The Real Reason Miley Cyrus Auditioned For Hannah Montana

As Miley Cyrus celebrates the 15th anniversary of Hannah Montana, fans are reliving the best moments to come from the Disney Channel show that rocked a generation. The series first aired in March of 2006 with a young, bright-eyed Cyrus revealing to her best friend Lily she was living a double life as Miley Stewart by day and pop sensation Hannah Montana by night. The show lasted four seasons and launched Cyrus' career into music stardom.

"There was a time in my life when you held more of my identity in your glove than i did in my bare hands," wrote Cyrus in a letter to her Disney alter-ego for the show's Hannah-versary. "You have all my love + upmost gratitude. Breathing life into you for those 6 years was an honor. I am indebted not only to you Hannah but to any + anyone who believed in me from the beginning." Cyrus signed the letter with "I love you Hannah Montana" and shared with fans photos from a celebratory Hannah Montana-themed night out.

As superfans of Hannah Montana relive their obsession with a teenage Cyrus, past interviews reveal it was the actor's obsession with another Disney star that inspired her into her childhood career in the first place.

Hilary Duff inspired Miley Cyrus to join Disney

In a throwback clip of Miley Cyrus on Much On Demand in 2007, a mystery fan calls in to ask the actor if she still enjoys her job and how she landed Hannah Montana. Little did the young Cyrus know, the mystery caller was none other than Hilary Duff.

Once realizing the former Lizzie McGuire star was on the other line, Cyrus thanked her for "making it cool to be a good girl and to want to be a good role model." Over a decade later, the two actors chatted again, this time on Cyrus' pandemic friendly Instagram talk-show Bright Minded: Live With Miley. In the episode, Cyrus did what any of us would do and totally fan-girled over Duff for her time at Disney. 

"The only reason I wanted [Hannah Montana] was so I could do whatever you did," revealed Cyrus to Duff (via Cosmopolitan). "And so really, I don't think I gave a s*** about being an actress or a singer. I just wanted to copy you no matter what. So I just wanted to say thank you again for just inspiring me."

Duff was, of course, touched by the notion that she was the reason Hannah Montana ever even existed. "Just to hear you say that, I feel like you have been such a bright light and you have made so many choices that have been so bold and you're an inspiration to me and to all of us — and you continue to be," said Duff.