More allegations of 'The Hills' faking and staging scenes emerge
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/29/2007
While on a date with Lauren "L.C." Conrad, male model Gavin Beasley had a chance encounter with her former fling Brody Jenner during a The Hills third-season episode. However according to Beasley, his meeting with Jenner was apparently anything but a coincidence.
"[The producers] totally set up the BBQ scene for Brody and I to meet each other and talk because, as they said, 'The audience would get a kick out of seeing the ex talking to the new guy,'" Beasley told bestweekever.com in a recent interview.
"So they rent this house in Malibu for a set, bought a bunch of food and drinks, and just filmed us hanging out. Brody would talk all this sh*t, then be like, 'Sorry about that, we're just trying to make good television.' Like at one point, some other dude walked up to us while we were talking, and Brody goes, 'We're trying to film a scene here. Do you mind?' Like he's interrupting our lines... It was some of the best acting I've ever done."
Claims that portions of The Hills are scripted isn't entirely new. In August, a diner at New York's Da Silvano eatery toldThe New York Post that Conrad and three friends arrived with a camera crew in tow.
"It was clear that this show is not a reality show. They took five takes of Lauren ordering dinner," the restaurant patron told The Post. "The film crew took over the outside eating area by setting up lights and cameras everywhere. They should go back to California."
Conrad's The Hills co-stars and verbal sparring partners Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt have also participated in some staged scenes, including earlier this month when photographs emerged of him dropping her off and then picking her up from LAX all in the same day.
While Montag did actually catch a flight a week before the scene was filmed for The Hills, it was staged the following week to "put the trip into context," an MTV spokeswoman toldThe Post.
"It was a pickup shot that in no way affected the storyline," the spokeswoman told The Post. "This is no different from any other reality show."
The Hills also recently took some more heat for allegedly staging a scene for a third-season episode in which Montag and Pratt arrive at L.A.'s Ketchup restaurant on the same night and time as Conrad and her former beau Jason Wahler.
"Lauren and Jason were going there, and Heidi and Spencer wanted to celebrate their anniversary," executive producer Adam DiVello told TV Guide in the magazine's October 8 issue. "Ketchup was one of the spots Spencer wanted to go to, so it just sort of worked out. It wasn't planned on our behalf, but it is a little fake."
However DiVello was quick to add Montag and Pratt's romantic relationship is not a sham for the show.
"They're very much in love when I see them," he told TV Guide. "They're a real couple and definitely engaged. It's not staged for the sake of the show. If they've got something else going on, we've yet to see it."
But Beasley's The Hills appearance and date with Conrad was apparently scripted from the moment he first met her at a photo shoot for People last year, for which he was hired as a model. While he claims she tried to hook him up with Montag, that never came to fruition, and the two ran into each other again this August at a shoot for Teen Vogue.
"Lauren and the camera crews just so happened to be there. She remembered me from our [People] shoot, and the next thing I know, a producer's asking me to ask Lauren for her number, and I'm signing release forms and being shot for The Hills," he told bestweekever.com. "They wanted me to ask her about the runway show, how long she had worked that day, when would she get off, stuff like that."
Simple conversation seems to be a general theme when talking with Conrad.
"She's kind of a conversation killer, and when the cameras are rolling, all conversation is kept firmly on the surface," Beasley told bestweekever.com. "She talked about how mean Perez Hilton was, and how you have to be nice to the Paparazzi so they don't release the uglier pictures of you. I don't know... pop culture, Red Bull, stuff like that. In fact, the most interesting thing I got out of her was that she isn't allowed to eat ice cream because her trainer told her she can't."
Beasley added he found the "lack of depth" of the conversation to be "uncomfortable" and said MTV also edits the show to placate its stars.
"I ordered that salmon roll for myself and Lauren said she would like to try a piece, so of course MTV edited the scene to make it look like I'm force-feeding her the salmon that she hates, which I would never do on a date," he told the website.
Not surprisingly, Beasley said he and Conrad didn't really hit it off.
"We shot all this back in August, and I didn't film anything else, nor did I talk to Lauren again after our date night," he told bestweekever.com. "Someone from MTV called two weeks later to see about me asking Lauren and [The Hills co-star Whitney Port] out on a double date, but nothing happened with that. In fact, I actually feel like I had more of a relationship with my MTV contact than I ever did with Lauren."
Beasley said it's important for people to remember exactly what they're watching when they tune in for The Hills.
"I guess people should just try to remember that this is all entertainment -- and just as I'm not the boring dork they made me out to be -- Lauren and the other people on the show are sometimes capable of being nice, decent, funny people," Beasley told bestweekever.com. "Except for Spencer, I hear he's really like that."