Hilary Duff Prepares to Face the Music

08/06/2003 at 03:51 PM EDT

Although 15-year-old Hilary Duff may be typecast as Disney's teen heroine Lizzie McGuire, she's still optimistic that she can branch out in her budding career.

"It doesn't really bother me that people call me that," she tells the Associated Press, after some fans shouted "It's Lizzie McGuire!" when she made a toy-store appearance in New York. "But my music is kind of what helps, I think, for people to get to know me better."

Duff, who ended her relationship with Disney in May, recently landed on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine along with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Amanda Bynes and others, as one of the 20 "hot teens" in Hollywood.

As for her upcoming work schedule, Duff will appear in two upcoming films (including "Cheaper by the Dozen," with Steve Martin and Ashton Kutcher), star in two WB music specials in the fall, and her music videos should be hitting MTV shortly, AP reports.

Due for release Aug. 26, her "Metamorphosis" is co-produced by the same team that created hits for Avril Lavigne.

"I think she's definitely one of the hot people to watch right now, and I don't see that waning," Amy Doyle, MTV's vice president of music programming, tells the news service.

In addition, Hasbro selected the Houston-born Duff (who moved to Hollywood at age 9) to help launch their "VIDEONOW" disc player, which plays 20-minute video clips on a portable, monochrome screen. It was her appearance to promote the device that attracted a giant crowd of kids to Toys R Us's enormous Times Square store.

"It's very weird because it's like, I'm such a normal 15-year-old girl when I'm not working," Duff said. "At home, I have to do chores, I hang out with my friends. I have to pinch myself sometimes, it just seems so unreal. But it's cool."

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