Kristin Cavallari Reveals She Was Paid For Laguna Beach Season 1, But Says She Would Have ‘Done It For Free’


Kristin Cavallari has come a long way since the days of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. She was just 17 in 2004 when she and her friends were chosen to MTV reality show star. Now a well-known media personality and founder of the fashion and lifestyle brand Uncommon JamesCavallari looks back to where it all began, including the surprisingly small amount of money she received for her breakout role on Laguna Beach.

MTV and the cast of Laguna Beach could only dream of what would become of the series, which aired for three seasons and spawned a spin-off – The hills – which aired for six more, while launching the careers of several young actors and entrepreneurs. Before that success happened, however, the salary given to Kristin Cavallari (and possibly her co-stars) for her first season was quite modest, even outside of high-end SoCal standards. On his new podcast Back to the beach (opens in a new tab)she remembers how much she was paid:

I think $2,500. I don’t even think it was that much. I think it was $2,000. lauren [Conrad] and I renegotiated for season 2. It was going to be our last season! We were like, ‘We got out of here!’

I’m sure there wasn’t exactly a ton of hard work involved in the starring process in Laguna Beach: The Real Orange Countybut these teens agreed to let the cameras document their personal lives and create drama between their group of high school friends – which is something similar Laguna Beach star Lo Bosworth said she struggled with. Considering the seasons apparently took around nine months to shoot (mostly over weekends), $2,000 doesn’t seem like enough money to be worth it at the time.

Still, that wasn’t much of a concern for the woman who continued to appear on The hills then run his own reality show, Very Cavallari. She was more concerned with the competitive aspect of winning and earning the job than with zeros on the paycheck. In his words:

Honestly, I would have done it for free. At that time, in high school, for me, it was more of a competition. Everyone wanted it and I was like, ‘I’m going to have this show!’ I’m super competitive. That hasn’t changed. So when they told us they were going to pay us, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, great!’

We’ve definitely seen that competitive edge come out on the MTV drama, and really, I’m sure $2,000 sounds good for any teenager, especially when you’re on a TV show with your friends. Laguna Beach also introduced the world to Stephen Colletti — Kristin Cavallari’s ex-boyfriend and Back to the beach podcast co-host, whose post-MTV projects included a role on six seasons of A tree hill – and Lauren Conrad, who launched her own fashion and beauty lines and wrote nine books.

If you want to learn more about Kristin Cavallari’s “humble” beginnings on Laguna Beach: The Real Orange Countytune Back to the beach podcasts, and be sure to check out what premieres are coming to TV and streaming on our TV program 2022.

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