When MTV approached Lauren “LC” Conrad and a group of friends to film their senior year in high school, Conrad had no idea what to expect. The show would become MTV’s 2004 reality hit Laguna Beach: The Real O.C. The fresh-faced beauty quickly became a fan favorite and got her own spin-off, The Hills, which follows Conrad’s personal and professional life as she pursues a career in the fashion industry. The first season premiered in 2006 and featured Conrad’s work at Teen Vogue, along with her relationship with then-roomie, Heidi Montag. When the second season rolled around, the friendship between Conrad and Montag was deteriorating, due to Montag’s boyfriend, Spencer Pratt. By season three, Audrina Patridge had replaced Montag as Conrad’s roommate and the friendship was over. The feud turned ugly and was splashed all over the tabloids and the former friends have still not mended their relationship. The Hills is currently MTV’s highest rated series (averaging about 4 million viewers a week!) and has just started filming it’s fourth season. New tensions have developed and audiences were left wondering at the end of season three if Patridge would face Montag’s fate. Animal Fair caught up with Conrad to chat about her adorable animals, living life in front of the camera and her true passion.
AF: Tell us about your dog, Chloe.
LC: I got Chloe at an animal shelter here in Los Angeles. I’m all about rescuing. I went there and it was so sad. I knew I couldn’t leave without a dog. I named her Chloe because I really like the name. She is 5 months now and has doubled in size! I used to be able to hold her in one hand and now I can barely pick her up. Her mom was a Black Lab and they think her dad was a German Shepard, so she’ll probably grow to be about 50 pounds.
AF: How does your dog like being on camera?
LC: She’s a reality star! Chloe is here when MTV is filming The Hills and loves the spotlight. She’s a poser. Sometimes when it’s late at night, we’ll have little dance parties in my room. Chloe dances with us. But like any star, she is a little bit sassy. Chloe needs attention and if you don’t give it to her, she’ll do something to get it. She’ll growl at you until you look at her or she’ll eat my shoes! She has destroyed a couple pairs already, but she only eats one. Chloe is a “chowhound”, she will eat anything. We are talking about getting another dog in a month or two when Chloe is better trained. I have two roommates who live with me, Lo and Audrina, so we can manage.
AF: Tell us about Chloe’s partner in crime.
LC: That would be my cat, Ashes. My roommate’s boss found him in an alley, so I rescued him when he was really little. Ashes is 2-years-old now. He sleeps with me, so Chloe gets a little jealous. When I watch TV at nigh, they both hop in bed with me. Chloe and Ashes usually get along. They’ll play, but Chloe tends to get a little rough sometimes. Ashes loves to hide. He’s a very loveable cat, super friendly. Every morning Chloe wakes me up at 7:30am sharp to take her outside. Ashes will sit out on the roof and meow down at us. It’s hilarious. I love them both. I have my favorites on different days!
AF: Do you believe in puppy love between two people, like you have with your pets?
LC: I do believe in puppy love. That’s a cute name for lust. It’s that feeling you get when you first meet someone and everything is perfect. My take on love … don’t look for it. You will find someone that you like when you least expect it. And never settle.
AF: Let’s talk about your show, The Hills.
LC: We just started filming our fourth season. It’s going really well. I decided to do The Hills because I had a really great experience with Laguna Beach and this was my chance to make new friends and pursue my goals. When you do a reality show, it becomes a lifestyle and you get used to it. Some people think it’s weird to have cameras around all the time, but for me, it’s a little odd when they are not around. Our fans are really nice. They will come up and tell me about their favorite scenes. You get a lot of people looking at you like they recognize you, but can’t quite figure out from where!
AF: What kind of dog would you say Spencer Pratt is?
LC: I don’t know. I like dogs, so…
AF: What about your former roommate, Heidi Montag?
LC: Don’t people say that dogs take after their owners? Well, she had a Chihuahua. It wasn’t a very nice dog. She gave it away.
AF: What’s the status with your sometime crush, Brody?
LC: Brody is a very relaxed, chill guy. He’s super easy to get along with and a good friend. We have good chemistry because we are close. My ideal guy has a sense of humor. Someone who makes you laugh and someone who makes you feel completely comfortable being yourself- the best version of yourself. It’s difficult to date on The Hills. The show makes it nearly impossible to have a healthy, normal relationship, but I’m ok with that. I’m still young and not really looking for anything serious right now. I’m all about having fun!
AF: When Season 3 ended, there was tension between you and your roommate, Audrina. How are things now?
LC: Good. The show follows our relationships and everything we go through. No one has a perfect relationship. You fight with your friends once in a while, so the show captures that. I met Audrina when I moved to Los Angeles two years ago. I grew up with Lo, my other roommate. I’ve known her since third grade, so Lo is like a sister to me. Audrina is nice to everyone and is a little reserved. Lo speaks her mind and tells it like it is. They are different, but I love living with my girls.
AF: Have you changed watching yourself on TV?
LC: If anything, you catch your really annoying habits. I used to play with my hair nonstop and it drove me crazy to watch! So, I’ve made a huge effort to stop doing that. I try not to say “like” too much anymore… you pick up on things like that.
AF: Tell us something about yourself that people don’t know.
LC: I grew up with almost every animal you can think of: dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish. I’ve always loved animals. My mom is the same way. When it comes to food, pizza is my ultimate guilty pleasure! I could live on it. I can’t leave home without my Blackberry and if you open my purse, you will find a ton of lip-glosses. I have so many, I think I have 14 total. Gotta have one in every color.
AF: With a hit show, comes the paparazzi. How do you deal with it?
LC: It is what it is. They are kind of a pain. I lost 2 out of 3 on the freeway today. I just couldn’t shake the last one. I looked awful- I hadn’t brushed my hair and had to run out for a fitting. All I wanted to do was stop at Whole Foods to get something to eat, but I didn’t want to be photographed like that. I was so mad! But I do read the tabloids because I want to see what people are wearing and the way they are accessorizing. It’s a great way to keep up to date on the latest trends.
AF: Congratulations on your clothing line (Lauren Conrad Collection)!
LC: Thank you. My clothing line has been doing really well. I’m having a blast with it. It’s so amazing to go through the process of creating clothes. My line has been in stores for a little while now and I’m starting to see people on the street in my clothes. It’s really cool! I love that feeling. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved fashion and this is just a dream come true.
Animal Fair is going to keep their eye on this breakout star, as Conrad continues to tackle the world of fashion design and entertain audiences each week on MTV. Who knows? Maybe Chloe and Ashes will get their own spin-off … Beverly Hills: The Real D.C. (Dog & Cat)! Stay tuned.