PARK CITY, Utah — The little girl on the sidewalk is sure she's looking at someone famous. "Isn't that Britney?" she asks, speaking to no one in particular. "Oh wait, that's Hilary Duff, right?"
Well, little lady, you're getting warmer.
The young woman standing nearby her is Haylie Duff. And with the blonde locks, trendy overcoat and ever-present smile, it's easy to see why the little girl would mistake her for her famous younger sibling.
The elder Duff was in town for the Sundance Film Festival, promoting a comedy called "Napoleon Dynamite." Haylie's had small parts in movies before, but the much-buzzed-about flick, an album of her own and a forthcoming horror movie co-starring former B2K frontman Omarion should all make her more recognizable in her own right. And despite all of the obvious similarities between the Duffs, there are a few differences.
Haylie's film career has included bit parts in TV movies, a straight-to-video "Addams Family" sequel and the Giovanni Ribisi-led indie "I Love Your Work." "Napoleon Dynamite" is geared toward the teen set, but Duff's character is more than a standard teenybopper part.
"She is just a really nasty, mean girl," Haylie explained, talking animatedly with her hands and shivering from the Park City cold. "She's part of the Happy Hands Club, a sign-language club where we learn, like, Backstreet Boys songs. I end up running [for class president] against this unpopular kid who doesn't stand a chance at winning."
And the movie she's making with Omarion is about as far from "Lizzie McGuire" as you can get. "There's a lot of funny parts, but it's actually a horror film," she said of "Crazy House," which starts production in March (see "Omarion In Talks For Role In 'Fat Albert' Movie").
"We get trapped in this crazy house, but you find out at the end it's a really funny joke," she said. "But it's really scary. I get to choreograph a knife fight. This lady tries to kill me with a knife."
And though she's co-written with her sister in the past, and she said she will again in about a month, Haylie's music is also markedly different from Hilary's. "When I'm writing for myself I don't censor myself as much, just because I'm a little bit older," said Haylie, who turns 19 next month, "so I can say some things she can't and be a little edgier."
"As far as my musical style, it's a lot of everything," she revealed, adding that she's planning a "sister tour" with Hilary for the summer. "There's some acoustic stuff, but then there's some old-school Courtney Love-sounding stuff. I don't want my album to be just one style."
"Napoleon Dynamite," recently acquired by FOX Searchlight Pictures, is scheduled for release later this year. There is currently no release date or title for Haylie's album.
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