back to top

15 Surprising Facts About "Lizzie McGuire"

Lindsay Lohan auditioned for the role of Lizzie.

Posted on

1. Lindsay Lohan was in the running for the role of Lizzie McGuire.

Amanda Edwards / Evan Agostini / Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

“There was a great pool of talent that included Lindsay Lohan, Sara Paxton, and Hallee Hirsh,” producer Stan Rogow revealed to E! News in 2006, "all of whom were terrific and we were excited about presenting to the network [as options for Lizzie].”

2. While Hilary Duff eventually nabbed the series's title role, she admits to having bombed her first audition for the show.

Everett Collection

“I did a terrible job,” Duff confessed during an interview with E! News in 2006. “I hadn’t read my lines.” At the time, she had just been replaced on a network sitcom called Daddio and was contemplating quitting acting. She didn’t think booking Lizzie McGuire was a possibility and only went to the audition to hang out with her friends. Fortunately, the show’s creator, Terri Minsky, saw Duff's potential and gave her some direction and a second chance. “I was very honest about it and said [to Duff], 'You need to get more in the character,'” Minsky recounted to E! News. “Because I knew there was so much [talent] there.”

Advertisement

3. Hilary Duff credits her quirky personal style for helping her stand out during auditions and, ultimately, land the role.

Sebastian Artz / Getty Images & Everett Collection

"There were two hundred blonde girls exactly like me auditioning for Lizzie," the actor told Seventeen magazine in 2004. So, in an effort to get attention, she wore "all these crazy outfits to the auditions." Disney executives took notice. The channel’s president of entertainment, Rich Ross, joked during an an interview with Time magazine that the network made Duff audition so many times because “she just wore such great outfits, and we wanted to see what she'd come in with next."

4. Underwhelmed by Hilary Duff’s performance in the Lizzie McGuire pilot, Disney Channel executives insisted the show hire an acting coach for her.

John Shearer / WireImage

“I remember early on the Disney Channel [was] absolutely convinced that Hilary couldn’t act,” producer Susan Jansen explained in an interview with E! News. Instead of replacing her, however, they hired acting coach Troy Rowland to work with her. He ended up working with all of the kids on the show, running lines and beating out scenes.

5. Before settling on animated asides to reveal what's happening in Lizzie's mind, the show's producers considered voiceover and Pop Up Video-style text.

Everett Collection

"Originally it was just a voice-over where [Lizzie would] talk her inner thoughts," producer Stan Rogow explained in a 2002 interview with writer Luke Ford. "The network asked for a higher-concept. I said we could visualize the voice-over with pop-up videos where words come up, or we could do an animated character. They said let's do the animated character. Then when we went into the production, we amped up the approach."

6. Lizzie McGuire's distinct visual style was partially inspired by the German action thriller Run Lola Run.

Prokino Filmverleih / Disney Channel

According to Stan Rogow, he was drawn to children's television because "mainstream television was afraid of fast cuts, jump cuts, throwing an animated character in, having digital stills and doing adventurous storytelling." He said he "found an opportunity in children's television to do more adventurous material."

Case in point? Lizzie McGuire. "Part of the visual inspiration for Lizzie McGuire was the movie Run Lola Run, which had cartoons and jump cuts... Nobody could do that in primetime television though now they've started to copy Lizzie's style in primetime."

7. The show was originally supposed to focus on Lizzie's relationship with her mother, not her friendship with Gordo and Miranda.

Everett Collection

Writer Nina Bargiel told the blog Feminist Disney that "the show was originally going to be about the relationship between Lizzie and her mother," but creator Terri Minsky was too busy running another show to bring that version of Lizzie to life. Determined to go forward with the show without Minsky, Disney hired writer-producer Susan Jansen to oversee the show. Jansen then shifted the show's focus to the main trio of Lizzie, Miranda, and Gordo.

Advertisement

8. The now-iconic episode "Between a Rock and a Bra Place," where Lizzie and Miranda shop for their first bras, almost didn't happen.

Disney Channel

According to producer Stan Rogow, Disney Channel executives initially balked when the show’s writers proposed doing an episode about Lizzie buying her first bra. “They [the Disney Channel executives] said, ‘Oh my god, you can’t do that!’” Rogow recalled to E! News in 2006. “It was little bit groundbreaking at the time.”

9. Ethan Craft wasn't originally intended to be Lizzie's crush.

Disney Channel / BuzzFeed

"There was another dreamy boy that [Lizzie] was supposed to be interested in," according to writer Nina Bargiel, "but I think he wasn't available so we needed someone new and Ethan was already there, so we just built him up."

10. In fact, Ethan Craft was supposed to be a more stereotypical bully-jock.

Disney Channel

In 2015, actor Clayton Synder explained his character's evolution to MTV News: "[Ethan] 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 for 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. ... My character subtly or not shifted to become the heartthrob and was more lovable. Never once after that did he push people around."

11. Hilary Duff did all of her own stunts.

Disney Channel

According to producer Stan Rogow, Hilary Duff’s natural athleticism was the inspiration for all of the show’s physical comedy. While the show offered stunt performers, Duff was happy to fall and hand-spring around the set all on her own.

13. After the success of The Lizzie McGuire Movie, there was talk of a sequel and a second series about Lizzie's life, but Disney and Hilary Duff couldn't come to an agreement about money.

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images / BuzzFeed

Hilary Duff wanted lots and lots and lots of money to extend the life of the franchise. Disney only wanted to give her lots of money. They couldn't settle on a mutually agreeable amount. The end. If you care about exact numbers, here's a (very old but) good explainer from Entertainment Weekly.

15. After the Lizzie-centric spin-off fell apart, Disney tried to move forward with a show about Miranda's family called Stevie Sanchez.

Vince Bucci / Getty Images

In 2004, Disney reteamed with Lizzie McGuire creators Terri Minsky and Stan Rogow to produce a pilot about Miranda's younger sister, Stevie. Played by Selena Gomez, Stevie would've been a middle-schooler with an animated alter ego, just like Lizzie. Despite the obvious desire to keep the Lizzie franchise going, however, Disney passed on Stevie Sanchez and the show never went to series.

Promoted

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss