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Spencer Pratt on ‘The Hills’ 10 Years Later: ‘We Were the Kardashians’

And they did it without a momager! Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag were the Kardashians of their day when they filmed The Hills — according to Pratt. The married couple recently opened up about their reality TV days in honor of the MTV show’s 10th anniversary.

Related: PHOTOS: The Hills Stars: Then and Now

“Your brain melts,” Pratt, 32, told Entertainment Tonight of the experience. “Because at the time, we were the Kardashians. Speidi had that. We felt that. So, to be, like, right now, unplugging Kim Kardashian, what would happen? So, that happened to us. It was a hard reset. Like, when you hold your iPhone down and you wait until the Apple thing comes back on? That was kind of what we needed to do.”

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt

Pratt played the villain on the drama-filled series, which aired from 2006 to 2010. Pratt’s romance with Montag, 29, caused a wedge between her and BFF Lauren Conrad, which led to mascara-ruining fights, silent treatments and a broken friendship that remains beyond repair. Pratt claims that he played the ruthless bad guy to keep the show on the air.

Related: PHOTOS: Lauren Conrad's Best Hairstyles Ever

“You need to make very controversial television to stay on air, at the cost of my identity,” he told ET. “At the end of the day, the show was getting canceled after season 1, you know, if I didn’t come in and create this, like, back and forth — and that’s not ego — that’s, like, the network told me, ‘Oh, this show is getting pulled after season 1.’ They needed a bad guy. I stepped in there and took the hit for the team.”

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt on season 4 of ‘The Hills.’

“I got way too into my character, that’s a problem,” he continued. “I didn’t separate the audience people. You’re on a reality show, you’re not Heath Ledger playing the Joker, like I thought I was. So, I should have been in a different set getting very method.” (Pratt told Vice in February that the show’s cancellation was “our 9/11.”)

Related: PHOTOS: Stars Who Got Their Start on Reality TV

Pratt’s actions haven’t changed Montag’s opinion of Conrad, though. “I love Lauren. She really was my best friend for a long time and I wish that it never had to happen like this,” she added. “I think that other cast members were excited for our fallout because it was Lauren and I, like, we were inseparable best friends. I think a lot of people took that as an opportunity.”

These days, Pratt and Montag aren’t living in Calabasas, California, like Kardashian royalty. Instead, they’ve been staying at Pratt’s parents’ rental property — Carpinteria near Santa Barbara — rent-free for the past six years.

“We don’t go buy designer clothes anymore, and buy fancy cars, and go to all the fancy restaurants,” Pratt explained. “So, if you just eat tacos and walk dogs, you can pretty much survive on reality television.”

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