With all the free time we have during this pandemic, so many of us are ripping through TV at a pace production companies can’t keep up with. We’ve binged all the new shows—Tiger King, Too Hot to Handle, Selling Sunset—and we’re now reverting back to the shows we loved as teens. Nothing wrong with a little nostalgia, right? I’m talking Gossip Girl, The Hills, Gilmore Girls…the good sh*t.
Given that we’ve watched these shows from start to finish more times than we’d like to admit, the plot lines, character arcs, outfits, and drama frankly no longer surprise us. Hell, I can quote some of the lines by heart as I watch Blair and Serena fight.
With that being said, let me bring back an element of surprise for you and give you some fun facts you’ve never heard before about the shows—everything from BTS drama between cast members to tea on certain people’s auditions and more.
1. ‘The Hills’
The cast provided their own wardrobe and styling.
Adam DiVello, producer of The Hills, revealed that the cast had to supply their own wardrobe during the show. Since this was the time before brand deals and Revolve sponsorships (can’t believe such a time period existed), this meant the cast was styling and dressing themselves out of their own pocket.
DiVello explained this decision in an interview with InStyle, saying “We always wanted the girls to wear their own clothes….What you wear represents who you are. It’s an extension of your personality.”
He also disclosed that the cast wasn’t provided any on-set hair or makeup either. NGL, I’m annoyed that I have to do my own hair and makeup, and I’m not even on TV—so I can’t imagine the cast was too thrilled about that rule.
So even though the cast ultimately made a sh*t ton of money as the series went on, Heidi Montag revealed that much of her season one looks were thrifted outfits, and Stephanie Pratt said she only hired makeup artists and hair stylists during season three.
The burning question: is Adam DiVello making the Selling Sunset cast supply their own wardrobe and looks as well? If he is, can someone get me a quote on how much Christine Quinn charges for styling consults? And hair braiding lessons? I need to know.
2. ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Neil Patrick Harris was against Britney Spears being cast.
Remember when Britney Spears had her infamous meltdown in 2007 and was put under a temporary conservatorship (“temporary”…and here we are a decade later…)? Well, the one thing you may have had in common with Britney at the time was that she was watching a lot of How I Met Your Mother.
She reportedly loved HIMYM so much that, in early 2008, she asked her management team to reach out to the show and see if she could be cast in an episode. The show’s creators liked the idea, and gave her a role that was set to appear in a single episode only.
For anyone who’s ever seen Britney perform before, here’s the surprise we all saw coming: she absolutely SLAYED her performance in that first episode (duh), so the show wrote her into a second.
It wasn’t just the show’s producers and creators who loved Britney; the viewers did as well. In fact, viewership and ratings went up significantly during the episodes in which she appeared. Despite the healthy bump in numbers, Neil Patrick Harris—who played Barney in the series—was opposed to having celebrity cameos on the show. Although it was nothing against Britney herself, he made it clear that he believed the show didn’t need celebrity drop-ins to generate a following.
My opinion? There’s never enough Britney content. If it were up to me, I would have pulled an Oops! I Did It Again, and written her into episode after episode after episode.
3. ‘Gossip Girl’
Leighton Meester and Blake Lively weren’t IRL best friends.
Blair and Serena may have been BFF goals on-screen, but apparently they weren’t as close off the set of Gossip Girl. So I hate to break it to you, but when you and your sixth-grade bestie pretended to be Blair and Serena, you were kind of modeling your friendship after something that wasn’t real.
Although the off-screen relationship between Leighton Meester (Blair) and Blake Lively (Serena) wasn’t as tumultuous as their scripted fighting scenes, it wasn’t much different than the relationship you have with that random coworker whose name you can’t remember (Is it Christine? Kristina? Didn’t she, like, get transferred to another department? Or…maybe she quit?).
Joshua Safran, a writer for the show, was quoted in Vanity Fair saying, “Blake and Leighton were not friends. They were friendly, but they were not friends like Serena and Blair.” He went on to speculate that the reason behind their non-friendship was their differing personalities: “You talk to Blake on a very contemporary level, and she would be like, ‘I’m doing this thing tonight. Have you been to this restaurant?’ Leighton was very removed and very quiet, and, after her scenes were done, she would wander the stage.”
NGL, seems like Leighton circa the Gossip Girl era was more prepared for this pandemic than Lively.
4. ‘Gilmore Girls’
Ryan Gosling was almost cast.
How many hours have you spent watching Gilmore Girls? Upwards of, like, 1,000? Guess what—some of those hours could have been spent staring at Ryan Gosling, who was almost cast in the series.
At the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest in 2016, the show’s casting director, Jami Rudofsky, revealed that she brought in Gosling to audition for a minor role. She’d previously cast him in an independent film, so she knew his work and wanted to bring his seemingly impressive talents over to Gilmore Girls.
To the misfortune of Gosling stans everywhere, he apparently bombed his audition, and that’s why he didn’t get the role. UGH, Ryan! We were all rooting for you!
So who was burned worse: the viewers who were robbed of precious Ryan Gosling screentime, or Rudofsky when her casting team was pissed she brought in such a sub-par candidate? Personally, I say us viewers suffered more.
5. ‘One Tree Hill’
Producers wrote Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray’s IRL breakup into the show.
As a One Tree Hill fan or pop culture junkie, you know all about the fact that Sophia Bush (Brooke) and Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) had an IRL relationship. Sure, their marriage may have lasted longer than Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries’ infamous 72-day union, but it was still over pretty damn quick.
The couple split in September 2005, five months into the marriage and around the time that season three of One Tree Hill was airing.
The tea? Bush has recently come out and publicly exposed the show’s producers for exploiting her and Murray’s breakup to stir up interest in the show. She claims they did everything from discussing it on set to writing it into the story lines to even running ads about it on TV.
TBH, this makes them look like assholes. A girl needs to deal with her breakup the proper way—privately and/or with her friends, wearing pizza-stained sweats, and eating pint after pint after pint of ice cream.
And, unfortunately, the exploitation didn’t stop there. Bush was quoted on Dax Shepard’s podcast, saying, “ made practice of taking advantage of people’s personal lives. Not just for me and for my ex—for other actors on the show who would share as you do when you get close to people. Deeply personal things that were happening in their lives and they would wind up in story lines.”
Soooo…were those producers trying to build a resume so they could apply for The Bachelor? That type of real-life romantic drama belongs on reality dating shows, not scripted teen dramas.
6. ‘Lizzie McGuire’
Hilary Duff beat out Lindsay Lohan for the part of Lizzie because of outfit choices.
Hundreds of girls, including Lindsay Lohan, had reportedly auditioned for the role of Lizzie McGuire. So why was Hilary Duff—who wasn’t a household name at the time like Lohan—cast over the Parent Trap star? Apparently, it was because of Duff’s style and outfit choices.
Okay, that’s probably not the only reason she was cast, but it made her stand out according to Rich Ross, president of Disney Entertainment at the time: “When we were casting Lizzie McGuire, we called her in four times. She wasn’t doing anything wrong. She just wore such great outfits, and we wanted to see what she’d come in with next.”
So I guess when my college professor said to “dress for the job we want”, that was good advice? If I had paid more attention to his interview tips, then maybe I wouldn’t be stuck living at home with my parents.
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