Hilary Duff Does Drama, Screams For Three Days Grace On ‘Summer’ Set

Starlet on the road to more mature roles with 'Heart of Summer.'

LOS ANGELES — The club was crammed, Three Days Grace
were rocking the stage and a blonde on the shoulders of a dude in the
front row was flashing devil horns.

It was a typical rock concert except for one small detail. The blonde
was pop starlet Hilary Duff. And while the singer/actress has been
listening to heavier music lately, she was actually at this show to
work; her afternoon with Three Days Grace and several hundred extras
was being captured for a scene in her upcoming movie “Heart of Summer”
(see “Hilary Duff Can’t Stay Away From Big Screen A Moment Longer” ).

“Basically what happens [before the concert scene] is my dad and my
brother got in a big fight because my brother’s fighting for me to go
to this [performing arts] school because he knows that I’ll do a great
job there,” Duff explained. “And he gets grounded … and I had gotten
tickets for his graduation present to this concert … so we sneak out
and we drive there and we go to the concert and we have a great time.”

Sounds like another fluffy Duff movie, right? Not exactly. On the way
home from the concert, her brother, played by Jason Ritter (“Freddy vs.
Jason”), is killed by a drunk driver. Duff’s character learns later
that her brother had secretly signed her up to attend a summer session
at the arts school in Los Angeles.

“She really wants to go to because she has a really great voice, but
she has to kind of lie to her dad to get there and her aunt and her mom
are in on it,” Duff said. “But at the same time, she’s like, ’I don’t
know if I should go because it’s so soon after my brother dies.’

“She’s just going through a lot of stuff and she’s kinda the type of
person that bottles it all in,” she continued. “She has a very strict
dad and he kind of wants everything his way. And her whole entire life,
she’s just gone along with it. … Her brother’s always been the type
of person pushing to get out [of their small Arizona town]. And she’s
always just gone with the flow and now she wants out.”

David Keith, who has played villains in dozens of movies (most recently
“Daredevil”), plays Duff’s father, while Rita Wilson (“Runaway Bride”)
plays her mom and Rebecca De Mornay (“Identity”) plays her aunt. John
Corbett (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) and Oliver James (“What a Girl
Wants”) also co-star as a teacher at the school and Duff’s love
interest, respectively.

“This is my first step toward working on a more dramatic movie,” said
Duff, whose credits include “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Agent Cody Banks”
and “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.”

” ’A Cinderella Story,’ which is the movie that comes out before
[’Heart of Summer’], definitely has a little more edge to it,” Duff
explained. “[My character] deals a lot with her father dying and with
not being accepted at school, but the movies are totally, totally
different. It’s a little more serious, it’s a little more older.

“I’m not saying I totally wanna go there right now, though, you know,”
she added, smiling. That’s because, at the moment, she was having too
much fun going to a rock concert.

“It’s really funny, because I have been on tour lately and people just
want to touch your hand and they get so excited and I didn’t know what
that was like,” she said. “I didn’t know too much about Three Days
Grace before we had started the filming, but I really love their music
now. And it’s funny to be on the other side, like ’Ahh,’ screaming
crazy, you know, being obsessed with somebody. It was a little awkward
at first, but I got the hang of it.”