Hilary Duff talks 'Younger,' hosting parties and why music 'is on the back burner'

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Hilary Duff is in the midst of a sort of career renaissance. Fresh off the release of her 2015 critically-acclaimed fifth studio album Breathe In. Breathe Out. -- her first album in seven years -- Duff is currently filming the third season of her hit TV Land show, "Younger," which has already gotten picked up for a fourth season. Oh yeah, and she's also a dedicated mother to her 4-year-old son, Luca.

On "Younger," which was created by "Sex and the City" creator, Darren Star, Duff plays 20-something Kelsey Peters, a character just as lovable and funny as her other defining role, Lizzie McGuire. It had been 11 years since "Lizzie McGuire" ended when "Younger" premiered in 2015, and it's not lost on Duff that she's been lucky enough to have starred in two incredibly beloved, generation-defining shows.

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In addition to acting and singing, Duff also loves to host parties, which is why she's partnering with Stella Artois to "Host One to Remember" and co-curating an event in New York City that will honor the brand's legacy of timeless hosting. She describes her hosting style as casual, preferring to add nice touches rather than being full-on extravagant.

We caught up exclusively with Hilary Duff over the phone just as she began filming season three of "Younger" and talked to her about what we can expect from the series' third season, why music isn't her top priority right now (and may never will be), her partnership wit Stella Artois and how having a son has affected her lifestyle.

See photos of Hilary Duff through the years:

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Hilary Duff through the years
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Hilary Duff through the years
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31: Hilary Duff attends the after party for the premiere of TV Land's 'Younger' at Chef's Club on March 31, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Hilary Duff, the star of the ABC/Disney Channel show 'Lizzie McGuire', was a presenter at the 29th International Emmy Awards in New York City on November 19, 2001. photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 26: Actress Hilary Duff (L) hugs singer Aaron Carter as they attend the premiere of The Lizzie McGuire Movie on April 26, 2003 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Getty Images)
397855 15: Actress Hilary Duff arrives at the 'Divine Design' fundraiser presented by Project Angel Food November 29, 2001 in Santa Monica, CA. (Photo by Sebastian Artz/Getty Images)
401763 17: Actress Hilary Duff attends the Youth, Improving Non-Profit for Children Awards March 4, 2002 in Los Angeles, CA. Former NBA basketball player Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, actor Jim Belushi and former boxer Sugar Ray Leonard were honored at the event. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 1: Actress Hilary Duff guest hosts on MTV's TRL at the MTV Studios May 1, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 31: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actress Hilary Duff backstage at The 2003 MTV Movie Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on May 31, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Hilary Duff (L) and Hailey Duff arrive at the opening of the Stella McCartney store September 28, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California. The store is a high end fashion store that caters to the Hollywood elite. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 14: Actress Hilary Duff attends the premiere of the Universal Pictures movie 'Bruce Almighty' at the Universal Amphitheater May 14, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. The film opens in theaters nationwide May 23, 2003. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - APRIL 3: Actress Hilary Duff accepts an award for 'Best Female Singer' during Nickelodeon's 17th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA, April 3, 2004 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: (NY DAILIES OUT) Singer Hilary Duff performs onstage at the Z100 Jingle Ball 2003 at Madison Square Garden December 11, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 10: Actress Hilary Duff arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. 'A Cinderella Story' on July 10, 2004 at the Chinese Theatre, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 15: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actress/musician Hilary Duff and actor Chad Michael Murray appear on stage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios July 15, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 16: Singer Hilary Duff makes an appearance on Good Morning America Summer Concert Series July 16, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
MIAMI - AUGUST 29: Singer/actress Hilary Duff poses in the press room at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards on August 29, 2004 at the American Airlines Arena, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV ? SEPTEMBER 15: Musician Hilary Duff is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 5: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actress and musician Hilary Duff appears on stage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios October 5, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 17: Sisters Haylie Duff (L) and Hilary Duff (R) make an appearance at Milk Studios to debut their advertising campaign for Ice Breakers Liquid Ice February 17, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 17: Actress/singer Hilary Duff performs onstage during the Toyota Concert Series on the 'Today' Show June 17, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 14: Host Hilary Duff onstage at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk on August 14, 2005 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 18: (U.S. TABS OUT) Singer Hilary Duff makes a guest host appearance on MTV's Total Request Live at MTV Studios August 18, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Hilary Duff arrives to her 18th Birthday Party at Club Mood on September 28, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Hilary Duff performs onstage during the 2005 American Music Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on November 22, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Actress Hilary Duff poses in the front row at the Michael Kors Spring 2007 fashion show during Olympus Fashion Week at the Tent in Bryant Park September 13, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images For IMG)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 28: Singer/actress Hilary Duff attends the 17th Annual Mercedes-Benz Carousel of Hope cocktail party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 28, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Los Angeles, UNITED STATES: Singer Hilary Duff arrives at the 49th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles 11 February 2007. AFP PHOTO/Hector MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 26: Actress Hilary Duff attends the 18th annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Marriott Marquis Hotel March 26, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 29: Singer/actress Hilary Duff performs onstage during the NBC 'Today Show' concert series at Rockefeller Center on June 29, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 18: Singer/actress Hilary Duff performs at The Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort on August 18, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY - OCTOBER 18: Singer Hilary Duff performs onstage during the Los Premios MTV Latin America 2007 at the Palacio De Los Deportes October 18, 2007 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Actress Hilary Duff poses at the 'War, Inc.' after party hosted by Cadillac at Tenjune on April 28, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 05: Actress/singer Hilary Duff (L) and NHL player Mike Comrie arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Singer/actress Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie of the New York Islanders attend the game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Chicago defeated the Yankees 6-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 13: Hilary Duff walks the runway wearing Donna Karan at the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fall 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Tent in Bryant Park on February 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images for IMG)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 06: Actress Hilary Duff arrives at the Herve Leger by Max Azria Collection Launch party held at Live! on Sunset on May 6, 2009 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04: Actress Hilary Duff attends the 10th Anniversary Lucky Shops VIP Night at Metropolitan Pavilion on November 4, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 11: Actress Hilary Duff attends An Evening of 'Southern Style' presented by the St. Bernard Project & the Spears family at a private residence on May 11, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Actress Hilary Duff and NHL player Mike Comrie attend the 7th Annual March of Dimes Celebration of Babies, a Hollywood Luncheon, at the Beverly Hills Hotel on December 7, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For March Of Dimes)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 25: Actress Hilary Duff arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's celebration of 'The Mindy Project' starring Mindy Kaling at Skybar on August 25, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Hilary Duff attends T.J. Martell Foundation's 15th Annual Family Day Honoring Tom Corson, President & COO of RCA Records and his Family at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for T.J Martell Foundation)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 05: Actress Hilary Duff attends the premiere of Disney's 'Planes' at the El Capitan Theatre on August 5, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Hilary Duff attends the 2015 InStyle And Warner Bros. 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
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Check out our full conversation with Hilary Duff below:

So, I think congratulations are in order: "Younger" was just renewed for a fourth season! That's pretty unusual considering you're still filming season three. How does it feel?

It feels so exciting! We got the call yesterday on set, and the producer came up to us and was like, "Uh, Darren [Star, the creator of "Younger"] wants to talk to you on the phone." And I was thinking, "Oh no! What have I done wrong?!" But he told us we had just gotten picked up for season four. We hadn't even finished the first episode of season three, so we must be doing something right!

Season two obviously ended on a pretty intense note for your character, Kelsey, following her boyfriend, Thad's, crazy death. How can we expect that to affect her going into the third season?

As much as I loved Dan Amboyer, who plays [twins] Thad and Chad, I think it's a good thing for her. Obviously the audience is watching and asking, "What is she doing with this tool?!" But she's making choices that you make in your 20s and into your 30s, or even older than that, by being with people that aren't really right for you. It's definitely a relatable storyline, and this season is going to be her turn to have fun and hopefully find a better match. I've heard a little bit of the direction of where the show's going, and I don't think she finds her "true love" match, but she has a lot of experiences that will help her along.

Kelsey's relationship with Liza is also a little bit strained right now. What can we expect in the third season when it comes to their friendship?

We did kind of make up in the last episode, but Kelsey sometimes surprises me even, with her reactions. Like when her friend is saying, "I caught him cheating on you," and she's like, "Mind your own business!" Reactions like that are surprising, so I'm sure they're going to have a little bit of conflict this season. This season is not tamer [than the first two], but it's also not as wild. Each character is going to have their own storyline, so hopefully we delve deeper into everyone and there's not as much pressure on the lie [that Liza is lying about her age].

I did hear some rumors that I can't share, but I think a few more people find out [about Liza's lie] at the end of the season, but not everyone!

Oh my gosh! It's about time.

I know! I'm like, "Wait, isn't our show over? Shouldn't everybody know?" But then I remember we got picked up for season four.

With "Younger," you've kind of solidified yourself as part of an incredibly beloved, iconic show for the second time in your career way after "Lizza McGuire." Did you ever think you'd be part of two shows that people would respond so well to?

First of all, thank you so much for saying that. That's really sweet. I still get surprised when I hear people that are like, "I love the show!" It's so exciting to have that again. Obviously, I feel lucky that Darren wanted to cast me in the show and writes really great stuff for all of us. But, no, I didn't ever think that, and I waited such a long time to land on another show. But you never really know what's going to happen. I feel lucky and we work really hard, so I think that people relate to the show and respond to it. We just need to keep going.

Your last album, Breath In. Breathe Out. was received incredibly well by your fans -- probably because it harkened back to your Dignity sound a bit. What can we expect from you in the future as far as your music is concerned?

Making the record was so much fun for me, and I hadn't made music in seven years. It was a totally different experience than I had had before. The music industry had changed so much, and I had had a child. I'm a completely different person [than I was back then]. It was cool, and I'm really proud of it, but it's not really a record that I would tour with. Also, I didn't have time to really give it the push that it needed with press and going around and promoting it. We started shooting ["Younger"] and life just kind of happened. Obviously, my son is my main priority.

Music is such a part of my life and my makeup, though, that I don't think I'll ever stop doing it. I just don't think it'll ever be on the scale that it used to be. I was in the studio a week ago just messing around, though, and I'm working with a new manager, so it's definitely still going on. It's just a little bit on the back burner.

You're launching your "Host One to Remember" campaign with Stella Artois. Can you talk to me a little bit about that and how it came to be?

I'm so excited to be back in the City! I'm here filming the third season of "Younger" -- usually we're here filming in the winter, so I'm really just enjoying the summer weather. This partnership with Stella Artois is perfect, because the summer season makes me think of drinking beer! [Laughs] I love Stella Artois, so it's really fun. I love hosting parties, and the whole idea is to "host one to remember," so I wanted to inspire people to "host one to remember" for themselves.

As a co-curator for the event tonight, what did you have to do exactly? And what can attendees expect when they step into the party?

There will definitely be a few surprises, and I'm working closely with Stella Artois to give them inspiration through telling them how I like to throw parties, which is definitely casual. I don't think you have to be super extravagant to host a memorable party, but nice touches always help. I bought these vintage bathtubs a little while ago, and I like to fill them with ice and [beverages] and, of course, Stella Artois, so people can help themselves and roam freely throughout the house.

I also usually cook some sort of dinner and write it on a chalkboard, too. My favorite thing right now is to get little potted plants and put out some chalk, so you can write your name on it and use it as a place setting or as a party favor. It lets you go home with something that will continue to live on after the party.

Parts of those elements will definitely be included in the party, but Stella Artois also has a really rich legacy, so we're going to be honoring one of their first brew masters, Sebastian Artois. There's going to be a whole experience where you walk room to room, blending past with future. It's going to be really fun!

Part of the campaign is about "timeless hosting" and celebrating the past, present and future, which to me signifies that there are certain rules that should always be followed when hosting a party, regardless of when or where. What are some rules you always try to follow when throwing a party?

Oh gosh, that's intimidating! I tend to have a more casual style, but I think that lighting is important, as is having a good playlist. I live in California, so it's also easier to have all of my doors open and have fresh flowers, too. I think it depends on the party, but I'm not usually the type to have a party catered -- I think the last party I had catered was my sister's baby shower. I tend to do smaller gatherings, and I love to cook for my guests. Hopefully that's memorable enough and, if it's not, they don't get to come back! [Laughs]

That definitely sounds memorable enough to me, Hilary! How has having your son Luca around affected your hosting style? Does having a little kid make your hosting style even more casual?

Yeah it does. It's funny, because I have this whole other group of friends who are girls I've met through [Luca's] school. I obviously also have my own group of friends that's separate from that, so the hosting style is very different depending on whether or not the kids are there. The kids are all swimming now, too, which is awesome because we can have little pool parties now!

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