9 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Lizzie McGuire’
Lizzie McGuire was an American live-action teen sitcom that aired on the Disney Channel for two seasons and featured the story of a shy, clumsy 13-year-old and her friends as they try to fit in at school and deal with normal teenage life issues. This show was the launching pad for Hilary Duff’s success and gave her the platform she needed to become the huge star she is today. Not only that, but it was also the highest-rated show on the Disney Channel and even spawned the spin-off film The Lizzie McGuire Movie! Despite its success, the show only aired 65 episodes and has now been off the air for 13 years! Here’s a look back at 9 things you probably didn’t know about Lizzie McGuire!
9. Casting the Role of Lizzie McGuire
In the beginning stages of Lizzie McGuire, Hilary Duff was up against some tough competition for the lead role. They had about 400 to 500 people audition for the part and many big name actress like Lindsay Lohan, Sara Paxton, and Hallee Hirsh were all being considered. At first, Duff was hesitant because she’d just been fired off the show Daddio, but after some pleading from Disney and her manager, she showed up for the first audition and because she was convinced she wouldn’t get the part she did a terrible job! Fortunately, the shows creator Terri Minsky saw a lot of potential in her and gave her a second chance. It was her quirky, cute and charming personality that landed her the role.
8. Hilary Duff Did Her Own Stunts
Hilary Duff had a lot of natural athleticism which was portrayed in the show. “She was very athletic and that began to give us the idea that we could integrate physical comedy into the show,” said producer Stan Rogow. “Lizzie would take a locker door in the face almost every episode, or trip and fall every episode, and she always did her own stunts without pads or without anything and it became part of the signature of what Lizzie McGuire was.” The production team offered to bring a stunt woman in for a lot of it, but Duff refused and wanted to do it all herself.
7. Lizzie McGuire Soundtrack
Even though Disney had Hilary Duff performed the Lizzie McGuire soundtrack “I Can’t Wait,” it’s actually a cover of another song. The original single was recorded by Australian singer Brooke McClymont.
6. Ethan Craft Was Supposed to be a Bully-Jock
In an interview with MTV, Clayton Snyder, who played the role of Ethan Craft in Lizzie McGuire, revealed his character was supposed to be a bully-jock. “He was a bully for the first couple episodes, still an airhead, but the first episode they shot was ‘Picture Day,’ and I spent most of my time trying to convince Gordo to make a straight, thug face for his picture day. And then from there they kind of dropped the other love interest that was in the show, I don’t know if it’s a shooting conflict or what. It’s not that hard to write people on and off a show. My character subtly or not shifted to become the heartthrob and was more lovable. Never once after that did he push people around,” he said.
5. Almost a Spin-Off Series
There’s no denying Lizzie McGuire was a huge commercial success for Disney, especially after The Lizzie McGuire Movie became a huge box office hit. It was the highest rated show on the Disney Channel. After the show wrapped up and the buzz from the film died off, there was talk of a sequel and a second series, but it never came to light because Disney and Hilary Duff couldn’t come to a financial agreement. The second series would have followed Lizzie and her best friends, Miranda and Gordo, into their high school years, but when it became clear that wouldn’t work, they tried to work on a spin-off show about Miranda’s family called Stevie Sanchez, which would have starred Selena Gomez as Miranda’s younger sister.
4. What the Show was Originally Supposed to be About
According to Lizzie McGuire writer, Nina Bargiel, “the show was originally going to be about the relationship between Lizzie and her mother.” This version of the show never came to life because show creator Terri Minsky was too busy with other projects. Since the production team was still determined to go forward with the show, Disney hired writer-producer Susan Jansen. Even though she saved the show, she took it in a whole new direction that focused on Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo’s friendship.
3. Concept Behind Animated Character
One of the most unique things about Disney’s Lizzie McGuire was her animated character that would pop up on the screen as her alter ego. The original idea was to just have a voice-over where viewers could hear Lizzie’s inner thoughts, but then the network asked for a “higher-concept” to which producer Stan Rogow replied, “I said we could visualize the voice-over with pop-up videos where words come up, or we could do an animated character.” The network later decided on having an animated character. They designed her animated character off the German action thriller Run Lola Run.
2. Show’s Original Title
According to IMDB, Lizzie McGuire was originally supposed to be called “What Was Lizzie Thinking?” In fact, it can even be seen in some of the early episodes’ blooper reels.
1. Hilary was Given an Acting Coach
In an interview with E! News, producer Susan Jansen revealed that Hilary Duff was required to work with an acting coach. When the pilot of Lizzie McGuire was released, it fell flat and Disney execs were convinced Duff couldn’t act. Instead of going through the trouble of replacing her, they hired acting coach, Troy Rowland, to work with her and the other young actors on set, running lines and beating out scenes.