Haylie Duff discusses her support for the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition’s recent campaign and her directorial debut.
By Elle Bent, Photos courtesy of Haylie Duff
Actress Haylie Duff has a lot on her plate. Juggling her family, acting and most recently, her directorial debut and support for myopia awareness. Duff recently returned to Texas, where she grew up, and is living in Austin with her husband and two young girls.
This summer, Duff showed her support for the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition’s (GMAC) Screen Staycation. The Screen Staycation is a challenge for kids across the nation to take a 24-hour technology timeout and get outdoors. The campaign is raising awareness about myopia, an eye condition in which faraway objects appear blurry.
By promoting more time outdoors for children, especially in the summer, and taking a break from electronics, the risk of myopia can be reduced. According to GMAC, studies have shown that exposure to sunlight can help reduce the risk of the disease.
The campaign also encourages parents to bring their child into the eye doctor regularly for comprehensive eye exams. Early intervention can slow the progression of myopia in children. And there are treatment options, including options outside of glasses and contacts.
“I know from my own experience with myopia that it’s irreversible, and early intervention is critical. So I want to do everything I can now to set my daughters up for success,” Duff says. “If your child has myopia, chat with their eye doctor about new treatment options that can help slow the progression of the disease.”
Staycation with the Duff Family
As part of her support for the Screen Staycation, Duff spent time off screen with her kids in different ways, including spending time in the kitchen and exploring her new home here in Austin.
“My kids love anytime where we just focus on each other,” she says. “We put the screens down, we focused on each other and we took the challenge.”
Duff says she also took the summertime to catch up on eye exams, as the campaign helped make her more aware of the need to prioritize those appointments for her children.
“I’ve loved this whole experience, and I just love what they stand for,” she says. “I know how important it is to encourage kids to spend less time on screens and more time outdoors.”
Amongst her projects this summer, Duff has recently wrapped up filming on Project Baby, a film she directed and stars in alongside Sarah Fisher and Travis Caldwell. The film is a romantic comedy that follows two best friends from college tasked with watching a couple’s two-year-old after a family member of theirs had been in an accident.
“Comedy ensues, and they fall for each other,” she says. “I think it’ll turn out really cute and fun, and I’m looking forward to having people see the movie.”
Project Baby Duff’s her directorial debut. She reveals that she has wanted to direct for a long time and hopes she’ll get the chance to direct again in the future.
“I had the best time doing this,” she says. “I learned so much and feel like I will go into my next experience on set with a whole different perspective.”
Duff took on the challenge of directing fellow actors as well as her own acting in this film. She took from her own experience as a parent to help guide the actors through comedic scenes such as struggling with a baby stroller.
“As an actress first, you definitely get insight on how to communicate with actors,” she says. “I was given actors who were open and communicative, and I was really excited to be working with them.”
Project Baby is still in the early stages of post-production, but audiences can look forward to seeing Duff in her fun, family-friendly film soon.
For more information on GMAC and myopia, visit myopiaawareness.org.