The rest is still unwritten! Or … not so much. Lauren Conrad returned to MTV to spill secrets about her beloved series The Hills for a 10th anniversary special, That Was Then, This Is Now, on Tuesday, August 2!
In the hourlong special, we got to hear LC's thoughts on the key romances and feuds, along with a look at her life since her final 2009 episode.
So crank up the Natasha Bedingfield, and come along with Us to find out more! (Be sure to start at the bottom of the post if you want to read it in chronological order.)
10 p.m. ET: Staring at the Blank Page Before You …
Lastly, Lauren revealed that the scene she shot for the finale of The Hills was never even used. We got to see it, and it showed Lauren telling Brody, “It’s hard to say goodbye.” Although the producers didn't air it, they did put it on YouTube.
“I knew it was time to go when my heart wasn’t in it, and I wasn’t living the kind of life that made me happy,” she said of her decision to leave the show. “I was really torn … so it was kind of scary.”
Still, she said that even though she had plenty of bad experiences, she learned a lot and figured out who she was on the show. She said she would absolutely do it all over again because it’s given her the life she leads, along with her future.
9:53 p.m. ET: A Big Star With a Huge Heart
Back to reality! Or, uh, not reality! Next up, LC explained that though she always enjoyed being friends with Brody Jenner, there was no real chemistry, and their relationship on the show was essentially made for TV! Lauren said she had so much pressure on her to get a boyfriend that she just let the producers make her connection with Brody look like more than it was.
She said she could always tell when a producer was trying to set her up with a guy because men would randomly walk up to her already wearing microphones and having signed releases to be on TV. She fought back by refusing to kiss the guys, even when producers begged her to.
To demonstrate that, they showed a very manufactured moment from a trip she took to Paris while shooting The Hills. She, of course, wouldn’t kiss the French suitor who producers sent her way, but in a great segue, present-day LC moved on to explaining how she still gets to travel, now doing so for philanthropy. She brought up her site, the Little Market, which gives female artisans around the world a chance to sell their goods.
Lauren explained that in L.A., it’s all about material things, like what designer a person is wearing, but when she travels, she sees “more important things,” like women who want to simply earn money and survive.
9:45 p.m. ET: Lauren Calls the Shots
We got to meet Lauren’s husband, William Tell. She gushed that she loves the fact that he has never watched The Hills and doesn’t know that version of her.
He still got to views parts of her old life as they rode to an awards dinner, though! All dressed up, they sat in the back of a car and watched a much younger, Teen Vogue–interning Lauren awkwardly waiting to be acknowledged by her boss. Present-day Lauren was horrified at how long she stood there getting ignored, and since the next scene showed her walking a red carpet earlier this year, Lauren's embarrassment makes sense. No one ignores Lauren Conrad now!
We got to see her in meetings with Kohl’s executives for her clothing line, and she really impressed Us! She was so confident and self-assured as she dictated changes and made suggestions. Later in a confessional, she explained that she’s proud of her clothing line because it is “built on accessibility,” and isn’t lofty or aspirational. She said she wants everyone to be able to have cute clothes.
9:36 p.m. ET: Fake It Till You Make It
After the commercial break, it was time to uncover just how real the “reality” TV show was. Sophia shocked Lauren by handing her a very accurate synopsis of an episode … that was written before it filmed! Sophia gleefully announced that she had been really great at predicting how certain nights would go, even when Lauren, Heidi and the rest of the cast had no idea about the confrontations they might get into.
Lauren sighed while watching old fights from Les Deux nightclub, saying that she was at least grateful the show’s producers picked clubs that had enough rooms for cast members to disappear into if they had to collect themselves. Don’t you wish you had that option when a night goes badly?
The next thing she was grateful for was that no one who watched the show had social media at the time, so she didn’t have to deal with other people’s opinions of her mistakes. As she said this, footage of her and Heidi ending their friendship rolled, and it was clearly still a sad moment to relive, so Lauren really was lucky not to have to see it replay over and over on Instagram and Facebook back then.
9:30 p.m. ET: Stars and Tempers Both Rise
“It happened very quickly," LC admitted of the show's ubiquity as old footage rolled of Heidi Montag talking with Kim Kardashian at a party. "With Laguna, we were recognizable, but when The Hills started getting more popular, it was a lot …”
The stakes were obviously growing as fast as the show’s ratings, which was made pretty clear when Lauren rewatched old fights with Heidi and Audrina Patridge. She laughed it off in a confessional, saying she was “just being dramatic” and that she was growing up during filming, but it couldn’t have been easy to have to keep friendships just interesting enough for TV viewers.
9:21 p.m. ET: Big Breaks — and Big Breakups
After the first commercial break, instead of just looking back on her life, however, the star was now documenting her present adventures. We got to see her hard at work on a photo shoot for one of her clothing lines, Paper Crown. The footage of her being a big boss lady on set contrasted with old clips of her appearing totally perplexed by what her superiors at Teen Vogue wanted from her. LC has clearly come a very long way!
Back at her parents’ place, Lauren listened as her former director chatted with her dad about the awkwardness of watching his teenage daughter’s exploits unfold on national television. Lauren revealed that one of her tips for reality stars is they should always alert their parents to any drama before it airs.
Speaking of drama, the next scene was a look back at her big breakup with Jason Wahler, which she revealed was filmed the first time she’d seen him since texting him and telling him to come get his stuff.
“I felt a responsibility to take care of him,” she said of the ex who was clearly not sober the morning she dropped his stuff off. “And I felt like when we broke up, I was abandoning him.”
The Hills talent producer Sophia Rossi was on hand to tell LC how it felt to watch that painful moment unfold, not only as a producer looking at it as good TV, but as a friend. Luckily, Jason is doing well now, and Lauren seemed genuinely happy about this.
9:10 p.m. ET: It’s Starting …
The hourlong special started out exactly how fans would hope: “Unwritten” played as LC said in a voice-over, “Everyone talks about the soundtrack to their lives. Ten years ago, this was the soundtrack to my life.” Then she stopped the music and said, “That was then. This is now.”
Right away, the lifestyle guru and fashion designer started spilling the tea. In a confessional-style interview, she revealed that she had expected the show to disappear from the public’s memory, and that she didn’t think she would ever have been close friends with the other stars if they hadn’t been cast together. All this only a minute into the show! Are you freaking out? We’re freaking out!
Lauren explained that the special was set up to show the perspectives of not only the original castmates, but the behind-the-scenes crew too. Then she grimaced, realizing that old, unaired footage would be rolled out as well.
Next thing we knew, Lauren was at her parents’ house, and — surprise! — they still live in Laguna Beach. In a sweet moment, we got to see that her mom has framed every magazine the blonde has graced the cover of. As it turns out, Lauren was visiting her parents so they could rewatch her original audition tape, and it couldn’t have been more obvious that they are so proud of her!
Her dad shared a cute story of how naive Lauren was, even after having already shot Laguna Beach. He swore she didn’t realize that as long as MTV was involved, she couldn’t get rejected from the Teen Vogue internship that we all remember so well. He claimed that her nervousness over getting the job — especially once she realized Whitney Port was trying to get the same one — was 100 percent real, which is actually pretty adorable!
Things got a little more emotional when LC revealed she never enjoyed being on camera and doesn’t rewatch the show because she doesn’t want to relive some of the painful old memories. (Doing an hourlong retrospective TV special is totally different, though, right?)
Tell Us: What's the most shocking thing you learned from LC's revelations?
The Hills: That Was Then, This Is Now airs on MTV Tuesday, August 2, at 9 p.m. ET.
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