Lauren Conrad & Kristin Cavallari Discuss Laguna Beach FEUD

Back in 2004, a team of MTV producers turned up at a Southern California high school on the hunt for the right group of charismatic teens to front their latest brainchild: A real-life, docu-soap version of Fox’s runaway-hit drama The O.C.

“We’re sitting there in class, and over the daily announcements they announce, ‘Okay everyone, MTV’s here. They’re going to cast a reality show on Laguna Beach. If you’re interested, sign up in the quad at break,'” Christina Sinclair (née Schuller) recalled to Time in 2014. “And I think for any 18 year old, that’s a dream come true. It’s like Grease—when they say they’re going to film their prom and it’s going to be on national television. Oh my gosh, I have to do it!”

In a pre-Kardashians, pre-Real Housewives world, what the network was after was fairly groundbreaking—a glossy-looking, new form of reality TV that simply followed a group of intriguing subjects around waiting for them to make good television. 

And, after weeks of scouting, when they stumbled upon outspoken blonde junior Kristin Cavallari, her dreamy senior boyfriend Stephen Colletti and his best friend Lauren Conrad, the perpetual girl-next-door who’d been harboring a secret crush, one development exec sent back word to the network: They had it. 

Months later, on Sept. 28, 2004, Laguna Beach debuted, captivating some 3 million viewers with the exploits of the well-off teens who inhabited the picturesque coastal California town and setting the stage for every Bravolebrity that would follow with The Real Housewives of Orange County premiering in 2006 as Laguna was wrapping its third season. 

By then, fashion student Conrad had already headed to The Hills, eager to fill up the blank page before her, a move that unearthed a true cultural phenomenon that introduced the world to the likes of Speidi, Justin Bobby and that ever-iconic phrase: “You know what you did!”  

Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

Suddenly we were all buying up Team Heidi and Team Lauren tees from Kitson and then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was joking about how he’d use his powers to end the feud between Conrad and Heidi Montag. It was, in a word, wild. No wonder Conrad recently confessed to Hills costar Whitney Port that she “just kinda needed a clean break for a minute to kind of emotionally recover.” 

We, however, require no such respite. And with Laguna Beach making its way to Netflix Nov. 11, respects must be paid. So swing by the surf shop, bust out your favorite white tube dress and check out what your favorite MTV alums have gotten up to in the last 18-plus years. Because while everyone’s changed and they’ve grown, you’re always gonna have that group of friends that you can come back to. 

Jesse Grant/WireImage, Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Kohls

Lauren Conrad

Literal LOL at Teen Vogue‘s Lisa Love telling Lauren, “You’ll always be known as the girl who didn’t go to Paris.” (A line actually lifted from Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, a 2019 Hills deep dive revealed.) 

More than a decade after that admittedly questionable decision and her subsequent split from Jason Wahler, LC has earned a few more laudatory descriptors: New York Times best-selling author; co-founder of The Little Market, with a mission to empower female artisans worldwide; and, of course, fashion designer, her Kohl’s Line LC Lauren Conrad just the start of her now wide-ranging lifestyle empire. 

Now long past fights outside Les Deux, she married Something Corporate rocker and law school grad William Tell in a 2014 Pinterest wedding of our dreams. In October 2019, their second son, Charlie Wolf Telljoined now 5-year-old brother Liam James Tell

Getty Images; Bravo

Kristin Cavallari

Everyone’s favorite bad girl went from being a (well-compensated) s–t-stirrer to full-on boss with her successful lifestyle brand, Uncommon James opening its third brick-and-mortar location in Dallas last spring.

Rounding out her growing empire: a Chinese Laundry shoe line and two cookbooks, with True Comfort out in September 2020, a little more than two years after New York Times best-seller True Roots. Teammates for 10 years, she and retired NFL quarterback Jay Cutler welcomed sons Camden Jack Cutler, 10, and Jaxon Wyatt Cutler, 8, and daughter Saylor James Cutler, 6, before splitting in April 2020

Evan Agostini/Getty Images, Rob Kim/Getty Images for Buzzfeed News

Jason Wahler

The resident bad boy of Laguna Beach and The Hills ran into nothing but trouble after his time on the reality series: drugs, DUIs, fights, arrests…you name it. It wasn’t until he appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Pinksy that he finally cleaned up.

Jason went on to marry girlfriend Ashley Slack, a relationship he claims is his first sober one, and he and “the most beautiful, loving, kind and caring woman I know” welcomed daughter Delilah Ray in August 2017 and son Wyatt Ragle in June 2021. The founder and owner of Widespread Recovery, he continues to be open about his struggles, both while he was on The Hills: New Beginnings and in his YouTube series, JAWS Diaries with Jason & Ashley Wahler

MTV; Getty Images

Stephen Colletti

When he’s not giving us new material for our LC-Kristin-Stephen love triangle fan fic, Laguna’s resident heartthrob is focused on building a pretty solid acting career. He was a recurring castmember on the CW’s One Tree Hill for five seasons and starred as Taylor Swift‘s love interest in her “White Horse” music video. He also had a temporary gig as an MTV VJ on Total Request Live (the original, not the reboot). Among his latest: the 2018 TV movie Hometown Christmas and Hulu’s Everyone Is Doing Great, with former OTH costar James Lafferty

And though he and Kristin, his Back to the Beach podcast cohost are definitely dunzo, Stephen is now dating NASCAR Reporter Alex Weaver.

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Lo Bosworth

Truthfully, LC’s BFF would prefer to be excluded from this narrative. When an exec gauged her interest in returning to The Hills, “I was like, ‘F–k no!'” she recalled on a 2018 episode of her Lady Lovin’ podcast. “I don’t want any association with any of those people. The dissociation from all those people is what I’m hungry for.”

Which, to be fair, sometimes that happens when you change careers. Now based in NYC, The International Culinary Center grad and The Lo-Down author founded Love Wellness, a line of personal care products for women, in 2016. As she recently told E! News, “I live such a different life now than I did 10 years ago.”

Getty Images, Instagram

Talan Torriero

Enjoying the briefest of flings with K.Cav, the romantic exploits of Laguna‘s “ladies’ man” remained in the spotlight as he dated Kimberly Stewart and Nicole Scherzinger. But he settled down for good when he met now-wife Danielle Torriero at an L.A. bar on her 21st birthday in 2009.

Decamping from Cali to her native Nebraska where they’re building “their dream home(stead)” on a 0.87-acre lot, the two wed in June 2014 and welcomed their son Bronson in October 2017 and daughter Hudson in December 2020. 

Getty Images, Instagram

Trey Phillips

Turns out that season one runway show was just his first step into the world of fashion. After leaving Laguna, Trey made the leap to New York City and Parsons School of Design. Graduating in 2010, the fashion design and renewable energy major hung around the Big Apple, scoring a job as an associate designer at Vera Wang. And while he’s kept his social media accounts—and, thus, his personal life—private, he still has a slight Internet presence, making the occasional cameo on Stephen’s feed. 

Stephen Shugerman for Getty Images, Dieter Schmitz/Instagram

Dieter Schmitz

Lauren and Stephen’s bestie left the Beach behind for his future in hospitality and hotel management, moving first to New York, then Washington, D.C. and most recently Arizona, where he works as market general manager-US Mainland for Aqua-Aston Hospitality.

He’s still tight with his high school crew, though, Lauren, “proud groomsman” Stephen, Trey and Loren Polster turning out for his 2016 Monterey, Calif. wedding to Isabell Hiebl. The pair welcomed their first child, son Nico Josef Schmitz, in September 2018 and now have a baby girl on the way.

MTV; Twitter

Jessica Smith

KCav’s Laguna Beach pal has largely stayed away from reality television after her run on the MTV show ended. Following a brief return to notoriety, thanks to a 2007 DUI arrest, she settled into a quiet life in Texas with her husband, Michael Evans, “the most kind, patient, strong, amazing, loving and ridiculously handsome human I’ve ever met,” as she put it on Instagram, and their four children. Though she has her own blog and Amazon shop, mostly, as she jokes on Insta, she’s “just trying not to lose a kid.”

Getty Images, Instagram

Alex Murrel

Long gone are the days of Alex battling Jessica for Jason’s heart. Marrying Kyle Johnson in 2014 (Morgan Olson and bridesmaids Alex H. and Taylor Cole attended), they’ve since welcomed three boys: Levi in 2016Kase in 2018 and Rome in April 2021. Making use of her communications degree from California’s Chapman University, she co-founded MOX Agency, a social media marketing business, in 2014. 

Getty Images, Instagram

Morgan Olsen

When Morgan signed on with MTV in 2004, she had no visions of stardom: “I thought it would be a fun experience to do with friends, and also a way to capture my high school experience on film,” she told Time. And no amount of fame was going to deviate from her plan to find a nice Mormon man to settle down with.

Two years after graduating from Brigham Young University in 2008, the humanities and journalism major married Joel Smith. “I did the things I think I would have wanted regardless of being on a TV show: graduate college, travel, get married, and start my career in New York and now Los Angeles,” she said of her Minnow Swim brand. Now stationed in South Carolina, where she opened a new Charleston showroom, the designer is mom to Theo, Georgia and Julian.  

MTV; Casey’s Cupcakes

Casey Reinhardt

Though she wasn’t an original castmember of Laguna Beach, Casey’s arrival to the reality series was a memorable one. Since then, she’s launched a successful foray into the world of confections by opening Casey’s Cupcakes in Orange County. She even won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2011. 

Her home life, meanwhile, is just as sweet. Wed to Sean Brown (a relative of the late Nicole Brown Simpson) since August 2015, they share daughter Kensington Kelly Brown, 6, and son Sean Brown Jr., 4.

Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic; Instagram

Taylor Cole

Not quite three years after Alex stood up in Taylor’s October 2015 wedding to real estate investor Kevin Simshauser, the friends found themselves expecting just eight weeks apartWelcoming daughter Tatum September 2018, Taylor gave birth to son Cole in January 2020 and son Olson this past August. The founder of Taylor Cole Holistic Nutrition also shares picture-perfect outtakes of her life on Insta. 

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