Kristin Cavallari on The Hills and surviving the villain edit

The star reveals how to face the backlash that comes with being a reality TV villain

By Karina Recchi
She grew up in front of the camera as the "villain" on Laguna Beach and The Hills, navigating her way through romances with Stephen Colletti, Brody Jenner and Justin Bobby, before walking away from MTV to create a life with now-husband Jay Cutler.
Nine years on, Kristin Cavallari is back on screens in the second season of her own reality series, Very Cavallari, centred around the dramas unfolding within the headquarters of her jewellery business. And this time, not only is she in front of the camera, but she's also master-minding the whole operation as executive producer.
Here, Kristin reveals how she coaches her staff through the negativity on the show, and how The Hills reboot thwarted her plans for her own show!

Hey Kristin, how do you keep every day so exciting at Uncommon James? Not all businesses are entertaining enough to warrant their own reality show, but every episode there's a new drama or breakdown…
Something I'm really working on is culture, like team breakfasts and a lot of different activities. We're in a really unique situation in that the show encourages drama and all that, but as soon as the cameras turn off I'm like, "OK, there's no more – we have a zero tolerance policy." We're working on the culture and we're even introducing gratitude notes to make it a really positive environment right now.
How does your team feel watching it all back?
It's been a little difficult, and it definitely stings. Hearing what other people say about you is not always fun, so there is some of that going on.
Do you ever have to give pep talks?
People have come to me and are like, "How do I handle this?" and I'm like, "Don't talk about it. Don't talk about it with the other employees." Rise above it, and you've just got to move on – which is obviously easier said than done, but it's part of our unique situation.

You've had to do that multiple times in your career on Laguna Beach and The Hills
Yeah, I think honestly trying to compartmentalise is what I tell people. I'm like, "Listen, whatever happened months ago, even if so and so said this about you, you have to move on from it." You can't take everything at face value because sometimes people are edited a little bit, and I'm just like you've got to separate it.
How has reality TV impacted your relationship with Jay?
I really don't think that it's affected our relationship good or bad. If anything, maybe it's brought us closer in some ways because we have this other thing that's really bonding us; we have this other experience that we've been through. I think something that's so great about Jay is that this whole world is not real to him, so he can film a scene and he can be funny, but then it's back to life, you know?
Do you ever have days you don't want to film?
Yes, of course, absolutely. There are days where I'm like, "Arghhh! I just don't wanna do this!" I don't want to get ready and I don't want to do it like everybody else. It is a job, though, so you've got power though.

You brought the cameras back to your hometown Laguna Beach this season. What was that like?
It was a cool experience and it was kind of surreal. I met my dad and I'm talking to my dad about when [MTV] first came to high school and it's a trip – it really is. I look at my life now in compared to how it all started, it's really neat…
Can you believe how your lift transformed after MTV cast you in Laguna Beach?
[Laughs] It's pretty crazy from the wild teenager to owning my own business and having kids and everything! It's so cool and I'm very thankful for my experience and also to MTV because who knows what my life would be like had I not done Laguna Beach
You were a villain on Laguna Beach and The Hills, however you navigated that role in a world without social media. How different is being on reality TV now that fans are so vocal and can reach you directly 24/7?
It is interesting because, like you said, we didn't have any of that. I actually don't read my comments. I don't know… I'm on it, but I'm removed from it. I stopped reading my comments a couple of years ago and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. But I do think, I guess it's good for a show because you can see what's working and what's not working because people can instantly tell you what they did and didn't like.

You've talked about inviting old pals like Audrina Patridge and Spencer and Heidi Pratt onto Very Cavallari. It hasn't happened yet, is that still something you're hoping to do?
Yeah, I would love to. I was talking to a few people about coming on, but then The Hills reboot [happened]. Of course, I would love to have some old faces on my show – that would be a lot of fun!

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