The Hills 10th anniversary reunion recap: 'That Was Then, This Is Now'
The Hills 10th anniversary special started the only way it could: with Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten,” the MTV reality show’s theme song, blaring from Lauren Conrad’s convertible speakers. But it’s not 2006 anymore, and Lauren isn’t the same person she was then — as the special’s title, That Was Then, This Is Now, makes clear — so she turns off the track and replaces it with something new. She’s officially an adult now.
And being an adult, for her, means having a successful career. She’s launched a clothing line at Kohl’s, another line called Paper Crown, and The Little Market, an online store that sells handmade goods made by artists from around the world. In fact, a good portion of the special is spent visiting her at photoshoots and seeing what her life is like now. Seeing Lauren, a character who many Laguna Beach and The Hills fans adored, doing well now is satisfying and, frankly, very cool, but it’s also not exactly what you want to see out of a Hills special that she promised would “address it all.” We don’t need a glossy MTV episode to tell us how Lauren is doing; we can go to her Instagram for that. What we want is gossip — about those fights with Heidi, about the Spencer drama.
Although the special doesn’t totally deliver on that tell-all promise, it does contain some interesting, and often amusing, tidbits. For example: Lauren’s onscreen romances weren’t always what they were cracked up to be. Read on for the best revelations from the special.
Jason Wahler’s doing A-OK these days, but it was rough for a while there.
Part of what made breaking up with Jason so hard was his, uh, less than sustainable lifestyle. Lauren revisits that scene where she drops off his golf clubs, which she says was the first time she saw him after their break-up. “It was really hard,” she recalls. “What made it harder was I could see he wasn’t sober.” “I think that just really broke me because I felt a responsibility to take care of him,” she continues, “and I felt like when we broke up, I was abandoning him. I was like, ‘oh, God, nobody’s taking care of him.'” He figured it out though: “He is sober now and married and very happy,” she says.
Lauren had a strategy for when she didn’t want to be filmed.
“I never loved being on-camera,” she says. And that was especially true during tense moments, like a scene where she and Heidi Montag were fighting in the kitchen. “Sometimes when we were filming and I was really uncomfortable and didn’t want to be there, I would just leave,” she explains. For example, mid-fight, she left Heidi in the kitchen to go to her room. When she could hear the camera crew following her, she said, “Don’t bring cameras into my room, I’m changing.” Even reality show stars need some privacy.
Brody Jenner and Lauren were not a match made in heaven…
Not at all. Although Lauren says she “definitely had a crush” on him, she claims they had “zero chemistry” — which made filming their first onscreen kiss all the more awkward. The special shows never-before-seen footage of the couple after that kiss, and it’s… not exactly romantic. “Can we please be done?” she asks the crew. “This is the most awkward thing ever!” That, she reveals, is when the show started to feel “forced.” “There was so much pressure on me at that point to get a boyfriend or date someone who was willing to film, that I just sort of let them do whatever they wanted,” she says now.
…and neither were Lauren and the man she met in Paris.
When she (finally!) went to Paris, she ended up on the back of a cute Frenchman’s motorcycle. That wasn’t enough romance for the producers though: They wanted him to kiss her, despite her insistence that she had no romantic feelings for him. The special shows some footage of Lauren saying goodnight to him — sans kiss — and then essentially running away from him. “She ran like a thief,” the man says to the crew after she goes inside. “She knew everything.”
She was supposed to be in the finale before they cut her scene with Brody.
In the deleted scene, Brody comes home to Lauren after saying goodbye to Kristin Cavallari. She asks where he’s been, and he says he was saying bye to a friend. “It’s hard to say goodbye,” Lauren responds mournfully before, moments later, breaking into a huge smile. See that scene, which MTV released years after the finale aired, below.