"I don't know what it's like to be a totally normal girl who doesn't give a f*** about anything," said the 27-year-old during a chat with the LGBT publication about her latest album, Breathe In. Breathe Out.
It's been eight years since Duff's last release, Dignity -- a break that was critical to her well-being, she says. Transitioning beyond Lizzie McGuire, Duff reveals, was "hard."
"Instead of me trying to calculate how to do it and how to be successful at it – a lot of people chose different ways than I did, like Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen twins and even Miley Cyrus -- I just chose to bow out for a minute."
After a period of introspection, Duff decided to step away from the spotlight to determine her next move, though she admits it was "scary, because there was no guarantee that my career was still gonna be there."
"I really needed it personally," she reveals. "I grew up in the spotlight and on tour and with everyone just knowing me and knowing me a certain way. At some point I was like, 'I don't even know if I'm that person anymore, and I don't even have the time to figure that out.' .. I was like, 'I'm done. I don't enjoy this anymore. I'm not who I wanna be.'"
Though the actress retired her idolized teen-icon persona in 2004, there was no escaping Lizzie McGuire -- even years after the show ended. Lizzie-obsessed millennials still weren't ready to grow out of Lizzie, but Duff was. That, she says candidly, led to some "super annoying" years.
"As torturous as it has been at some points in my life to be Lizzie McGuire, I think that when that show came out, it was such a part of who I was, I didn't feel like I was playing a part,” she said. “The writers all knew me so well and were writing things that were happening in my life and things that I would say, and I was dressing exactly like I wanted. It was so me."
The revelations don't stop there! Here are some other tidbits from PrideSource's Hilary Duff tell-all:
On Miley Cyrus:
"I look at someone like Miley, and as crazy as people might think the whole thing is, I commend her. She's so wholeheartedly being herself and is unapologetic about that and she's doing a great job. As much as people wanna hate on her for wearing this or doing that or whatever it is people hate on her for, I think she gets the last laugh. At the end of the day, her talent backs it all up. I don't always relate to everything that she's doing, but I love that she's unapologetically herself."
On her advice to other child stars:
"It's a really hard road, to be honest. To make a transition from that is... I feel like even more so now than it was, your youth is totally taken away. You see these girls dressing like they're 20 when they're 14. With Instagram and all this -- it's a youth-sucker. Being 14 in 2015 is intense. I don't know what I would've been like if I had all those outlets to pay attention to and all that babble shit. It's kind of scary. It scares me raising my kid."
On what she'd tell her 3-year-old son, Luca, if he came out to her:
"Oh my gosh. I would be so accepting. … Ah, it could almost make me cry. I feel like... that must be such a lonely place if you don't feel accepted by your family. I can't imagine. So, 100 percent, I feel like I would notice all the signs and be the first one to bring it up if I had to, and I would want him to wholeheartedly be himself and know that that was accepted by me."