The cast spills on Kristin Cavallari's arrival, hookups, breakups and babies!
"The Hills: New Beginnings" is back for its second season this week -- and the stars promise the show is better than ever with its return.
Production on Season 2 initially started in early 2020, completing three episodes before the coronavirus pandemic shut them down. They didn't pick back up again until 9 months later -- and filming under those new protocols came with challenges, but also sparked some additional drama.
"Obviously, we did a lot of filming together. So it definitely did spark up a lot of conflict between the group and we weren't really able to have other outside cast members come in like we used to be able too," Brody Jenner told TooFab ahead of the premiere. "So, it had its challenging moments, but it made for some great TV. We had some really good, heavy, heavy stuff in there. And I think it's a lot better than the original season -- for sure, a lot better."
Frankie Delgado said Season 2 feels like a totally "different show" because the cast had time to actually get to know one another again after re-bonding during the first season. He said the new episodes have "that feeling that the first original 'Hills' used to have" when it would highlight the hustle of Lauren Conrad to break into the fashion industry. "Girls got inspired to move to LA because the show," he said, hoping Season 2 recaptures that magic.
"The first season it was like, Hey, I haven't seen you guys in 12 years and a lot of you I didn't have the best communication with when I was around last time. I was like three sheets to the wind, but good to see you again,'" added Jason Wahler. "It was very weird for me. This season I really felt for myself that I was like, 'Okay -- I finally know where I'm at right now.' So, I was actually happy with it. This season was way better than last season."
Here's what else the cast told us about the new season -- including tidbits on Kristin Cavallari's much-buzzed about return, Audrina Patridge and Justin Bobby's relationship and and baby talk with Spencer and Heidi Pratt.
Kristin Cavallari Returns
The first teaser for "New Beginnings" ended with a mic drop moment: Kristin Cavallari's return to the show. While she won't be around for every episode, fans were thrilled to see her back in the mix -- and hopefully shaking things up with ex Brody.
"I think we love when Kristin comes around. She's so good at what she does," Jenner told TooFab. "She's been doing this for so long and when she comes in she just knows how to bring the heat. So, she filmed a few things but she definitely stirred up the pot for sure."
"When she walked in for the first time, I hadn't seen her in a lot of years and she felt like a celebrity to me," added Frankie. "I forgot that we were like, we're all best friends, so it was pretty awesome. I remember I Punk'd her back in the day on the show. As soon as she walked in it was like it's been a day since I've seen her type of feeling."
While Brandon Thomas Lee hadn't met her before, he said Cavallari was "a little bit of a firecracker" -- as Heidi exclaimed, "We love Kristin!"
"Her energy is amazing and just her being with the group -- she knows all of us," added Audrina. "It just brought life because we were filming with just our group during this pandemic. So, to have her come in it was like, 'Kristin!' It was so exciting."
Spencer said he hopes Kristin returns in future seasons, because he felt like she and Brody "almost started making out on the rocks filming." While we aren't sure just how serious he was being, he said Audrina was also "hiding in Brody's" car when it happened and "Brody knew Audrina spent the night at his house so he couldn't kiss [Kristin]" at the time.
"There's some interesting surprises in store for all you guys," is all Patridge would add.
Newly Single Stars
There are quite a few stars on the prowl when the show returns, after high-profile splits or decisions to not pursue potential romances since filming on Season 1 wrapped. Brody and Kaitlynn Carter called it quits between seasons, while viewers saw Audrina and Justin Bobby decide there wasn't anything for them throughout the first batch of episodes. The trailer for Season 2 teases a possible Brody-Audrina hookup and Patridge's short romance with Sean Stewart.
"I think Audrina got over the biggest hurdle in her life and she's able to open up and be herself again," Justin told TooFab. "And me, I had to kind of stop touring and doing whatever I was doing nomadically and come back to my senses."
"We've known each other for so long and with any friendship there's ups and downs and I think this season we kind of came back and met eye to eye and talked things out," Audrina said of their relationship. "You'll have to watch and see what happens."
Carter told TooFab she did a lot of Zoom therapy between seasons, working on "kind of rebuilding and figuring out who I am as an individual." When it came time to resume filming with Brody, she was "a lot more clear on who I am and it just allowed me to be a lot more comfortable with what I was saying on camera."
Brody told TooFab he and Kaitlynn are still "great friends," despite their split generating some serious headlines. "I love Kaitlynn. We spent six years together. It was a very mutual, great breakup. There was no animosity, it was just totally clean. Everything was great," he added of the breakup itself.
Babies on the Brain?
The trailer also teased Heidi and Spencer exploring the possibility of expanding their family, something Pratt wasn't thrilled became a constant topic of conversation while doing press all day.
"Well, they keep getting brought up today," he told TooFab. "Heidi is obviously very sad she's not pregnant. I'm very sad as well, before I wasn't, but now it's starting to turn into -- I'm sorry I guess we should've tried during the pandemic." Looking at his wife, he added, "I failed you. I'm sorry," before reaching for some, uh, supplements.
"I think we're in a good place. I'm actually glad I wasn't pregnant before," added Heidi. "Even with the show, it's been really stressful on and off camera. So, I think it wasn't the right time to be pregnant."
"We have a cast member or two who are pregnant ... I'm the type of person that if I was pregnant I actually wouldn't have been very involved in the show at all," she continued, saying she was thankful about the timing. "But we're trying," Heidi concluded, "You never know, this could be the month, so let's keep trying!"
No More Mischa
While Mischa Barton was one of the big draws -- at least initially -- of the first season, she's MIA when "New Beginnings" returns. Instead, Caroline D'Amore joins the cast and brings a different energy to the show than her "O.C." star predecessor.
"I just don't really think Mischa -- she doesn't really come from a reality background. She's more of a scripted actress and I think that when she came on you know, she didn't really know anybody," said Brody. "A lot of us have grown up together, we've known each other for a really long time and I think Mischa kinda came on, did her own thing. I don't think she really tried to, or cared to interact with us that much. I think she was just kind of doing her own thing. So, ultimately, I don't think it really worked out."
"Mischa was really entertaining the second they turned cameras off," added Pratt. "So, I feel like that was her issue. I think off camera Mischa is a hit show. So, I think Caroline is more of an on-camera person, and that's the big difference. I don’t think cameras change Caroline, if anything they help Caroline grow."
Wahler echoed those thoughts, saying that "with this type of show you do need to have that transparency, needing to be open and I think that's something Caroline brings to the show versus Mischa -- just wasn't the right fit."
Filming During Covid
Production on this season was certainly unlike anything any of the cast members had experienced before. While the testing process was rigorous, they were all just thrilled to be around other people again -- and think the new season could be looked at as a time capsule of the pandemic-era in the future.
"I think anything to pull us out of the funk of COVID. I think being able to do it legally, and being able to see our friends again and be like, 'What have you been up to?' It was really really important for us to meet up at that time," said Justin.
While Audrina said the initial shutdown was "kind of a buzzkill," she jumped at the chance to get back to filming. "I was like, 'What are we doing?" said Brandon. "I didn’t know what it was gonna be like, but turned out really amazing and honestly was surprising and I had a blast."
"I like the idea that in hopefully 20-50 years when people are coming back to 'The Hills' -- hopefully COVID wasn't something that happens forever and it was just this horrible time period -- that we're like a time capsule," said Spencer. "Like a modern type history book, this is what it was like trying to live life during a pandemic."
"I hope we just got to be part of a very awful, strange time and made the best of it," he added.
"The Hills: New Beginnings" returns May 12 on MTV.