Despite the ongoing coronavirus health pandemic, Brody told the network that he would only resume filming the show if it stays in L.A., a production insider revealed to TMZ. He was a cast member on the original series more than a decade ago and is an integral part of the spinoff.
While his co-stars were willing to leave L.A. to film in a quarantined, bubble-like setting at a group house à la Jersey Shore, Brody refused the idea. Some of the locations that were reportedly being considered for the house were in Colorado and Montana.
Brody also told producers that he was in no rush to return to filming and would be fine with waiting until there was a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to the show.
The source for the celebrity gossip site revealed that Brody reiterated to producers that The Hills is supposed to be about cast members and their lives in Southern California. The original seed for the spinoff came from the 2004 reality series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, so the franchise is indeed very SoCal based.
While he was said to be under immense pressure from the network to agree to film outside of California, Brody refused to budge. TMZ noted he finally won the battle when the network realized they needed him in order for there to be a show.
Three episodes of The Hills: New Beginnings were filmed before production shut down in March due to the pandemic. Once Brody signs, filming is expected to resume within the next month in L.A., presumably under strict safety protocols.
Brody is the common thread between most of The Hills cast members. His unconventional marriage to Kaitlynn Carter was a big part of the first season of the spinoff, as was his ongoing feud with former bestie Spencer Pratt.
He was also responsible for bringing newcomer Brandon Thomas Lee — the actor son of Motley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee and Baywatch bombshell Pamela Anderson — on board.
“I knew Brody growing up in Malibu and we’ve been friends for years,” Brandon told Town & Country last year. “I got news that MTV was bringing back The Hills. Brody called and I kinda knew before I picked up the phone what he was gonna ask. The stars were just aligning.”
The first season of The Hills: New Beginnings also starred Heidi Montag, Stephanie Pratt, Whitney Port, Audrina Patridge, Jason Wahler, Frankie Delgado and Justin Bobby Brescia, as well as newcomer Mischa Barton.