsh,” producer Stan Rogow revealed to E! News in 2006, “all of whom were terrific and we were excited about presenting to the network [as options for Lizzie.]”
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While Hilary Duff eventually nabbed the series’ title role, she admits to having bombed her first audition for the show.
“I did a terrible job,” Duff confessed during an interview with E! News in 2006. “I hadn’t read my lines.” At the time, she had just been replaced on a network sitcom called Daddio and was contemplating quitting acting. She didn’t think booking Lizzie McGuire was a possibility and only went to the audition to hang out with her friends. Fortunately, the show’s creator, Terri Minsky, saw Duff's potential and gave her some direction and a second chance. “I was very honest about it and said [to Duff], you need to get more in the character,” Minsky recounted to E! News. “Because I knew there was so much [talent] there.”
Hilary Duff credits her quirky personal style for helping her stand out during auditions and, ultimately, land the role.
“There were two hundred blonde girls exactly like me auditioning for Lizzie,” the actress told Seventeen magazine in 2004. So, in an effort to get attention, she wore “all these crazy outfits to the auditions.” Disney executives took notice. The channel’s president of entertainment, Rich Ross, joked during an an interview with Time magazine that the network made Duff audition so many times because “she just wore such great outfits, and we wanted to see what she'd come in with next.”
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Underwhelmed by Hilary Duff’s performance in the Lizzie McGuire pilot, Disney Channel executives insisted the show hire an acting coach for her.
“I remember early on the Disney Channel [was] absolutely convinced that Hilary couldn’t act,” producer Susan Jansen explained in an interview with E! News. Instead of replacing her, however, they hired acting coach Troy Rowland to work with her. He ended up working with all of the kids on the show, running lines and beating out scenes.
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