If anyone can look at the COVID-19 pandemic and laugh, it’s Spencer Pratt. The beach blonde, burrito-eating villain of MTV’s The Hills famously quarantined with his other half, Heidi Pratt (née Montag) after the reality show’s cancellation in 2010; first in Costa Rica, then later at his parent’s beach house in Santa Barbara, Calif. Over 10 years later, Pratt feels like he’s already weathered an apocalypse of sorts. “I had planned on the end of the world—that’s why I went broke,” he says candidly. “I already bought an armored truck and moved to the Caribbean.” The Pratts instituted their own self-imposed lockdown for seven years until God answered their prayers with The Hills: New Beginnings, the long-awaited sequel to the original series, which reunites original cast members including Brody Jenner, Audrina Patridge, Justin “Bobby” Brescia, Whitney Port, and Jason Wahler, along with their children and friends. There was considerable drama, a pizza heiress, and extravagant $100 burritos courtesy of the bougie L.A. grocery store Erewhon. The rest, it seems, has been written: Pratt predicts the most recent season of The Hills, which aired its finale this week, will be the last. In light of this news, he spoke to The Manual (at Erewhon, naturally) about his favorite supermarket, weathering the pandemic, and, of course, crystals.
The Manual: In one memorable episode this season, you reveal your obsession with Erewhon’s chicken pot pies. What makes them so delicious?
Spencer Pratt: I eat all my meals [at Erewhon], but I’m not healthy. They only have [chicken pot pie] because of me. It used to be a special, then I would request one every day, and it got so annoying, they added it to the menu. They’re the best chicken pot pies ever; I’m not even a chicken pot pie guy. Then I felt obligated to eat them because they were making so many. It was dark. That was real. The only way that I can stay in shape is if I do jujitsu. At my age, with my metabolism, I need to get beat up on a daily basis to burn all those calories. I couldn’t see any jujitsu guys, so I gained, like, 50 pounds. I felt so relatable!
TM: Was it all because of chicken pot pie?
SP: And red wine, cheeses, and burritos.
TM: When did you start filming season 2 of The Hills: New Beginnings?
SP: We had the best show ever, then COVID happened. We started filming three weeks before the shutdown. Heidi and I were so excited to film—MTV had an alcohol supply, so we weren’t buying any alcohol. If MTV buys me Don Julio 1942 tequila, I’m going to drink two bottles. Also, when you weigh 240 pounds, you need a lot more tequila to get a buzz.
TM: Heidi can definitely hold her liquor, too.
SP: Even at the beach! Few people can do day drinking into night drinking. The fact that Heidi was even putting sentences together [in that episode] means she should be getting a badge.
TM: Who from the cast got COVID?
SP: Justin Bobby definitely got COVID. He was trying to give it to everyone, like, hugging me. I should’ve known — he was dressed in snow clothes out of the blue and acting weird. A girl had just called him that day and said she got COVID, and Brody was also with that same girl. The show got shut down because of [Brescia]. I’m not even gonna name everybody [who got COVID], but let’s just say that I think Heidi and I were the only ones who didn’t get it. [Laughs]
TM: Are you still close with any members of the cast?
SP: Toward the end of the show, we get to a better place with Brody. Frankie and Jen Delgado are super neutral—it’s hard to have a problem with them. They’re a great couple to go out to dinner with. But nobody else.
TM: What’s life been like outside of the show?
SP: The pandemic was super challenging because right before COVID, Pratt Daddy Crystals was making $320,000 a month. We had a real superpower business that had so much success, then people started buying face masks and hand sanitizer with their extra money. Crystals are amazing, but they’re technically a luxury item. And not like a Birkin, which people still buy. It was an emotional rollercoaster. But I wasn’t spraying down groceries or anything. I drank so much alcohol that I actually felt like I could kill any virus. When everyone was racing to get toilet paper, I raced to the liquor store. I got every type of liquor that I had never tried. I had a fire-breathing level of alcohol inside me. COVID was not coming in.
TM: You’d think that people would get more into crystals during such a challenging time.
SP: I feel like they were, but we weren’t selling crystals for your bedside table. We make pieces you want to wear out to sushi, versus hold in your hand and meditate.
TM: What crystals did you lean on over the pandemic?
SP: Thankfully my friend lives in Africa now, so he was DHL-ing me tourmalines and aquamarines. But I had more time to make grids and check in with the moon. As a parent, if you’re putting out crystals, they’re gonna get smashed and thrown. After you go through all the phases of spiritual enlightenment that I did, you don’t need to physically put crystals in a grid. I feel like so much of my power is in my mind now; it’s more of an internal thing than an external thing.
TM: What was your quarantine routine?
SP: I’d go to Erewhon every day. I was running through the aisles, no one was there. I love the idea of social distancing. I enjoy people not wanting to be six feet near me! In the morning, I’d rotate between two breakfast burritos: either a steak one with over-easy eggs or a bacon one with avocado. I always ask them to make it custom. I’d also get an iced matcha latte with raw almond milk—never basic almond milk. Then I would go home and spend time in the backyard with [my son] Gunner. I’d come back here for lunch—the combo plates change every day, but it was a lot of pot pies, obviously. Then I’d start drinking. I got into biodynamic wines because I pretend they’re healthier. I’ve stopped drinking hard liquor because getting up at 6 a.m. with Gunner is just too gnarly, even after a good tequila. We’d have Erewhon for dinner, too. I tried to kick the pot pies, but addictions are addictions. I had two the other night.
TM: So you didn’t actually give them up, like at Brody’s ceremony?
SP: I actually dug up everything—I kept Heidi’s birth control, I kept Brandon [Thomas Lee]’s $100 bill. I used it to buy tequila.
TM: Seth Rogen tweeted about loving the show. What was your reaction?
SP: I’m glad he’s the only person watching the show. [Laughs] I agreed with all of [the tweets]. If Brody did that bathtub stuff on OnlyFans, he’d be making much more money than The Hills is paying him. I also got a text that Jonah Hill’s loving the new season. We went to high school together.
I’m so happy The Hills is back.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 22, 2021
TM: Do you keep in touch with a lot of people from high school?
SP: I don’t talk to a lot of people, period. A doctor told me that I’m Insta-storying so much that I have a vocal fry.