‘The Hills’ Stephanie Pratt has experienced both the best and the worst of being a reality television star. She gets all the privileges and opportunities that come with being young, pretty and famous. But with fame came new insecurities and intense scrutiny. Her DUI arrest made headlines. She has battled an eating disorder. With the show’s sixth and final season set to premiere April 27th, Pratt opens up about the consequences of her arrest, her rift with Speidi, Heidi’s plastic surgery, and her plans for the future.
When did you find out this is going to be the last season of ‘The Hills?‘
I found out, I think, two days before MTV made their press release. But I think we all kind of knew it was the last season when we signed on for season six.
How do you feel about the show coming to an end?
It’s really, really sad. I’m going to see the girls all the time because in real life I’m really close with Lo and Audrina. But really the crew, that’s going to be the hardest part, getting used to not seeing them all the time. It’s such a fun family that we have.
You used the phrase “in real life” which brings up something a lot of people wonder. How scripted is the show?
It’s not scripted. People are always like, “You only hang out when you film,” because we have call times and people think that’s the only time we see each other. People always think it’s scripted and that we all hate each other, which is not true.
But are you guided? Do the producers, for example, tell you and Audrina to talk about what happened with Justin Bobby the prior night?
They don’t really have to say that, because if something happened that night then we all show up knowing that’s what we’re going to talk about. It’s not like they go in having an idea what next week is going to be about. It really just comes from our interactions with each other.
There is going to be a lot of focus on Heidi’s plastic surgery in season six. How do you feel about it?
I thought Heidi was beautiful from the first day I met her before any of the surgery. But I know what it’s like to feel insecure and to have body issues so if this is something that gives her confidence and she’s happier, then I support her in that. I think it’s really important for women, especially young women, to feel confident in themselves.
You’ve been open about how your own struggles with body issues led you to develop an eating disorder in the past. How are you doing now?
I’m eating watermelon right now. I almost has to call you back because I wanted to go on a run before it got dark. You can’t just lay in bed in eating ice cream and be like, “Oh I wish I was athletic.” You really just have to do it for yourself. So I’ve just been working out and eating healthy.
In past interviews you’ve acknowledged that you felt heavy when you joined the show. Do you still have those thoughts?
No, I don’t. When you first go on TV, no one’s used to what you look like. So everyone just starts saying everything possible that could hurt you. So I think I wasn’t used to seeing myself on TV either, and I’m the most critical person about myself. It’s been two years since I really struggled with that, since I came on the show. Every day I get stronger. Instead of thinking bad things about yourself, it’s so important to have a better attitude.
You got a DUI a few months ago. What happened? Is that taken care of now?
I actually had court this morning. It was my last court date. So I turned in my DUI class completion papers. I went to 24 AA meetings and turned that card in and paid a fine. It’s crazy. I got a .08 and I walked into the class like, “I can’t believe I’m here. I can’t believe I got a DUI. I was at the legal limit.” The whole class was like, “There’s no such thing as the legal limit,” all at the same time. I learned so much in that class. You can be arrested for a .02, a .03. If you drink, so you don’t want to drive, and you fall asleep in your car because you’re going to sleep it off, you can get a DUI. I realized it wasn’t about anything other than I made a bad decision. So I wasn’t too hard on myself, but the worst part was just having people think that I make bad decisions.
Whenever I read about someone famous getting a DUI, I always wonder why they didn’t call a cab or hire a driver, since they can afford to do that. Will you do that in the future?
I just stopped drinking. It was never really something that I wanted to do all the time. I live in the Pacific Palisades. It’s a 45 minute drive to Hollywood. So, as it is, I don’t go out that much anyway. If I do one day, in the future, the late, late faraway future, plan to drink, I will definitely have a driver or take a cab. The motto that everyone leaves the DUI class knowing, which everyone ought to know, is don’t drive to the drink.
In the previews for season 6, you confront Kristin about her drinking and drug use. What happened there?
We can’t talk too much about it, but I can say that The Hills really is different this season because we didn’t keep what we normally would hide [off camera]. We show everything that we’re going through. We’re not showing our other jobs that we do besides The Hills, but every emotional thing like the rumors that Kristin dealt with, my DUI, Heidi’s surgery. The Hills is very real this season.
There are few people in America with a worse reputation than Spencer. What’s it like being his sister?
I always see the good in people. It’s a good quality unless you’re dating an a**hole. I only remember the good times I had with my brother, his funny side and his charming side. I always defend him even when I hate him. We’re just so different that it took a really long time for people to see that. That was the hardest, always being Spencer’s sister.
You just brought up dating. Are we going to see your love life in the upcoming season?
I go on a lot of dates, but the show doesn’t always show them. So I don’t know if they’re going to show the guy I’ve been filming with a little bit.
What’s he like? What does he do?
I don’t really know what he does. He does something for lacrosse or something. He’s one of Lo’s boyfriend’s friends.
What are you looking for in a guy?
I am so over egotistical guys. I hate arrogant a**holes, and that’s all I meet. I want to meet a nice, sweet guy who likes to watch movies.
Does being on a reality show make it harder or easier to meet guys?
It’s both. It’s easier because I get to meet more people. But it’s harder because guys freak out. They have this misconception that cameras are always following us, like, in our bedrooms, 24 hours a day. Or, they only want to be on the show.
Do you think ‘The Hills’ gives a false impression of how easy it is for young people to come to L.A. and live your lifestyle?
I think so, but it’s not just The Hills. When Sex & The City was on, I remember some report that [New York] city’s population grew like crazy. The economy’s so difficult that anywhere you go it’s hard to make a living. I don’t think The Hills is responsible for misleading people.
What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have about you?
I guess that I’m bitchy. It doesn’t bother me because I know I’m not.
Do you ever read about yourself on-line?
I don’t. I only use my computer for iChat. The blogs are what destroyed me two years ago. I will never go back on them. No one has anything nice to say on blogs. It would be self-abuse for me to go on them and see what people have to say about me.
How has joining the cast of ‘The Hills’ changed your life?
I think what I see every day is just more confidence. I’m not scared of speaking in front of groups. I used to have stage fear that would be so bad I wouldn’t want to play in our huge championship soccer game.
What do you think your life would be like right now if you hadn’t had the opportunity to join ‘The Hills?’
I think I would be doing what I’m doing on the side right now, which is the handbag line I’ve been working on since I was 15. It’s so interesting because everyone’s like, “Did the show help you out?” My best friend who I used to work in retail with is the one who found a manufacturer for me. She wasn’t even from the show. I think that’s really cool.
Are your bags available in stores now?
Not yet. I actually just partnered up with someone. I have a meeting tomorrow to go over new designs. Hopefully, it will be next year. It takes so long for everything. It’s crazy. That’s the hardest part. I am so impatient.
Will you pursue more on camera activities after ‘The Hills’ ends?
Yeah. I’m really interested in hosting. I love my little job on The Soup, to be the Unlikely Voice of Reason. When you are on The Hills, that’s really your every day life. So it will be fun to see what doors open when my contract is over.
If a network wanted to do a reality show about you launching your handbag line, would you be interested?
I don’t know. I’d really have to see what they were thinking. It’s been so emotional having my family on a TV show with me. I can’t imagine having my best friends who aren’t on TV be on TV. I don’t want it to damage anything else. But it would be really fun.
Looking back, what have been your favorite moments on ‘The Hills?‘
Seeing my brother get married. The Hawaii trip. Definitely Audrina’s birthday party at her old house. I always had a great time with Lauren at FIDM because we’d always be on shopping websites at the library. This is definitely the best time of my life.