EXCLUSIVE: Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt Admit Their Finances Are Tough, Defend Their Villainous Role on 'The
By Antoinette Bueno
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Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are no longer living a lavish lifestyle.
ET recently caught up with the controversial reality stars in honor of The Hills celebrating its 10-year anniversary this week, when they candidly discussed how they've been getting by since the MTV show went off the air. Montag, 29, and Pratt, 32, have been living in Pratt's parents' rental property for the last six years so that they don't have to pay rent.
"This is my parents' rental house that we are property managers of," Pratt tells ET's Ashley Crossan, giving a tour of the home in Santa Barbara, California. "So, I mean, we don't go buy designer clothes anymore, and buy fancy cars, and go to all the fancy restaurants. So, if you just eat tacos and walk dogs, you can pretty much survive on reality television."
The couple appeared on British Celebrity Big Brother in 2013, which Pratt says took care of their finances for many years.
"If you want a flashy lifestyle, do not try to be a reality star -- unless you're a Kardashian or a Jenner, then you can pull it off," he admits.
The couple definitely had a rough time after The Hills ended in 2010.
"Your brain melts," Pratt says. "Because at the time, we were the Kardashians. Speidi had that. We felt that. So, to be, like, right now, unplugging Kim Kardashian, what would happen? So, that happened to us. It was a hard reset. Like, when you hold your iPhone down and you wait until the Apple thing comes back on? That was kind of what we needed to do."
Pratt recalls relying on his infamous crystals collection when he found out that The Hills was in danger of being canceled.
"That was when I went full crystal looney tunes because I was just doing Hail Marys because they were like, 'There's a chance, if the ratings go up ...'" he explains. "So then it starts becoming, just, yelling at yourself, like, 'ahhhhhhh.'"
Pratt now has some perspective on his villainous role on The Hills, though he also stresses that Speidi's over-the-top antics is what kept the show running for more than one season.
"You need to make very controversial television to stay on air, at the cost of my identity," Pratt says.
"At the end of the day, the show was getting canceled after season one, you know, if I didn't come in and create this, like, back and forth -- and that's not ego -- that's, like, the network told me, 'Oh, this show is getting pulled after season one,'" he says. "They needed a bad guy. I stepped in there and took the hit for the team."
"I got way too into my character, that's a problem," he now acknowledges. "I didn't separate, like, the audience people. You're on a reality show, you're not Heath Ledger playing the Joker, like I thought I was. So, I should have been in a different set, you know, getting very method."
And he stresses that despite all the drama between him and Lauren Conrad on the show, he definitely doesn't "hate" her.
"I don't have the energy to hate people," Pratt says. "I try not to have that type of energy."
The same goes for Montag, who says she's spoken to Conrad "a few times" since the show ended.
"I love Lauren. She really was my best friend for a long time and I wish that it never had to happen like this," she admits. "I think that other cast members were excited for our fallout because it was Lauren and I, like, we were inseparable best friends. I think a lot of people took that as an opportunity."
These days, the couple says they do a reality show every year.
"We are professional reality stars, if that's a title," Pratt says.
Although, he admits that it's not easy to get their own docuseries since their current life is far from the most interesting.
"It's so hard because ... the stakes are so much higher now," Pratt says, referencing other "wild" reality shows like Kendra on Top. "We walk dogs and eat burritos, you know."
"Maybe if we have a child, and it's an alien, you know," he jokes.
And, of course, Pratt is still all about his crystals.
Montag also talked to ET about her headline-making plastic surgery obsession during the revealing sit-down -- at one point, undergoing nearly a dozen surgeries -- and now acknowledges she was "way in over [her] head."
"I don't want to watch it," Montag said. "I think that it was hard enough going through it at that time and I was just in way over my head. I had no idea what I was getting into."