The super cute sisters talk Los Angeles, the future, and pop star boyfriends

I'm pleased to report that Hilary and Haylie Duff are as cute in real life as they are on film. They were very friendly during the interview. I got the feeling that Haylie is always looking out for her little sister, really jumping in front of the 'tough' questions. The sisters do seem to have a genuine bond. Hilary, the younger sister at eighteen, is pretty much a pop icon with her generation. Haylie, who's twenty-one, is probably most recognized for her role as "Summer" in the indie-hit Napoleon Dynamite. Material Girls is geared towards the teenage girl set. But the girlie days might be over soon as the Duff sisters reach for an older audience. Read on for their future plans, and Hilary's comments on working with her dreamy boyfriend Joel Madden, lead singer of "Good Charlotte". Props in advance for the good people who gave the learn-on to this Duff ignorant web writer!

This film was completed over a year ago...

Hilary Duff: Just about a year ago

Why has it taken so long to be released?

Haylie Duff: I don't know. It always kind of takes a while.

Hilary Duff: I think they were editing it for a long time. We had a lot to do with putting the movie together, financing and everything. The movie was actually done by Maverick. They're not a studio...

Haylie Duff: They're like a production company.

Hilary Duff: Right, we were just trying to shop it to the right studio, to find who we thought was a good match to put the movie out. It ended up at MGM, but it takes a while to do these things.

How similar are your characters in the film to the both of you in real life?

Haylie Duff: Similar in some ways, in the movie the girls are each other's best friends.

Hilary Duff: And they live together, we live together.

Haylie Duff: And they have all the same friends. But we're really very different.

Hilary Duff: We look out for each other, like in the movie, but those girls are very materialistic. Haylie and I, we can't say that we don't like to shop every once in a while, but we're not like these girls. They don't have a care in the world. They don't have any responsibilities and everything has just been handed to them. They don't appreciate it, so when they lose it, it's like someone hit them over the head with a bat. They have no idea how to handle real-life situations, things that people deal with on a daily basis.

Haylie Duff: That's what's so entertaining. The things that are so basic, that we all do every day, these girls are truly handicapped when it comes to knowing how to do those things. That's what's entertaining, watching them figure out things on their own.

Your characters are described as L.A. socialites? How similar are they to the people you encounter on the scene?

Haylie Duff: They are definitely things we drew from our every day life and experiences. A lot of the club scenes, the engagement party where once someone falls off the top of their game, everyone is like "Oh God, I don't want anything to do with them". We've watched people pretend that no one is home and they're supposed to be best friends.

Hilary Duff: Really? Who...

(pause)

Haylie Duff: You know, Etienne in the movie...

Hilary Duff: Yeah, but who has done that in real life?

Haylie Duff: I'm not saying that someone has done that to us.

Hilary Duff: Oh, that's what you're making it seem like.

(lots of giggling)

Hilary Duff: You know, the first time we came out to L.A.; we stayed at The Oakwood Apartments. It's like a home for kids in the business. All the young stars stayed there. All the kids that were on TV and were big at the time. We were nobodies. These kids kind of like fell off the face of the planet, and then you'd hear about them. A lot of that stuff is in the movie. If you're not popular, then everyone is not wanting anything to do with you, or not answering the phone.

Haylie Duff: Right

What are the other situations you encounter in the L.A. scene?

Hilary Duff: We meet so many people. And a lot of people come up to us and act like they know us personally, and they don't.

Haylie Duff: Or they do and you've only met them once or twice. And you honestly don't remember them.

Hilary Duff: You can't say, "Sorry, I don't remember you". People take such offense at that. I'm being honest with them, so then you have to be like "Oh, it's you!" (pretends to know someone)

Haylie Duff: Yeah, those club scenes, where everyone is talking about each other. That's such a typical thing that happens.

Do you feel pressure to always look stylish like the girls in the film?

Haylie Duff: These girls are always dressed up, no matter what they're doing.

Hilary Duff: We're not like that.

Haylie Duff: We're nothing like that in our every day life. We wear sweatpants to the grocery store. I think they're definitely people who don't leave the house without make-up on. That's what's so fun about the movie. The wardrobe team really let us go in and pick the clothes that we felt were right for our characters. When they lose their money, all they have are Goodwill bags with last season's clothes. We had to put together outfits like that. That was a challenge but it was fun having to think of old trends to bring back.

I'm guessing you get a lot of scripts. Why choose to make this movie?

Haylie Duff: I think it was the girls. We read them and fell in love with them. They say mean things and do mean things that they don't necessarily mean.

Hilary Duff: They just don't know any better.

Haylie Duff: We liked the message, learning who you are, knowing what's important, sticking up for yourself, having your family, having each other. Things happen that bring you closer in the end. I think that's important.

A question about your target audience, the film is very clean cut. It's really geared toward the Disney audience. Did you both ever think to make it a bit more adult? Make it a transition film that will bring you both to an older audience?

Haylie Duff: We didn't feel like we had to deal with that. This isn't some edgy movie that's going to shock people. This isn't something that needed to be taken there. A good lesson to be learned by all of this is that a movie like Napoleon Dynamite, with nothing bad in it, can be a huge hit. There's no nudity or bad words. I think if you get back to good jokes and good timing, you don't need shock value things to make a movie successful.

Hilary Duff: We did do this a year ago. We didn't want to stray too far from a young audience. That is the big group of the audience. I don't think this movie talks down to kids, but it's appropriate for them, and maybe cool enough for older people to enjoy it as well. There is some humor that the younger ones don't get. Like Haylie said, we didn't feel like we had to push the audience. It was funny. We liked it the way that it was. Now we can move on and do things that are different. Or we feel that challenge us. And not care, because we have to do things that make us happy as well. They're people that turn eighteen and feel they have to prove to people that's not what they're like. There's always time for that. I'm only eighteen. Haylie's only twenty-one. There's always time for that, so what's the rush? When you are twenty-five or thirty, what are you going to look forward to?

Hilary, you boyfriend Joel Madden has a cameo in the film. What was it like having him in the film?

Haylie Duff: Madness! (laughs)

Hilary Duff: Ben and Joel, they're twins and did it together. It was a nigh shoot. They're so crazy and wild together. It was pretty funny. They wanted to keep doing it over and over again, making up their own lines, they were having so much fun. It was crazy.

Was he there a lot beyond filming that scene?

Hilary Duff: He wasn't there a lot, was he?

Haylie Duff: He came and visited during lunch, but not a lot.

Hilary Duff: I think they were making their record at the time, so he'd come by every once in a while. It was fun having him on set. They're both great.

You've been with him for a long time. You're still so young. What's the secret?

Hilary Duff: Everyone asks that and I don't know what to say. Things become normal when you know someone so well. We've been together for two years. We're very independent and don't spend every waking moment together. He goes off and tours for months at a time. I'll go off and visit or he'll come home. We try and make our schedules match. But spending so much time apart is really good. It gives us time to miss each other. We're independent and we trust each other, so it's not a lot of drama.

What are you doing next? Is there another collaboration in the future?

Haylie Duff: Right now I'm living in New York. I'm doing Hairspray [on Broadway] for the next couple of months. It's really fun. She's focusing on her music and has a new album coming out. She's got a single that comes out in a few days. I started the new season of "7th Heaven" for the CW last week.

Hilary Duff: She films during the day and does the show at night...

Haylie Duff: She likes to come to New York, so she comes and visits me here. We've never lived apart so it's kind of weird.

Hilary Duff: And I have a fragrance coming out in September with Arden. So I'll get to spend more time here with Haylie.

Material Girls is in theaters this Friday and is rated 'PG' for language and crude humor.

Julian Roman