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Hilary Duff's a Scorpion Queen

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Apr. 29 2008, Published 8:01 a.m. ET

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Perhaps Hilary Duff can star in a Scorpion King sequel.

The actress stars in the new futuristic satire War, Inc. and came up close and personal with a real scorpion in a scene. While most people might opt for a prop, Hilary knew she just had to go for the real thing.

“Working with the scorpion was scary. It was real,” she tells OK! at the movie’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. “We did it about four times. They were like, ‘We have a fake one here but it looks terrible.’ And I was like, ‘I’ve done this for the movie, and this and this and this’ – I can’t back out now. I’ve got to go for it. All the guys on set were telling me that they would never do this.”

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Her audacity impressed even the film’s director, Josh Seftel, who was “terrified” of the scorpion himself.

“Hilary Duff was so brave with that scorpion,” he tells OK!. “She did it and she survived. It was very impressive.”

Also impressive? The 20-year-old’s decision to play the role of Yonica, an oversexed pop star, in the flick, which Josh believes is “a big part of our popular culture.”

“It was amazing,” he says. “It was so brave and bold and smart of her to do that. I loved that she embraced it.”

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Hilary Duff

However, Hilary, whom Josh describes as “one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” admits she had some trepidations when she first learned about the part.

“When I first read the script, I said, ‘Oh, I don’t want to play a pop star,’” she says. “My agent said, ‘No, this is really different.’ I have a sing off. I’m totally down. I signed up right away. When can I go?"

It was a challenge to play the role since Hilary's image has maintained relatively wholesome from her Lizzie McGuire days until now, forcing the star to "surrender my body body and be more sexy than I normally am onstage."

And with the current , how has Hilary managed to stay focused and private unlike so many of her contemporaries?

"I feel like I’ve worked so hard, and I want the attention to be on my work," she says. "I have plenty of time to be myself and do what I want outside of work, and I don’t really like to go to places that I know I’m going to get photographed and my whole personal life will be on display. My sister is my best friend, and my mom – I care what she thinks. I don’t want to get a phone call saying I’ve been naughty or something."

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