Hollywood Exclusive: Shark Tank, The Hills
The former "Laguna Beach" star has taken the place of Lauren Conrad on the MTV show, which returns for a new season Sept. 28, and she's already stirring the pot. "I didn't really watch 'The Hills' before. When I decided to do it, I watched like three episodes. I just thought it needed a little bit more action. It was kind of boring before," claims Cavallari, who is on the bad side of cast member Audrina Patridge. "I'm just trying to make it more fun and exciting."
When asked how the cast felt about her coming on the show, Cavallari responds, "I think it took a little getting used to for everybody. It obviously created a little bit of drama in the beginning and now I think everybody is pretty cool with it, except for maybe Audrina," she notes.
"We don't even see each other so it's not like we're fighting. I'm indifferent when it comes to Audrina."
So what could possibly make two girls break out the claws? "Because of Justin Bobby. Because of a boy," she adds of the supposed "love triangle" with Cavallari and Audrina's ex-boyfriend Bobby. "I can't really tell what's happening there. People will have to wait and see."
Two people she is excited to share the screen with are the show's resident villains Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, who got married at the end of last season. "I get along with them great. I actually introduced them four years ago," she reminds. In fact, Cavallari has no problem with their shady reputation. "I think it's funny. The thing is, you can't really knock them because everyone is still talking about them so obviously they're doing something right. They love attention. That's what they want — they want people to talk about them."
MONEY AND MORE MONEY: Self-made billionaire Daymond John reports, "I've been very happy with the choices I've made so far" — as one of the title investors on ABC's "Shark Tank." He points out, for example, that Tod Wilson's sweet potato pie business from the first episode recently sold "4,000 pies in eight minutes on QVC — and it's the worst possible time of the year for him. His website used to get 90 hits a day. Now it's getting 6,500. And business in his store has increased 1,000 percent. It shows the show is viable."
Yes, and the fact that "Shark Tank" came back from almost tanking with a stunning 38 percent ratings jump from its premiere to its second installment shows that, too.
"I'm a skeptical person, but the history of 'Shark Tank' and (its sister show) 'Dragon's Den' speaks for itself. This is 120 percent authentic. We are real, and this is purely our money. I think that's why the show started to pick up," he stresses of the program, now airing on Monday nights, in which inventors, small-business owners and other wannabes try to convince the panel of real-life entrepreneurs to give them funding. "We don't know anything about the contestants before we come in. We'll be told, 'This is Catherine and John from Ohio and they have an interesting product.' That's all. Some of these negotiations take an hour and a half," he says.
John may be considered tough and even "snake like," as one of his fellow entrepreneurs on the show put it, since he has a way of undercutting them at the last minute. But he does have a soft spot for the contestants as well. "I would have failed at that stage," says the man who started his globally successful FUBU clothing line by sewing tie top hats himself on his mom's sewing machine. "Some I identify with because of their struggle, because they're not prepared. Then there are the ones who come so prepared I think, 'My God, I don't think I even know as much stuff as they know now.'"
THE MOTHERLY TYPE: With Warner Bros.' "The Lottery Ticket" set for an October production start, they're casting subsidiary roles in the feature that stars Ice Cube and Bow Wow — including that of Bow Wow's character's grandma, described as a matronly, "sanctified African American woman in her fifties." There are also an assortment of vicious, hardened criminal types to be cast in the story of an aspiring designer in the ghetto who finds he's got the winning $370 million lottery ticket — but has to wait through a weekend for the lottery office to open before he can be declared the winner. Things get dramatic after word gets out about his ticket.
They're also working on casting the mother — a Mercedes Ruehl or Lorraine Bracco type is what they have in mind — and grandmother of Barry Minkow — for the feature film that's in the making about the convicted ZZZZ Best con-man-turned-pastor who assists the FBI in anti-fraud cases.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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