Back in the mid-2000s, MTV’s The Hills was the hottest show on TV. Everyone loved following along with Lauren, Heidi, Whitney, and all of their respective drama. There were boys, bands, and booze. There were tears, tragic outfits, and Teen Vogue internships. There were epic one-liners and screaming matches across crowded bars. Life in Beverley Hills looked all kinds of glamorous. We all wanted to be best friends with LC and her gang. They were the coolest of the cool.
So what has happened to the cast since? And what secrets have we learned about our favorite MTV show? Is a reality show all reality? Of course not. So what was real and what was fake? Set your time machine for 2007 and journey back to the hey-day of The Hills.
15. All That Side Eye Was Fake
Ever wonder how they get all of those amazing shots of reality stars giving the side eye, looking bored, seeming unhappy, and acting shocked? No real person is actually that expressive in real life, right? Like if I’m mad at you, I’m going to do my best to hold my face still and just say something mean behind your back instead of giving you a cutting glance. So how do they do it on reality TV? Hills star Lo Bosworth explained how camera crews were able to capture such epic expressions from the young stars. “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. 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.” Who knew?
14. There Were Money Issues
Surprise, surprise! Where there is money there is always drama. And it was no different on the set of The Hills. For many of the young reality TV stars, this was their first time getting fame, recognition, and an MTV paycheck. In a recent interview, Heidi Pratt spilled the beans on exactly how the money issues went down on The Hills. She said, “I mean, obviously Lauren got paid the most — it was her show. She was driving from Laguna to the Hills. Cast members did all make different salaries, so we wanted to do like Jersey Shore and unite together and all get a bigger paycheck, but everyone was a little bit too divided. I think that would’ve been the smarter thing for everyone to do at the time, but that’s not what happened.”
13. Heidi Never Worked At Bolthouse
A large part of The Hills was watching our fave girls go to their awesome Hollywood jobs. We were shown that Heidi worked at Bolthouse. And in one dramatic moment, Heidi received a huge promotion over her co-worker, Elodie. Afterall, the show would be much more entertaining if the big promotion went, controversially, to one of the show’s villains, Heidi. But Heidi cleared up how it all went down in real life. She explained, “I definitely did not get the promotion over Elodie! 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.” So not only was Heidi’s entire job fake but so was her big promotion. Whomp Whomp.
12. The Pratt’s House (& Neighbor!) Were Fake
So by now we know that a lot of reality TV is straight up fake. Heidi’s job was fake. Heidi’s promotion was fake. But now we’ve learned that even her house was fake! Spencer and Heidi “lived” in a gorgeous house in The Hills – or at least that’s what the show would have us believe. Spencer and Heidi actually lived with Spencer’s parents a few towns over. The house was a rental and hired specifically for the show. You know what else was hired for the show? Spencer and Heidi’s “neighbor” Enzo. Enzo was the child that lived next door to the Pratts. He showed up just as Spencer announced that he didn’t want kids and became a big part of the Speidi storyline. But turns out, Enzo was just a child actor. And it also turns out that Spencer changed his mind about kids as he and Heidi just welcomed their first son, Gunner.
11. Spencer Admitted To Leaking The Famous Tape
So from what we can gather, all of the drama between Heidi and Lauren started when Heidi sided with her to-be husband, Spencer. Maybe Lauren felt a little left out and neglected? Or maybe it was the fact that Spencer leaked Lauren’s private tape and Heidi refused to accept the blame for it. There are layers and layers of bad blood in this triangle with false accusations, yelling matches, and tears. But Spencer did eventually admit that he leaked Lauren’s tape. He confessed in an interview with Complex and explained, “Lauren is a cold-hearted killer. That’s what people don’t get. She tried to destroy us. If you want to throw missiles, I’m throwing a nuke. This is how I operate.” Well, looks like his operations cost his wife her best friend.
10. The Girls Couldn’t Repeat Outfits
When you’re on a hit TV show, it only makes sense that you would want to look your best. And it’s natural that production would insist you look your best. And that’s exactly how it went on the set of The Hills. Heidi explained that the girls were all told they couldn’t repeat outfits on camera. I would seriously have to drop out after filming three episodes because I live in only about five different shirts. But worse than not being able to repeat outfits, the girls also had to pay for their clothing themselves! It’s one thing to pick up a new outfit from the wardrobe department and then swing by the hair and makeup trailer for a touch-up. But the ladies of The Hills had to spend their own money on their outfits, hair, and makeup.
9. The Iconic Mascara Tear Is FAKE!
One of the most iconic images from The Hills is main character, Lauren Conrad, sitting down and letting a single mascara-soaked tear slip down her cheek. It summed up all of the drama and all of the despair that Lauren was going through in that moment. It pulled at the heartstrings. And it made many of us mascara-wearers wonder how she was able to pull off the single mascara tear so perfectly. If I start crying when I’m wearing mascara, it’s totally raccoon central. My whole face gets smudge with black mook. And then I have to go flush my eyes out because mascara gets in them and all of a sudden, I’m blind. But not Lauren Conrad! Well, turns out that iconic mascara tear is totally fake. The camera crew slowed down the speed of the tape to make a very fast-moving tear appear to just slowly inch down Lauren’s face and break our hearts.
8. Lauren Was Trapped At Speidi’s Wedding
The season five finale of The Hills featured the nuptials of the most infamous couple, Heidi and Spencer, aka Speidi. At that point, Heidi and Lauren were certainly not friends (“You know what you did!”). But, through the magic of television, they were able to patch their wounds and Lauren showed up at Heidi’s wedding. The two shared a sweet moment in the dressing room before Heidi walked down the aisle. All was well in The Hills world! And as Lauren’s chapter ended (this was her final episode), the new top b****, Kristin Cavallari took over the reigns. But it wasn’t quite the storybook ending for Lauren. Lauren had somewhere to be and hadn’t planned to stay at the wedding very long. Unfortunately, Speidi’s wedding was delayed by hours because the power went out. Instead of allowing Lauren to go to her appointment and shoot her scenes later, producers trapped her in the basement and forced her to stay. They even stationed a security guard by her so she couldn’t try to make a break for it. Rightfully, LC was pissed.
7. Brody & Lauren Were Never Together
One of the main storylines of The Hills was Lauren’s relationship with Brody. Next to all of the Lauren and Jason drama, Brody was a refreshing match for the show’s star. But not everything on screen is as it appears. Both Brody and Lauren have revealed that while they are great friends, all of the romance was just for the cameras. Brody said, “Lauren’s a dear friend of mine, and it was pretty funny to have to live that reality. We were just friends. 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.” Lauren told the same story to Us Magazine saying, “We were always more friends than anything. It was always a blurred, weird relationship. … He was always very sweet to me, and we enjoyed each other’s company, but I think it was one of those things where producers really wanted us to be together, and we both knew that we didn’t really have that kind of chemistry. But at the same time, we were friends, and we were happy to film together.”
6. They Don’t All Keep In Touch
It’s kind of nice to look back at our favorite shows and wonder how the characters and cast members stayed in touch. Like when we see photos of Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston (aka Monica and Rachel from Friends) hanging out and grabbing dinner together. Or when the actresses from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants get together and post adorable photos on Instagram. But turns out there isn’t so much love between the cast of The Hills. In recent years, many of the cast members have gotten married, had babies or started new business ventures. But when you look at their photos, you’ll notice a severe lack of Hills alum. Audrina Patridge explains to People, “We weren’t all friends before The Hills, and we were kind of friends for the show.” Looks like if you weren’t friends before the show started, you weren’t going to be friends after.
5. Audrina & Spencer Were Never A Thing
A reality show is nothing without a little bit of drama, right? No one would tune in to watch Lauren vacuum her apartment or Heidi pick up takeout for dinner. Viewers want fireworks, bar fights, and backstabbing. And that’s exactly what producers intended to give them. One way they wanted to do that was with the Audrina and Spencer storyline. Producers decided it would be a great idea to plant the seed that Audrina and Spencer were once an item. But Audrina shut that right down. She explained in Us Magazine, “Oh, God, no! I did not have history with [Spencer] and this was one of the things that really upset me, and this was when I started distrusting the producers.” If you can’t trust the producers of your MTV reality show who literally make their money off of ratings, who can you trust?
4. Kristin & Audrina Didn’t Fight Over Justin Bobby
So just in case Audrina wasn’t ticked off enough with having to pretend she and Spencer had history, producers decided to throw some more made up relationship drama at her. This time, the producers wanted a love triangle between Audrina, her ex Justin Bobby, and new star of the show, Kristin. On the surface, this drama totally seems plausible. Audrina had previously dated Justin Bobby and it looked like Kristin was making a move on him. Exes are usually off limits in friend groups. But Audrina wasn’t having it. It seems like none of the players in the love triangle had any actual interest in being a part of it. Audrina shared, “Yeah, it was really weird for everyone and then it just wasn’t genuine. It was really weird, and then whenever the producers kept wanting me to fight with [Kristin] over [Justin], I was like, ‘I’m not doing that! I’m not even with him! I’m with someone else!’ It really was hard with my real life and then my TV life.”
3. Whitney Was Just Trying To Do Her Internship
One of the breakout stars of The Hills was Whitney Port, who worked with Lauren at Teen Vogue. Whitney went on to have her own spin-off series following her life in New York called The City. But it all happened kind of by accident. Whitney applied to be an intern at Teen Vogue and wound up becoming a reality TV star. She explains, “I applied for an internship at Teen Vogue for the fall … and they said, ‘If you want the job, you kinda have to be comfortable with a camera crew because MTV’s starting to film a TV show here.’ I was like, ‘OK, let me think about this,’” she explains. “So, I did some good, long, hard thinking and I was like, alright, I’m down … Next thing I know, someone from MTV is calling me, and telling me that I need to get a casting tape. Then, I show up for my on-camera interview at Teen Vogue, and Lauren Conrad walks in the lobby and I’m like, ‘Oh my god. I’m on her spin-off show. I had seen Laguna Beach, so I knew who she was, and I was like, ‘OK, this is making sense.’ Like, I’m on Lauren Conrad’s spin-off show.”
2. Everyone Wanted Lauren To Go To Paris
One of the biggest moments of The Hills happened when Lauren was offered the chance to go to Paris through her Teen Vogue internship. In the end, she turned it down to focus on her romantic relationship. It may seem that the show would’ve wanted Lauren to stay home and be with her boo, but everyone was actually pulling for her to go to Paris. And deciding not to go became a huge part of Lauren’s branding. Lauren explains what producer Lisa Gately told her about the move, “Lisa later told me the reason she said I’ll ‘always be known as the girl who didn’t go to Paris’ is because that’s what Anna Wintour referred to me as. Apparently, I came up in a conversation and she said, ‘Oh, you mean that girl who didn’t go to Paris?’ I was like, ‘Great!’”
1. Heidi’s Sister Dated Justin Bobby After Audrina
So what is with everyone and Justin Bobby? When he was on the show as Audrina’s boyfriend he seemed callous, perpetually late, and very much in need of a shower. Lauren didn’t see the appeal and neither did we. So how did this greasy hipster become such a big heartthrob in the series where he ended up dating Audrina, Kristin and, post-series, Holly? So after JB broke up with Audrina and played games with Kristin, he decided to go after one more Hills lady. In 2011, Justin Bobby set his sights on Holly Montag, Heidi’s sister. The two were quietly dating until US Weekly scooped the story. But it seems they didn’t stay together for long. The magazine explained that Justin Bobby was, surprising no one, not boyfriend material. “He’s reckless and will disappear in his house for days at a time. He’s not reliable.”
Sources: MTV, Cosmopolitan, Us Magazine
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