What Kristin Cavallari Learned From Playing The Villain On Laguna Beach

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It's not unusual to cringe at the sight of yourself as a teenager, and thanks to Facebook Timehop, we're all faced with the existential threat of receiving blasts from the past on a daily basis. But Kristin Cavallari, who played the resident villain on Laguna Beach, the 2004 reality show about the fabulously dramatic lives of Orange County teenagers, had her awkward teen years caught on camera. In a new interview with online parenting site Momtastic, Cavallari opened about the fabricated drama and her life off-camera.

"Laguna Beach was really our lives being manipulated by being put in situations we never would have been in normally," the mother-of-three said. "It’s funny because on Laguna Beach I came off like the person who really had my shit together but I was a mess — like most teenagers. I was really unhappy." But the young star learned a huge lesson about reality TV from Laguna, one she carried over to the popular spin-off show, The Hills, where she continued her villainess streak into her 20s. Treat it like a job — and play up your part. "When I joined The Hills, I looked at it strictly as a job; we filmed three different scenes, three days a week," the 29-year-old explained. "I had my life on-camera and a completely different life off-camera." Cavallari continued, "I knew the character they wanted me to play, and this time I was game. Since I looked at it as a job, it was fun to play up the villain character." Today, Cavallari has shed that role and found real happiness by "becoming comfortable in my own skin by really figuring out who I am." Now, she plays the role of mom, wife, shoe designer, and author — her first book, Balancing in Heels, hits shelves in March.

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