If you haven’t noticed, everyone’s been talking about MTV’s former reality TV show, The Hills. The popular series turned 10 this year and fans can’t get enough of the rumors of a possible reunion movie happening.
If you’re not so familiar with The Hills, it was as addicting back in the early 2000s as the Kardashians are now. The MTV show took a look at a couple of twenty-something year-olds trying to accomplish their career goals from internships to on-the-side jobs to entrepreneurship and more. The show’s relatable story line was what grabbed the audience’s attention, specifically in the 20-year-old range. It was a well-organized depiction of what a day looked like in the life of a recent graduate. Main star of the show, Lauren Conrad, represented the young California girl aspiring to have a career in fashion and making her way up by attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and then landing an internship at Teen Vogue in Los Angeles where she met cast member, Whitney Port. Along with those two, Audrina Patridge and Heidi Montag were also living the life in Los Angeles while working on their careers.
It wasn’t just the career drive that made viewers glued to the show. The dating scene was a huge factor that contributed to its success. Viewers couldn’t get enough of who was dating who and what drama was stirring things up. The most controversial relationship was with Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt who went by “Speidi.” As soon as these two started dating, all hell broke loose, mainly between Montag and Conrad who were best friends at the time. Conrad wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of Pratt but that didn’t stop her best friend from settling down with him. The two BFFs couldn’t hold on to their friendship any longer and eventually parted ways. In addition to Speidi, there were other drama-filled relationships and flings that took the show to a whole other level.
The question though that remained as soon as the last episode aired was-how real was this reality show? On the series finale, a scene with cast member Brody Jenner, left many viewers wondering if the show was fake the whole time. Jenner ended up looking at the camera while the shot of the Hollywood sign behind him was removed, making it look a little staged which had many heads spinning.
To this day, a couple of cast members have been outspoken about the debate. But even with that, there are rumors of a reunion movie in the making but nothing official has been confirmed. Would audience members still watch it knowing the whole thing was fake?
As we wait to see if the show was just another scripted reality TV series and anticipate the MTV reunion special airing this August, let us take a look at these 15 juicy secrets you need to know about The Hills because it’s obvious there’s more to this show than what meets the eye.
15. The Show Manipulated The Rivalries
What would a reality TV show be without drama filled rivalries? Nothing really which is makes sense why The Hills producers did what they can to escalate the rivalries between some of the cast members. The most famous rivalry of the series was between Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari, the two main stars of the whole series beginning with Laguna Beach. According to Cavallari, now married to football player, Jay Cutler, the show made it look like the beef between the two blondes was bigger than it actually was. She admits that she was never friends with Conrad, all because of her then boyfriend, cast member, Stephen Colletti but MTV pushed it even further. “So the love triangle was a real thing. However, it was real before MTV came,” Cavallari said. “I think they sort of kept it going by having my boyfriend at the time going and hanging out with Lauren, which was hard! I was 17 and that was hard for me.” In other words, Lauren and Stephen didn’t always mean to hang out but to stir things up, the producers thought it would be a good idea for them to spend time together.
14. MTV Asked Kristin To Be On The Hills
Trying to cause more drama, MTV had contacted Cavallari to be on The Hills earlier on the series. As you might remember, Cavallari did star on the show but at the end of the series, when Conrad wasn’t in it anymore. However, according to the MTV reality TV star, the network wanted her to be a cast member at the same time as Lauren. Cavallari refused and thought it wasn’t a good idea. “MTV didn’t come to me to star in my own reality show but they came to me to go on The Hills numerous times. I kept being like, “No, that’s Lauren’s thing — I’m NOT going to do it,” she told Buzzfeed. “But with her leaving, obviously, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.” And so she did. She came back as “the bitch” which was totally fine with the TV personality. “MTV actually asked me if I was OK with them saying “the bitch is back.” And I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it. I’m coming back, let’s make it big.” I looked at it as a job and I was having fun so I was game for it.
13. Lauren Was On The Show For The Paycheck
After the two seasons of Laguna Beach ended, Conrad was off to fashion school in Los Angeles. Hills creator, Adam DiVello, wanted to keep working with the high school grad by producing another reality TV show that would follow her and her pursuit of a fashion career. “It seemed like the perfect opportunity to follow her on the next stage of her journey,” DiVello said. “I wanted to make a reality TV Melrose Place, where characters deal with work and relationships in a new city. It was meant to be very aspirational for young girls who dream of working in fashion.” Rather than refusing the gig because she wanted to focus on her career, Conrad was all for it because of one simple thing; she needed the money. “I initially signed on because I wanted the paycheck. I was going to college, my parents weren’t financially supporting me anymore, and I had used up all my Laguna money,” Conrad said. “So when Adam came to me and said, “Do you want to do this show?” I was like, “Yep!” You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do during hard times.
12. Heidi Montag Never Worked At Bolthouse
It seemed like it was too good to be true. Apparently, Heidi Montag’s job at Bolthouse Productions was fake. “I definitely did not get the promotion over Elodie!” Heidi said. “She really worked there and I “pretend worked” there, so it was obviously a pretend promotion for her to be upset about. That whole plot was scripted.” This gives us the impression that a lot of the “jobs” the cast members were working weren’t real such as Audrina Patridge working at Sony BMG. “Audrina only comes in about once a month to film,” a source from Sony BMG told PerezHilton.com.
Does this mean main cast member, Lauren Conrad, and her internship at Teen Vogue, was fake, too? This would obviously defeat the purpose of the MTV show of following young girls in chasing their career of their dreams. It all seemed too easy of a job anyway whenever we would watch them “work.”
11. The Edits
Although a reality TV show, not everything happened in the exact order the show made it look like. It’s just like any other show; there are edits to be done after filming. One of the juicy secrets a cast member spilled was how some of the eye rolling against each other wasn’t real. That’s right. They didn’t all gave each other the evil-eye, meaning, some of the drama wasn’t as dramatic like the show’s producers made it seem to be. “When you’re in production on a show, you have to do something called taking the ‘room tone,’ just so that all of the microphones are evened out and the sound on the video is normal,” Lo Bosworth, cast member and best friend of Lauren Conrad, said. “Everyone would have to be quiet. So they would catch us gazing off into space, and looking like we were really bored. And then, they’d edit those clips into the show to make it look like we were super mad at each other.” No wonder there was so much unnecessary eye rolling in some of the scenes- almost like get over it. Well now we know that most of those weren’t real so their off the hook.
10. Fake Hook-Ups And Romances
Besides drama and rivalries, the hook-ups and romances were another factor that contributed to the reality show’s success. So many good looking people so it only made sense there would be a lot of flings and relationships going on, right? Well not so much according to cast member, Brody Jenner. When it came to the off and on romance between Jenner and Conrad, all of it was essentially just for show such as the set-up romance between Stephen Colletti and Conrad. “Lauren’s a dear friend of mine, and it was pretty funny to have to live that reality. We were just friends,” Jenner told Yahoo. “We’d film a scene of us kissing or being in this lovey-dovey scene, and then right after it would be like, ‘cut,’ and we’d be like, ‘great to see you,’ and we’d go our separate ways. I didn’t have sex with Jen Bunney. I didn’t hook up with Audrina. I didn’t hook up with any of these girls.” In other words, Brody isn’t the man candy we all watched on the show? It feels like a rip-off.
9. The Friendships Were Fake, Too
According to Audrina Patridge, when the girls weren’t fighting and being friends, it was for pretend. When the show wasn’t going on, it was a different story. “I talk to Kristin every now and then, and Heidi and I talk every month,” Patridge told People magazine. However, she goes on to point out, “I don’t really talk to Lauren or Lo,” she said. “We went our own separate ways. We weren’t all friends before The Hills, and we were kind of friends for the show.” Ouch! What it seemed like Patridge was closer to Bosworth and Conrad than with Cavallari and Montag, yet the friendship wasn’t as real as the show portrayed it to be. Cavallari and Montag were portrayed as the less favorable ones so to learn they won the friendship of Audrina leaves us wondering what made their bond stronger than with the more favorable ones.
8. Set-Up Lifestyle
It seems like The Hills producers and directors knew exactly how they wanted the show to go about. But like all things too good to be true, the show was exactly that-too good to be true. In addition to the fake jobs, relationships and drama, the lifestyle was also fake. Heidi Montag explains the cast wasn’t allowed to wear the same outfits twice. “We were not allowed to wear outfits twice, so I asked them [MTV] to supply me with a wardrobe, but apparently I had to buy it all myself.” They also paid for their own make-up and hair, too. Considering how well put together they always looked, they must have paid a whole lot for their look.
However, according to the now married reality TV star, MTV wanted to portray them as these characters who were “working” for their careers when really that wasn’t the case at all. “MTV wanted to downplay our lifestyles and pretend we weren’t getting the checks that we actually were, so I think that was the blurry line between the lives we were really living and the lives that they wanted us to live, and things like that.”
7. Underage Drinking
A really juicy secret about The Hills was how in the beginning, all the girls were underage and were seen partying at nightclubs and drinking. In case you haven’t noticed, one of the targets for a reality TV show is partying all night and lots of alcohol. For The Hills though, the show followed young girls who weren’t even legal yet to drink, but that didn’t stop MTV from filming an essential part of a reality TV series. Heidi explains they were always going out as part of the show, even if they still babies. “When we were all at Les Deux we were drinking whatever we could get our hands on,” the reality TV star told Buzzfeed. “I’m sure it was probably Jack Daniel’s, Jäger. Water was NOT what we were drinking. We got in because I did work for Bolthouse and who doesn’t want some hot, young, fun girls in their club?”
6. Fake House And Neighbor
In season 6, Heidi and her husband, Spencer Pratt, were filmed moving to a new house and taking care of their neighbor child actor Enzo. However, all those scenes were super fake. Heidi mentioned they never lived in that house and Enzo was just a really good child actor. “In season 6 we allegedly moved into a house, which was Enzo’s house, so he wasn’t a neighbor,” Heidi said. “We were, you know, in the other part of his house. And I think we threw him a party to add a storyline or something. I’m not really sure. Surprise! Heidi’s baby-crazy!” Besides the set-up scenes with the child actor, Heidi gave props to Enzo for his participation. “I don’t talk to Enzo, but honestly he’s like the cutest kid I’ve ever seen in my life and obviously he was a child actor! He did a great job.”
5. Kristin’s Parents Felt Differently About The Show
Kristin Cavallari’s parents had different reactions to the idea of their daughter starring on a reality TV show. Apparently, her father was more of a fan of Kristin’s new gig unlike her mother. “My parents are divorced and I was living with my dad at the time,” Kristin explained. “My dad was very excited about me doing Laguna Beach and he thought it was a great opportunity. My mom, however, living in Chicago, was a little nervous. I mean she had some reservations about MTV. I think there was a point in my life where I wasn’t even allowed to watch MTV! I think I would be nervous too if my kids wanted to do a reality show for MTV at age 17.” Kristin’s father did come out a few times on the show which explains his approval for the gig, especially the fact that he was friends with Lauren Conrad’s father, who made a few appearances, too.
4. Kristin And Lauren Are Actually Cordial
Although they were never friends and had real drama but not as big of a deal as the show made it to be, there’s a possibility that Kristen and Lauren would be on mutual terms when they bump into each other without the cameras there. “If I saw Lauren today we would go up to one another, we would hug, we would ask how each other is doing,” according to Kristin. “It’s been a while, but the last few times I’ve seen her we’ve given each other hugs and it’s been great.”
The two are both doing their own thing today. Lauren is busy with her own $50 million empire which includes being a fashion designer, lifestyle editor, and author. She is married to William Tell. Kristin is also an entrepreneur herself with a successful fashion line along with acting. She married football player, Jay Cutler, in 2013, and has three kids.
3. The Drugs Were The Producers’ Idea
During the fifth season of The Hills, Kristin Cavallari was accused of doing drugs and it was all a part of the show’s story line. According to the fashion entrepreneur, the producers not only had the idea of creating this plot of her involved with drugs but they had bribed her co-stars with rewards. They wanted them to call Cavallari out that she was doing drugs and they would get designer items if they went played along. “One of the producers bribed Lo, Audrina and Stephanie and promised them he would buy them presents if they called me out on camera for doing drugs,” she explained to US. It just so happened that Lo Bosworth went along with it and asked for a Birkin bag. “It ended with all of the girls and I, our managers, agents, producers and lawyers in a room,” the fashion designer explained. “I was told it wasn’t going to be a story line, and sure enough, it was on the first episode.”
2. The Producers Always Had A Plan
According to Lo Bosworth, the more settled character of all the cast members, the producers always plotted each season. Their plan was to target one of the cast members and have them be a certain character with a certain storyline. “Each season I feel like they’d go into the editing room and be like, ‘This character is going to be the big slut this season, this character is going to get s—t on by everybody, and this character is going to look really good,’” Bosworth explained on her YouTube channel. “It’s possible to make anybody look incredible or terrible in the editing room. That’s just how it is. They were making a television show. They had to entertain the masses!”
Makes sense. Eventually, the stars of the show began to take the reality TV show as a job. Kristin was outspoken about her agreement in being “the bitch” on her season of The Hills. Lo also took it as a job and points it out in a good way. “Doors have opened for me that would never have opened otherwise. Because I consider myself a grounded person, I’ve been able to take advantage of the opportunities in a positive way.”
1. The Alternative Ending
Going back to the famous series finale of Brody Jenner and the Hollywood sign, apparently the MTV show wasn’t going to end that way. Executive producer, Liz Gately, dished out on how the show was actually going to end. “I think our ending was phenomenal,” Gateley said. “Adam DiVello and I disagreed over which ending should air, we always talked about how are we going to end it? Like, do Lauren and Stephen sort of wake-up in bed, kind of Bob Newhart-style?” Instead of having the Laguna Beach co-stars together, there was another alternative scene where Brody was going to go back inside his house, finding Lauren, as his girlfriend, on the couch waiting for him saying, “where you been?” while giggling.
However, if that were to be the ending, it would’ve been inaccurate considering the true relationships that were going on at that moment. “When I saw the one [scene] with Lauren, you know at that point, everyone knew that Brody was dating Avril Lavigne. It was so untrue to what was really going on.” Ending it with the official finale, Gately thought it was the most clever way to end the famous reality TV series. “I think our ending was phenomenal,” Gateley recalls.