Kristin Cavallari says “Laguna Beach” put her in the “villain role.”


Kristin Cavallari says "Laguna Beach" put her in the "villain role."

  • Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari co-hosts Back to the Beach with Kristin and Stephen.
  • Looking back, she believes the producers called her a “bad guy” from the start of the series.
  • She says she wasn’t as “confident” as viewers thought during filming.

‘Laguna Beach’ star Kristin Cavallari is revisiting her reality show roots.

Cavallari, who co-hosts Dear Media’s new Laguna Beach rewatch podcast, Back to the Beach with Kristin and Stephen, with boyfriend and former co-star Stephen Colletti, was only a 17-year-old high school junior when she starred in the groundbreaking MTV reality show. Now 35, she realizes how obvious her “rogue” cut would be on the show.

“I think they obviously saw from the start that I’m someone who spoke my mind,” she told Insider in an interview promoting the new podcast. She said she is now “without a doubt” that the producers cast her immediately for the show’s “villain” role.

Cavallari and Colletti, high school sweethearts-turned-grown-up pals, will break down the real-life (and fabricated) drama that fueled the teen documentaries that aired on MTV from 2004-2006. The show followed the friendships, family lives, and romances of wealthy high school students in Laguna Beach, California for three seasons. It was full of conflict and when it aired, Cavallari was the focus of much of it.

“I had a strong personality. I have a strong presence and I think that’s a lot easier to manipulate and incorporate into this villain role than any other type of personality,” she said.

Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti

Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti have been in touch since Laguna Beach. Now they revisit the show through a Dear Media Rewatch podcast.

Photo credit: Dear Media

Casting contestants into villain roles is not an uncommon practice in reality TV.

Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn said she was also identified as a “bad guy” in the cast on a May 18 episode of the “Call Her Daddy” podcast. Though Cavallari didn’t name specific producers who edited her as a villain, “Laguna Beach” and “Selling Sunset” were both executive produced by Adam DiVello, whom Quinn accused of punishing her for being “too honest,” like ” Selling Sunset” was produced.

Other personalities featured in “Laguna Beach” were content to exchange superficial insults in nail salons and engage in underhand gossip on jaunts. Cavallari was willing to face her enemies and demand more from her partner at a time when that was not popular with young girls. Cavallari believes she has that side of her personality, but doesn’t think the show has portrayed all sides of her.

She recalled being asked to repeatedly speak on camera about things that “didn’t really matter to her” that contributed to what she didn’t know would become big storylines. “That was all they really focused on,” added Cavallari. Her portrayal on the show soon became her public persona; Years later, she was advised to “meet as many people as possible” so they could see how “different” she was from how she was portrayed on television.

At the time “Laguna Beach” aired, reality docudramas were relatively rare. Terms such as frankenbiting, a process by which storyboard editors can take snippets of dialogue from separate conversations to form a sentence, or add audio to a scene where a cast member is not actually present to make it appear as if if they were, were not yet familiar to budding reality TV stars. “We just learned over time,” said Cavallari.

“I knew we would be filming things out of order, or they would have us having the same conversation in different ways,” she continued, adding that she was unaware of the extent to which the footage was shaped by its storytellers.

Cavallari presented herself as confident and confident on the show, but she didn’t feel that way during filming. “It’s interesting because that’s how everyone perceives me. And when I see ‘Laguna Beach’ now, I don’t see a confident girl at all. I actually see someone who is extremely insecure. So it’s interesting what people took away from that.” She said.

Now, as an adult who says she’s finally comfortable in her own skin, Cavallari is ready to relive the experience with “crystal clear” vision.

Back to the Beach with Kristin and Stephen is available now on streaming services. Check out the trailer below.

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