by Julie Miller
Last week, Stephanie phoned Movieline to discuss the career detour that took her to The Hills , the one cast member she trusts for advice and her strained relationship with her brother.
Congratulations on the last season of The Hills. The finale is going to be devastating for fans.
I know! Thank you. It is really sad. I really don’t think the show could go on any longer though because we all get along so well now. It would just be like a no-drama show. I am excited about the end though. Now we are just having so much fun.
Is there a sense of sadness on set as you near the finale?
We have a little bit over a month left until we [film] the finale. Actually, Lo, Audrina and I were just talking about the last episodes and how we are definitely going to cry.
I can imagine. So what are your plans after the show wraps?
I always, always wanted a handbag line — like, since seventh grade I really remember that’s what I wanted. I spent all my allowance money on my Kate Spade bags and that was it for me and instead of posters on my walls, I had nails in my walls and hung my handbags on my wall for decoration. This October, I found a partner and we have been working on a line, and it’s going to be out in the fall so I am just so excited. I saw the samples about a month and a half ago and they just look so awesome. There are about six right now.
My handbag line was really always my ultimate goal. People think that the show is totally scripted but when I moved to LA, it was to go back to school. I was taking classes and Lauren [Conrad] just walked into my class one day. The producers went down the roll call, found my name and then they asked me to be on the show. So really, The Hills has been a detour. So I am excited to get back to my real love.
Have you thought about filming another reality show that focuses on you as you build your line — like The City has done for Whitney Port?
I get asked that a lot, “Would I go back on a reality show.?” I always say, “If it has something to do with fashion.”
Do you think their break-up is a publicity stunt?
I really don’t know, to be honest. Sometimes I think it is and then sometimes I am like, “Why would they do this?” I don’t know what goes on in their heads anymore. I used to be like, “I get what they are doing,” and now I just really don’t. Like it has been so long since they cut me out of their lives. We have just become so different and honestly [the separation] has been kind of nice. It’s given me an opportunity to focus on the person I am becoming and [Spencer] can be who he is and this way, we don’t have to be affiliated with each other.
It’s almost a cliche at this point for reality stars to complain about how they are edited on the show. But do you share that sentiment or do you feel like The Hills version of Stephanie is pretty true to yourself?
I definitely complain. The first episode [this season] I got blamed for starting those rumors about Kristin[’s drug use]. Obviously, a tabloid had been reporting that but we couldn’t say that on the show. So producers came to me and asked me to approach her. It sucked that after three years on the show, I had to be blamed for that. But it’s my job. I can’t say no. The producers need to tell the story. We are on the show to entertain people. I started looking at it like any other job, but that episode just sucked when I got blamed for that.
It seems like you, Lo and Audrina have really become the voices of reason this season. Is that something you are conscious of while filming?
Lo has always always been like that. She is my best friend off the show. I always go to her for advice. She’s a really old soul, she has a great sense of character and I feel like she has just been like that always. But I just think that just came from hanging out with her and Audrina. I don’t drink and they don’t party that much so we just look at everything from a different angle.
How would you like the series to end? Do you have any idea of what MTV is planning for the finale?
I think what they are going to do is show everyone leaving the show and showing a part of what they are moving into. You know — like if they are in a relationship, or if someone is moving out of their house… what everyone is going on to after the show.