When it first debuted on May 31, 2006, The Hills was a glossy, relatively low-drama “reality” show about an already-beloved MTV star, Lauren “L.C.” Conrad,” who was getting through life as a fashion student and intern in Los Angeles. At least, that’s what it was until Spencer Pratt joined the cast in 2007.
By now, you know the story: Pratt began dating The Hills‘ star (and Conrad’s best friend) Heidi Montag, and all the interpersonal chaos began. Conrad’s relationship with Montag changed, and finally the tension came to a head when Pratt allegedly spread rumors about Conrad making a sex tape with then-boyfriend Jason Wahler. That’s where everything fell apart. That’s when Pratt became reality TV’s newest villain.
These days, Pratt — who lives with Montag in Santa Barbara — is known more for his silly social media presence than his on-screen antics despite his and Montag’s best attempts to re-enter the reality TV world after The Hills officially ended in 2010. “People are always like, ‘Why don’t you get a real job?'” he tells EW. “It’s like, what’s a real job? A real job is making entertainment. If that means I gotta just Snapchat for free right now, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
On the occasion of the MTV series’ 10th anniversary — yes, it’s been a decade since you first reconnected with L.C. post-Laguna Beach — we called up Pratt to talk about The Hills and life after it. Here’s what we learned.
He was running late because he decided to go get a haircut after his jiu jitsu class.
“If I had DJ Khaled‘s money right now, I would probably [get a haircut] every day,” he says. These aren’t the fancy $500 haircuts of his past, though. “When you pay $20, you’re in a way better mood and my barber loves being on Snapchat as much as I love putting him on,” Pratt says. “So he’s like my supporting cast member.”
His one regret from The Hills is that he wasn’t enough of an a–hole — or, as he would prefer to say, “creative enough.”
Pratt wishes he was the biggest reality TV villain, not just one of the biggest reality TV villains. “My only regret is I didn’t go far enough,” he says. “I think if I had gone farther, I’d still be on TV and I’d be somebody that people needed in their lives. I feel like I just put one foot in the villain door, and I should have gone to the max. Simon Cowell, he’s the most famous a—hole in the world! How did I not surpass him?”
And by “gone farther,” he means he would have gotten TMZ — a site he checks each morning soon after waking — involved, specifically whenever he interacted with Conrad. “I should have put myself in situations where I could have been like, ‘You’re a liar!’ where paparazzi videographers saw it and they got footage so if MTV tried to manipulate it, at least the real scene got out there.”
He’ll say he doesn’t want to talk about the sex tape scandal — and then will anyway.
“My mom asked me to stop talking about L.C. because my mom thinks no matter what I say, people don’t want to hear the truth,” he says when asked about it. “So instead of pleading the fifth, I’ve gotta plead the mom here.” Then he continues to vow that he “didn’t start anything.” “If it was a real lie that Spencer created, with all the lawyers and all the little lawsuits that go on in Hollywood, do you really think I wouldn’t have been hit with a cease and desist for a defamation of character-type case?”
Being seen as a villain has affected his self-esteem.
Even though he’s had “haters since at least seventh grade.” “I was always used to dealing with negativity, but on a massive scale, it definitely started getting frustrating, like, are you guys for real? This is a TV show with music and gloss. They never film one scene where the cameras are off tripods. Do you think [on] a real reality show, everything can stay in one place where they have cameras set on tripods?” he says. “I just thought the audience was way smarter than obviously they are, so that was frustrating … I feel like I should be producing reality television shows, but no network’s calling me up like, ‘Spencer, you were able to on-camera produce a show without any support and make a hit show.’ But no, I’m just some crazy reality star … So, yeah, I guess it definitely hurt my self-esteem.”
He says he’s “back to being BFFs” with Brody Jenner
Pratt and Jenner first entered the reality TV world with Fox’s Princes of Malibu in 2005, and then made themselves The Hills stars by crashing Conrad and Montag’s nights at the club. Their friendship eventually dissolved, though Pratt says they’re back on track now. “He knows that I got too deep in my character, and I just blew it,” he says. “The other night we FaceTimed for seven-and-a-half hours. We’re just teenage girls, no big deal.”
He really, truly loves reality TV.
Pratt — who claims he watches “every single reality show” — keeps trying to get Jenner to open up to reality TV again to no avail. He’s, obviously, the opposite. “It’s a really cool medium that I just think people still don’t even appreciate,” he says. Then he admits, “Maybe I’m just an egomaniac fame whore at heart who just loves the attention, which could easily be the case.”
He’s obsessed with Friday Night Lights.
And he’s having an especially hard time with one specific storyline: “Matt Saracen’s dad just died in Iraq and I almost couldn’t even go to sleep. I was like, freaking out. Matt did not need this. I actually want to call and yell at the writers and be like, ‘Why would you do this to Matt?’ The guy can’t catch a break.”
Like, really obsessed.
He’s been watching FNL every night until about 1 a.m., when he switches over to Savages, the 2012 drama in which Friday Night Lights alum Taylor Kitsch — a.k.a. Tim Riggins — starred. “I’m on my third night falling asleep with the iPad in my lap because I want to watch Tim Riggins as a badass Navy SEAL drug dealer now that he’s out of college.” Spencer Pratt, he’s just like us.
He’d love to do scripted television.
“I’d cut my finger off to get on a scripted show,” he says before clarifying that he hasn’t actually gone on any auditions. “I think I’m just too typecast. That’s why I’m growing this beard. I’m trying to look like Ragnar from the History Channel. I’m trying to create this whole new persona.” That hasn’t worked the way he wants it to — at least not yet. “Lately it’s been like, ‘Is that beard a disguise?’ I’m like, ‘I guess it’s not working.’”
“I would definitely rather be a respected scripted actor, obviously, but I am definitely on a different path,” he continues. “If I could choose one or the other, give me the freakin’ Batman outfit all day long. I would much rather go make believe to the next level.” And, he has some words for current star Ben Affleck: “I definitely won’t be messing around with the nanny.”
If he can’t be the next Dark Knight though, he’s down to settle for something a little less flashy. “I would love to at least be in an indie film. Even if we’re not at Sundance, I’ll take the Santa Barbara Film Festival or something.”
He’s dabbled in wizardry.
In recent years, Pratt’s become known for the massive collection of crystals that he began gathering for healing purposes after Montag went through a painful batch of plastic surgeries. But he’s also tried out other unconventional methods like… wizardry. “I spent thousands of dollars having a wizard coach,” he says. “Being a wizard, it’s pretty heavy. Going around with a wand, and people start looking at you weird when you’re wanding your coffee in the morning and whatever.”
He’s since given that up — although he still has his wand, made of rutilated quartz — but keeps the crystals around. “Now I just love to look at them, because I’ve moved past them having powers,” he says. “If they had powers, I would be Kim Kardashian right now and not Spencer.”
Montag wants him to go to church more, but a bodily issue is holding him back.
“Heidi says, ‘Jesus is your tool. Pray to God,’” he says. One problem: “I was really into going to church, but I have bladder issues because I drink so much damn water to try to have abdominal muscles and speed up my metabolism, so it’s very uncomfortable when people already look at you like the devil in church, but then you’re getting up like five times to go pee.” Don’t bother recommending diapers; he’s already thought of that. “My mom definitely got them for me,” he says. “Because she knows how many times I pull over on a road trip.”
He loves Montag so much that he wakes up to her “Turn Ya Head” each morning.
Really. “It’s pretty much the gnarliest way to wake up,” Pratt, whose multiple alarms start going off at 5:30 a.m., says. “I think the song was designed for a nightclub, not to wake you up.” Being surrounded by Montag 24/7 is the way he likes it, though: He says the best thing The Hills did for him was bringing her into his life. “I love her more every day,” he says. “It’s a miracle.”
And they’re looking to bring their own little miracle into the world soon.
But it’ll have to be after they go on another reality show (Pratt won’t disclose which series it is yet) in January. “The clock is over on the waiting, so in 2017, the spawn of Speidi will be created.” Mark your calendars — or maybe just lock your doors.