Before our Vicki Salemi went behind the scenes on MTV's TRL with the cast of MTV's "Legally Blonde" reality series, Haylie Duff, the host and star of MTV's latest reality program, gave me a call.
Haylie Duff: What's up, Joel?
SheKnows: Not a 'lotta.
Haylie Duff: (laughs) Seriously, what's up with you?
SheKnows: Well, I'm talking to Haylie Duff and I'm feeling pretty good about that.
Haylie Duff: (laughs) That's better.
SheKnows: So, tell me, what about the musical "Legally Blonde" was so appealing to you that you had to be a part of this?
Haylie Duff: My time on Broadway (in "Hairspray") was something that was really fresh to me and something that changed not only as an artist but as a person, too. I think to watch these girls, who are so deserving and so talented of this experience and opportunity, to watch them go through that is so fascinating to me. I relate to the "Legally Blonde" show. It's so empowering for women.
SheKnows: It really is, stick to your guns and keep at it.
Haylie Duff: Oh, totally. It takes a big talent to carry that show.
SheKnows: As you know from appearing on Broadway, what it is about the rigors of that eight-day-a-week performance schedule that has contributed to your acting talents?
Haylie Duff: I think it builds a strong worth ethic. It also teaches you to listen and be present in what you're doing. Keeping it fresh eight times a week is a lot. You learn how to really expand moments.
Growing up Duff
SheKnows: For you, personally, growing up there are a number of avenues you could have gone down professionally, as you are part of a new generation that refuses to simply be a one faceted performer. What was your upbringing like that produced two well-rounded performers such as yourself and Hillary?
Haylie Duff: Well, thank you that's really nice. I know it comes from my mom. She was so encouraging about anything we wanted to do. There was never a wrong dream. There was never a moment where she said you can't do this. She always said if you want to sing, sing. If you want to dance, dance. If you want to act, do it. Whatever you feel passion about and are inspired to do, go for it. She was always supportive no matter what.
SK: What kind of advice would you give some of these actresses that are coming your way on the "Legally Blonde" show that are multi-talented?
Haylie Duff: Just work hard and let that be your driving force. That's what pushing you on. Don't make it about competing with each other. Push yourself to be the best that you can. Don't worry about what other people's auditions are like and you can only do what you can do.
SK: I spoke with Joan Cusack last week, and she brought up working with her brother John Cusack. I wanted to ask you, is there a different feel when you are working with your sister, Hillary?
Haylie Duff: I loved working with my sister. I feel like there, it's funny, because Joan is in "War, Inc." with my sister. I remember Hillary calling me from Bulgaria saying it was so cool to be on the set with Joan and John Cusack because they're brother and sister. They're funnier with each other. There's more emotion with one another. The stakes are always higher when it's the two of them on set. There's nothing better than that. That's why we love watching the Wilson brothers.
SK: She said whenever you're performing to be relaxed is the key to finding character. Who better to be relaxed with than your sister, right?
Haylie: Yes, of course. Hold on one second, Joel, do you mind?
SK: Sure, thing.
Haylie: Hair and make-up? Hold on one second, I'm just finishing up an interview.
SK: It's OK, you can't keep hair and make up waiting.
Haylie: I'm on set in Vancouver right now.
Live from Vancouver, it's Haylie Duff
SK: What are you working on?
Haylie: I'm working a movie called "Deep Cove," a revenge thriller. It's fun. I'm running around in the dirt killing people, all in a day's work. (laughs)
SK: That's wild. To be able to do so many different things within the entertainment business has got to keep it fresh for you, if nothing else.
Haylie: Honestly, I feel so lucky that I am exploring all these different things. I haven't been boxed into a certain role or character. I do, I feel so fortunate to do things like "Legally Blonde" that are fun for me to do. To produce something that I saw so clearly had to be seen, to see it turn out so great is really special. Then, to go and do something where I run around screaming, it's nice to have this too.
SK: By the way, Joan told me to tell you, she loves Hillary.
Haylie Duff: Ah, that's awesome. My sister adored her, too. I heard so much about her. We love Joan.
Behind the scenes at TRL with Haylie Duff
SheKnows interview with Joan Cusack
MTV paints NYC Blonde