Kristin Cavallari Talks THE MIDDLE and the Perils of Reality TV Stardom

On tonight’s episode of THE MIDDLE, reality TV staple Kristin Cavallari guests as Axl’s smoking hot biology teacher Ms. Devereaux. And to give you an idea as to just how much we adore THE MIDDLE, we subjected ourselves — despite barely knowing the difference between “Laguna Shore” and the “Jersey Beach” — an interview with Cavallari, who was only to happy to chat about the perils of reality television stardom, tonight’s guest spot, and yes, those troglodytes who like to hang out on the shore.

Before we begin we should probably warn you that we may in fact be the only person you have ever talked to who has absolutely zero familiarity with you work on either LAGUNA BEACH and/or THE HILLS.
Kristin Cavallari: Oh good!

Has getting your start on reality TV hurt your career in terms of getting taken seriously as an actress?
Yeah absolutely, I mean I did LAGUNA BEACH for two years my junior and senior years of high school and then I moved up to LA in the hopes of escaping that whole tabloid world, focus on acting and take it seriously. So I studied with coaches and in between coming back to THE HILLS was able to do five movies, CSI: NY and a couple of guest spots here and there.

Was it a tough decision to go back to THE HILLS?
It actually was a really tough decision for me because the question was — do I want to keep going down the acting path and really focus on that or do I want to take this great offer from MTV, which to be honest, was kind of too good of an offer to pass up.

How similar is shooting THE MIDDLE to shooting an episode of THE HILLS?
It’s funny because shooting an episode of THE HILLS is actually very similar shooting THE MIDDLE. Even though THE HILLS is “reality” television, we do everything five times and are given lines that we have to say, so it really wasn’t that unfamiliar territory for me.

Were the cast of THE MIDDLE as welcoming as we would imagine them to be?
Yeah it really is, everyone is so nice. When I first met Patricia Heaton she stood up, welcomed me and shook my hand. Everybody was so friendly and it was just a great time on set.

As its title suggests, THE MIDDLE has a very midwestern vibe. Was it challenge to shift gears from your usual Hollywood glammed-up vibe to that of a teacher?
Honestly the outfits they put me in, a lot of sweaters, blouses, long skits, really helps in getting you into the mind frame of being a teacher. That and just being in front of an entire class behind a desk, the first thing I did was erase the chalkboard. All of that helps.

Having really helped MTV perfect the genre with LAGUNA BEACH and THE HILLS, we’d be remiss if we didn’t get your take on JERSEY SHORE. Have you watched?
Yes. I have watched it and I think it’s entertaining. That said, I think it’s crazy where TV is going now. I think it’s just getting trashier and trashier. I remember when LAGUNA BEACH came out and people were like, “Oh My God,” making such a big deal about how controversial it was. Where as now you watch JERSEY SHORE or SKINS for that matter on MTV and everybody’s trying to push the envelope more and more. It sure will be interesting to see where TV goes over the next couple of years.

What advice would you have for the cast, who we can only hope are in the final minutes of their obligatory fifteen?
Well for them I would say cash in. Which it seems like they’re doing. You might as well make the most money you can right now and ride out the wave.

And finally, what’s next for you?
Doing THE HILLS really has opened up more doors for me. I’m on THE MIDDLE which I’m really excited about, I’m working on a shoe line, and I’m producing reality shows which is what I’m focusing on most right now. We’re about todo a big press release so I can’t actually tell you about it, but being behind the camera is kind of where I want to be right now.

THE MIDDLE airs Wednesday at 8PM on ABC

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