Hills' Angel, Lauren Conrad, Tells All!
by Matt Webb Mitovich
When Lauren Conrad, star of MTV's Laguna Beach spin-off The Hills (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET), dropped by the TV Guide offices on Monday, the questions came fast and plenty, as staffers sought out the scoop on her reality series. What's the deal with Heidi? What's happening with Jason? And what's the 411 on the LC-Kristin rivalry? Although Lauren seemed to have heard this particular reporter's comment on her resemblance to big-screen funny girl Christine Taylor perhaps once too often during her travels — hey, it's better than favoring Peter Brady — she was more than receptive to everything else that we asked.
TVGuide.com: Tell us what happens in this week's new episode.
Lauren Conrad: Well, Heidi starts her job in New York, and she hates it, which is really funny, because she's stuffing envelopes and doing all these "assistant" things, and that's not what she had in mind. And they don't want her working at the clubs or anything, so... me, I delivered a dress to New York, and went back home. I literally hand the dress off, and the woman is like, "All right, cool." Like, "Thanks for running this to New York for me." At the very end I get a message on the machine from Jason, whom I hadn't heard from in a while.
TV Guide: With issues such as taking the NYC job versus staying in school, are you torn between advising Heidi as a best friend and doing something else that might offer more drama for the show?
Lauren: You know what, especially with this school? You can always go back. Like, I can take a year off and go back and it's not a big deal at all. That's how that program is set up. So it's not a huge deal that she didn't go. I was bummed because she had moved out here [to Los Angeles] to [attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising] with me and didn't even give it a chance, but....
TV Guide: But by and large, do you ever find yourself playing to the cameras?
Lauren: No, I don't like it when people do that. It's almost insulting when you fake it because people can tell, and you're making them think you think they can't tell.
TV Guide: Why'd you hang up on Heidi last week if you're supposed to be best friends?
Lauren: I actually didn't hang up on her; our phones disconnected, and then my phone rang when I tried to call her back. I did not hang up on her. I would never hang up on Heidi.
TV Guide: What did she think when she saw you guys singing "Beauty School Dropout"?
Lauren: I've sung that to her face! I sang that for, like, a month, as a joke! [Laughs]
TV Guide: You mentioned getting a message from Jason. Is there some romantic drama to come?
Lauren: Yeah, it's us getting back together, and then the beginning [of the reunion], and how it ends up... all that fun stuff. [Sheepishly] But I don't know what they're going to show. I do know he comes to my office [at Teen Vogue] to surprise me with flowers.
TV Guide: How much say do you have in the final product?
Lauren: None. They film for nine months, about four days a week, and then edit all that footage into 10 episodes. I have absolutely no idea what they're going to use or not use. What I do on camera is my own responsibility. But I knew what I was signing up for.
TV Guide: Do your friends get paid when they visit you and appear in an episode?
Lauren: Three of my best friends are actually never seen on camera. They're really supportive; they're just not interested in being on TV. It's an understanding we have. Like, if we were filming Laguna and we were having a party and the cameras would leave at 11 o'clock, they would come after. Or they would just hang out in the area where there were no cameras.
TV Guide: You're probably the first intern in publishing history to end up on her magazine's cover.
Lauren: That was exciting. I've worked cover shoots for [Teen Vogue], and then to actually be at one.... I felt like I should be steaming clothes and stuff! [Laughs]
TV Guide: Is the magazine's West Coast editor as much of a witch as she comes off to be?
Lauren: No... she seems that way, but she's a really nice person. She is a bit intimidating, though!
TV Guide: What was the big deal with those cushions at the Roosevelt [party in Episode 1]? Who were they reserving them for?!
Lauren: I don't know! A lot of people had their own table, like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan and all that, so I still don't know who those were reserved for. [Keeping them saved] is what I was told to do, so I just did it. I didn't ask.
TV Guide: Why did your friends show up even though you told them not to?
Lauren: They probably would have gone to that even if there weren't cameras, because a lot of our friends went to that event. I mean, there were Laguna people there, too, which was kind of weird. Stephen and Dieter went together, and I think Talan was there....
TV Guide: What would have happened if Teen Vogue didn't hire you, or if they fired you?
Lauren: I would have had to find another job. They made it very clear that if I messed up and if I did something wrong, I would get fired, so there was pressure on me all the time. And there wasn't a guarantee that I was going to get hired, either. They waited a week to call me back, and they didn't show half of the stuff they told me — "You're too young, you have no experience, you wear sandals...." I was looking at other internships at other magazines [just in case]. I think [The Hills' producers] would have enjoyed it if I got fired. It would have made for a better story line!
TV Guide: What's been your favorite thing about attaining the level of celebrity you have?
Lauren: Probably the free stuff. [Smiles] Like, when awards shows come up, they'll rent out hotel rooms and you walk through and get all the free stuff. That's really cool.
TV Guide: What's it like knowing that people all over the Internet are dissecting your life?
Lauren: They like to dissect my face, I know that! I've read about everything that's wrong with me! They're not usually nice, so I stay away from [message boards].
TV Guide: What's the wildest rumor you've ever heard about your rivalry with Kristin Cavallari? Ever see ridiculous stuff published?
Lauren: [Shrugs] She, like, lies in interviews, but other than that.... [Laughs] We just don't like each other.
TV Guide: Do you think she herself started the Dukes of Hazzard/Daisy recast rumor?
Lauren: I don't know, but probably!
TV Guide: What TV do you like?
Lauren: I don't watch very much TV. If anything, we get DVDs to watch. We really like Family Guy and The Simpsons, and we just got Grey's Anatomy. I'm not a big TV person.
TV Guide: Are you a party person?
Lauren: No, I'm not. Really! [Laughs] If we have time off, we like to go out to lunch, or go shopping.
TV Guide: If you're an intern and full-time student, how can shopping be a hobby? Do you get a stipend from your parents or from the show?
Lauren: No, I haven't gotten money from my parents in, like, two years. For a while, we did appearances where you sign autographs for a couple of hours and that pays really well. I saved up from doing stuff like that.
TV Guide: Do you have an interest in doing scripted television at some point?
Lauren: [Shakes head] I can't act.
TV Guide: That doesn't stop a lot of people.
Lauren: [Laughs] Yeah, but I'm really bad. I don't have a passion for it and I don't enjoy it, so I wouldn't do it.
TV Guide: Do you anticipate any "withdrawal" when the day comes that your life isn't chronicled by cameras?
Lauren: No, because in between seasons it totally ends, and I totally enjoy that. I won't be upset when it's completely gone!