Remember when Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad played tug-of-war with pretty boy Stephen Colletti's affections on MTV's “reality” series Laguna Beach? Cavallari, 22, now steps into the heels abandoned by Conrad as the new star of The Hills, the network's more glamorous and unrealistic Laguna spin-off, which kicks off its sixth season September 29. Though no stranger to drama, the actress called us a few days before the premiere to reveal that her real world is actually much gentler and gay-friendlier than what MTV's cameras capture.
Advocate.com: I’ve been looking forward to our chat because you’re not one of those guarded, overly media-trained girls who give safe, boring answers in interviews. You rarely hold back and always tell it like it is.
Kristin Cavallari: I can’t really censor myself because it’s too exhausting for me. It’s way too difficult to be something that you’re not. This is who I am — if you like it, great; if you don’t, fine. That’s how I go through life. When it comes to interviews, there are certain things in my personal life that I don’t talk about, but everything else I don’t really mind.
The promos for the new season of The Hills introduce you with the tagline “The bitch is back.” I knew they were going to portray you as a bitch, but they aren’t trying to be subtle about it, are they?
No, they really aren’t. I honestly think it’s funny. What’s interesting to me is that on Laguna Beach someone was trying to steal my boyfriend, but now I’m the bitch? It’s interesting how they’ve turned that around. But I think the reason people say I’m a bitch is because I’m very honest and I have a really strong personality, and that intimidates a lot of people. So it’s easy to just slap the “bitch” label on me.
The paparazzi and tabloid attention will likely only get more intense once The Hills heats up again. The way I see it, you can either make the most of the exposure, like "Speidi," or have a Britney-style breakdown. How are you handling it?
You can’t take it too seriously. You have to laugh about it and not stress about what people think or you will go crazy. First of all, I don’t even know how they come up with the shit that’s in the tabloids. No matter what you do, you can’t please everybody, and not everyone’s going to like you.
Do you read the gossip blogs?
I’ll look at them every once in a while, but I’m trying to make myself stop. But even if you don’t look at them, you hear about everything anyway because you have 20 people telling you what they say about you.
I’ll admit I got excited earlier this month when I heard the rumor that you were secretly dating John Mayer.
I just thought it was funny. I met him once for five minutes, so it’s like, “Oh, we’ve been dating for two years? Really?” He is very good-looking, but I don’t need people thinking I’m another girl he’s gotten.
Should people stop whining about how staged The Hills is and start watching it the same way they watch Melrose Place or 90210?
I just don’t understand why people care so much. It’s a TV show. No one has an issue with Melrose Place not being like real life. I really don’t see the difference.
In my opinion, the most unbelievable thing about the show is that there aren’t more gay people on it.
I know, and I wish there were. I mean, we’re in West Hollywood all the time, so come on. I definitely have a lot of gays in my life, but I don’t necessarily have much say on who gets on the show. Sometimes I can have a couple friends come with me when we’re filming group things, but I don’t really get to film with whoever I want. But I hear you, and I’ll see what I can do about that.
Who’s your gay BFF?
Jack [Ketsoyan] is my best friend and my publicist, which is great. We’ve been working together a long time. And the guy who colors my hair, Justin Anderson, is also gay and one of my favorite people.
FoxNews.com ran a gossip item last year that you were drunkenly asking a girl to make out with you at a party. Are you totally a three-beer bisexual?
That’s funny. I don’t think I heard about that one. I’ve definitely made out with girls before, but it was more of a high school thing. I don’t think I would ever do that now. But if I see a girl I think is really pretty, I’ll tell her, “Hey, I think you’re hot.” But that’s about it.