MTV's reboot of The Hills hit our televisions Monday, reconnecting fans with OG cast members like TV "villains" Spencer and Heidi Pratt, Whitney Port, and the Justin Bobby. Yet for everyone we saw return to The Hills, there are questions about who didn't, from small time players like occasional frenemy Jen Bunney (where is she???) to the show's leading ladies, former rivals Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari.
I say, it's time we take things back even farther. What the heck happened to Stephen Colletti, the boy who created the rivalry between Conrad and Cavallari on Laguna Beach — the very show that also birthed The Hills — in the first place? Fans, it's time for a trip down memory lane.
For those who don't remember MTV's 2004 reality show Laguna Beach — its successor The Hills made a bigger cultural splash — it starred Conrad, Cavallari and their friends as they dealt with high school drama in the titular beachside town. Colletti (so many C names) was dating Cavallari, but there was always a spark between him and his bestie Conrad — at least, that's what the show wanted you to think.
"One of the most hurtful things [the producers of Laguna Beach] did was pressure Stephen to spend time with another girl from the show, Lauren, while he and I were dating," Cavallari wrote in her book Balancing in Heels. "It certainly provided some juicy conflicts, but it also affected me deep. I felt threatened."
Colletti went his separate ways from both Cavallari and Conrad until 2008, when he reunited with Conrad for a 2008 episode of The Hills titled "A Date With the Past." There are still those "sparks," but Colletti doesn't stick around. The reason? Colletti was busy working on his acting career.
In 2007, Colletti starred in Normal Adolescent Behavior, a teen comedy about a group of high school friends who are in a a six-person polyamorous relationship. How this movie came out over a decade ago and I'm just hearing the plot details of it now, I have no idea, but it also stars Hilarie Burton of One Tree Hill.
The same year, Colletti joined the cast of the teen drama as Chase, a "Clean Teen" who woos our queen Brooke (Sophia Bush) for a hot minute. Chase sticks around for way longer than one might expect a reality star to. (By contrast, Cavallari had a one episode role in Veronica Mars.) Chase appears on the show for 57 episodes, until the finale in 2012, and is a series regular in season 8 and season 9.
In between his stint on One Tree Hill, Colletti appeared as the (awful!) love interest in Taylor Swift's 2009 music video for "White Horse." We hate him in the video, but clearly, the world is catching on that Colletti makes a viable film and television love interest...which is how we get to One Tree Hill.
Shortly after One Tree Hill, Colletti appeared in the VH1 series Hit the Floor for six episodes in 2013. His real bread and butter, though, came from TV movies. He starred in a slew of them, including 2012's perfectly-named holiday movie All About Christmas Eve (hey there, Haylie Duff!) Lifetime thriller Status: Unknown in 2014, and 2016's supernatural Suicide Note.
More recently, Colletti starred in 2018's The Wedding Do Over, Did I Kill My Mother? and another Christmas movie titled Hometown Christmas. Alas, he did not join his former OTH pals for The Christmas Contract, a different holiday movie that united the show's Robert Buckley, Burton, Antwon Tanner, and Daneel Ackles.
Recently, however, Colletti did reunite with someone from his OTH past: James Lafferty. Colletti and Lafferty co-wrote, as well as starred, in the short Everyone Is Doing Great, which Lafferty directed. The logline doesn't sound entirely not based on their real-life OTH experience.
"Seth and Jeremy enjoyed relative success from Eternal, a hit television vampire drama. Five years after their show has ended, they lean on each other as they struggle to reclaim their previous level of success and relevance, awkwardly navigating the perils of life and love amidst a humorously painful coming of age."
The short screened at the Austin Television Festival this year.
As for how Colletti feels about The Hills returning to television? Well, he agrees that pal Conrad, whom he still occasionally keeps in touch with, did not need to do the show.
"I mean, she did it for so many years and she’s got what she’s always wanted. She’s got her fashion line, that whole empire that she’s built, and that’s what it’s always been about for her," he told Us Weekly. "And, you know, I think that she doesn’t need to do it. And if she’s not interested in doing it, she shouldn’t do it, but I will say it’s hard to imagine that show without her."
As for Colletti, we'll patiently await news of a Hills: New Beginnings cameo. Come on, MTV — the guy is a pro!