Three spinoffs and 13 seasons between all franchise properties later, Laguna Beach has become far more than that. On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Bosworth took time last week, before hopping a flight back from California – from being a bridesmaid in Conrad's wedding, no less – to chat with us about Laguna Beach a decade later.
The Nail Salon: 'I’m definitely not in the driver’s seat'
Bosworth's first big moment on the show came in episode four, "18 Candles," featuring a tense confrontation with fellow cast members Christina and Morgan at a salon. As depicted on the show, Bosworth, annoyed that she and Conrad weren't invited to Christina's birthday, grilled the two relentlessly about their upcoming New York City trip and Christina's Broadway audition. But in real life, to Bosworth, it felt like nothing.
"I suppose it gave me an early taste of what was to come out of the editing room, and how easily storylines and plots could be spun up out of thin air," Bosworth says now. At the time, she said it helped her realize she was "not in the driver’s seat" on the show:
I participated in the show because they asked me to. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. During the production, I was totally in the dark and totally naïve. Only once the shows were aired on TV did I really understand the role I was hired to play."
The salon showdown was a big moment for Bosworth, she says now, even if the events actually depicted weren't that important. "Watching all the episodes back in the first season, we all had this realization of, ‘Oh, God,'" she says. "'What are they gonna make it seem like?’"
The Love Triangle: 'I learned a lot about the people that I was with'
Among the biggest stories in the first season was the love triangle between LC, Kristin, and Stephen. But even being there at the time, Bosworth says she wasn't even aware of the conflict.
"I learned a lot about the people that I was with," she acknowledges. "You just discover that there is so much more to the individual that you know and love."
But more than that, Bosworth learned what her friends were willing to go along with for the show – much of which she wasn't personally enthralled with.
"I have to admit that some of the storylines in the adolescence of that show were pushed along," Bosworth says, addressing persistent claims of scripting and storyboarding that plagued Laguna and popular spin-off The Hills for years. "I was just never really on board with that. I thought that was stupid. I never was the kind of person who wanted to participate in anything that was false."
Catalina: 'I lied about not being able to go'
Throughout that first season, Bosworth and Conrad were inseparable, which makes the episode where Bosworth skips their senior trip to Catalina all the stranger. In the episode (1.8 "Grin & Bear It"), Bosworth says her parents wouldn't let her go – but now, with a gleeful giggle, she admits that was all made up.