Watch original Laguna Beach cast reunite after 16 years

Maureen Lee Lenker
·3 min read

Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

It's time to hit the beach for the ultimate high school reunion.

On Friday, the original cast of reality TV hit Laguna Beach came together for the first time in 16 years as part of a voter registration effort. Laguna Beach debuted on MTV in 2004, and the season 1 cast, including Kristin Cavallari, Lauren Conrad, and Stephen Colletti, came together on Instagram in partnership with #GoodtoVote and HeadCount to promote voter registration ahead of the November presidential election.

The reunion was previously announced, but it required at least 500 people to register to vote or check their registration status for it to be released. They exceeded the goal by nearly 20 times over. The reunion spans three videos, beginning on Colletti's Instagram page and continuing on IGTV.

Cast member Trey Phillips spearheaded the effort to put together a Laguna Beach get out the vote effort, which Conrad then helped connect to #GoodtoVote.

Colletti noted that the last time they'd all been together was at the VMAs, before talking about the crazy start to the show that helped precipitate a reality TV craze in America. "MTV was like 'Here, we're going to launch this show and here's 45 minutes of media training,'" he joked. "'Go have fun and then this show is going to air on MTV. Good luck!'"

The cast introduced themselves using yearbook superlatives, including Colletti dubbing himself "Life of the Party" and Cavallari naming herself "Most Likely to Be in Her Kitchen." They all reminisced about their memories filming the series, from the craziest times to how they prepared their parents for what might be airing.

Some of the cast still lives in Orange County, and Colletti noted he recently moved back to be closer to home. Phillips has gone a bit further afield, now located in London.

Although The Real World had been an MTV staple since the '90s, Laguna Beach preceded many of TV's most popular reality shows, including the Real Housewives franchise and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The cast says that was part of what made the experience unique. "That was the coolest part of our experience — reality TV was not really a thing before Laguna Beach," said Christine Sinclair. "In retrospect, we all would have been very different had we been exposed to reality TV the way we have now. In a way, I feel like that's what made Laguna Beach so iconic. We really went in with no expectations, having no idea what we were doing."

Most of the cast has not revisited the show as adults, though they, of course, watched religiously back in the day. "It's crazy because I remember watching it when it first came out and every time you're like, 'That's not exactly how it was. They changed this,'" said Phillips. "Then all of a sudden, 10 years later, you're watching it and you're like, 'Oh that bitch.'"

Most of the cast has put their reality TV days behind them, but not without some detours along the way. Conrad starred in spin-off The Hills, which followed her into college and her pursuit of working in the fashion industry. That show had a recent reboot The Hills: New Beginnings, which was renewed for a second season in 2019, but has not yet returned. Cavallari also had her own E! reality show, Very Cavallari, which ended earlier this year after three seasons.

Watch the reunion above. Fans can visit headcount.org/lagunabeach to find their polling place, learn about mail-in and early voting, or verify their registration status before Nov. 3.

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