‘How I Met Your Father’: Why Hilary Duff Refused to Join the ‘HIMYM’ Sequel — And What Changed Her Mind

Hilary Duff has had a blast creating How I Met Your Father, but she almost didn’t join the project. Hulu’s How I Met Your Mother sequel dropped its first two episodes on Jan. 17, bringing fans a new adventure in friendship and romance. In a recent interview about the series, Duff explained what convinced her to sign on as the star after initially doubting the concept.

Hilary Duff as Sophie and Francia Raisa as Valentina on How I Met Your Father
Hilary Duff as Sophie and Francia Raisa as Valentina on ‘How I Met Your Father’ | Patrick Wymore/Hulu

Hilary Duff signed on to produce and star in ‘How I Met Your Father’

Hulu ordered How I Met Your Father straight to series back in April 2021. Duff signed on to produce and star as Sophie, a young woman navigating the modern New York City dating scene in her quest to find her soulmate. Along the way, Sophie meets new friends and makes unforgettable memories. Later in life, she shares those memories with her son and tells him the story of how she met his father.

In a statement at the time, Duff said she felt “honored” but “nervous” to take on the role.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career to play some wonderful characters, and I’m looking forward to taking on the role of Sophie,” she said, per Variety. “As a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother, I’m honored and even a little nervous that [HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas] would trust me with the sequel of their baby. … I realize these are big shoes to fill, and I’m excited to slip my 6 ½’s in there!”

Why Hilary Duff almost turned down ‘How I Met Your Father’

As thrilled as Duff felt to join How I Met Your Father, she did have her doubts at first. The former Disney star revealed on Good Morning America that she initially said no to the Hulu series because she thought it was a How I Met Your Mother reboot.

“[How I Met Your Mother is] just such a loved show that I think it was just some intimidation at first,” Duff said. “When I first got the call, I’m like, ‘Oh, guys, come on; I can’t. You can’t touch that. It was so perfect.’ The cast was so dialed in, and it was such a beloved show.”

How I Met Your Mother aired on CBS from 2005 to 2014. The hit comedy followed Ted (Josh Radnor) as an older version of himself (voiced by Bob Saget) told his kids how he met their mother. Much like Sophie, Ted had a desire to find true love and experienced plenty of heartbreak and excitement with his friends along the way.

How I Met Your Mother has long been praised for its creativity and attention to detail. Additionally, viewers loved the stellar cast, which also included Alyson Hannigan as Lily, Jason Segel as Marshall, Cobie Smulders as Robin, and Neil Patrick Harris as Barney.

The idea of a sequel changed Duff’s mind

Thankfully, How I Met Your Father never aimed to recreate the original. Instead, it’s a sequel, which Duff felt more comfortable with.

“There’s some little Easter eggs dropped in there for the hardcore fans. But really, it’s a new show with new characters that are going on their own adventure,” she continued.

The sequel also offers a modern refresh to some of the original show’s concepts.

“It’s tackling … what it’s like to figure out your life at 30. [To] navigate the world of dating where everything is online, and you’re a ‘swipeable’ person,” Duff added. “In the first episode, she meets her core group of friends. And you’re off on an adventure with them.”

How I Met Your Father is now streaming on Hulu. New episodes drop every Tuesday.

RELATED: ‘How I Met Your Father’: Will Series Have ‘HIMYM’ Guest Appearances?