Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship, Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'

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Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship and Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'
Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship and Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'

Dear Media

Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti's friendship is like no other.

The world first met Cavallari, 35, and Colletti, 36, in the early 2000s when the MTV show Laguna Beach debuted on TV. Years after their on-and-off relationship ended, the pair have a friendship that's still going strong to this day.

Now, Cavallari and Colletti are turning their friendship into a partnership as they team up to co-host a Laguna Beach rewatch podcast. The joint venture, titled Back to the Beach with Kristin and Stephen, will see the duo provide behind-the-scenes insight into the iconic show as they rewatch it for the first time in 18 years.

Colletti tells PEOPLE that as a teenager, he didn't realize how the show would affect his life.

"It's one thing to kind of go through what we went through in our little adolescent love, high school relationship. We obviously learned a lot at that time in our life and you take that going forward," he tells PEOPLE exclusively. "But I think when you take that and you toss in a reality show where we knew we were obviously going on a TV show for MTV but really had no idea what it ultimately was going to be."

"And how it, first of all, was edited together and the stories were then shared with an audience, but then how receptive the audience was to it," he continues.

Several of the Laguna Beach stars went on to appear in MTV spinoffs The Hills and The City.

"It was a thing where they wind up doing a few more seasons, they did spinoffs. And I think when you share a unique experience like that, and as we discovered during this podcast, it's a really unique thing to go through and you don't really have anybody to talk to about it," he explained.

Colletti feels that being a part of the reality series "is something that has bonded this whole group of people."

RELATED: Kristin Cavallari Says Her 2020 Reunion Pic with Stephen Colletti Is Her Most-Liked Instagram Post

"We did a little reunion before the [2020] election, kind of a get out to vote, rallying to everybody. That experience was a positive one," he explains. "I think that was also another spark that ignited the, 'you know what, this would be something that I feel like we could have a lot of fun with'. And just when Kris and I catch up, we always have a great time together."

The pair's new Dear Media podcast collaboration is something Colletti has been mulling over for years.

"I've been wanting to do this for about five or six years and I actually had discussed it with MTV, I think back in 2018, for a minute," the One Tree Hill alum recalls. "It was in a kind of a general meeting over a couple things, and I said I've been really kind of wanting to get into the podcast space for a while. It interests me. And I felt, like, really, the only interesting thing I had to say was a reflection on maybe what I did on Laguna Beach during that time."

Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship and Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'
Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship and Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'

Dear Media

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Colletti says he was "curious to go back and watch some stuff," which led to him "floating the idea a little bit." A canceled Australian press tour for his series Everyone Is Doing Great resulted in him revisiting the Laguna Beach rewatch podcast idea.

"Kristin and I had briefly talked about it and she was like, 'Yeah, maybe we'll do it.' And then, I called her right away and we discussed it," he continues. "We kind of made sure that we were on the same page about what we wanted to do with this, what it was going to be like. And then from there, Kristin was, of course, receptive to just going out and seeing if we'd find a partner that was on the same page with us. And thankfully, we found Dear Media."

When it came time to pick a co-host, Colletti says Cavallari was "number one on my list." Fortunately for Colletti, the Very Cavallari alum eventually came around to the idea.

RELATED: 'Stephen!' Watch the Laguna Beach Cast Reunite for the First Time in 16 Years

"To be just completely honest, I have had a lot of meetings over the years about doing a podcast and I've almost pulled the trigger a couple times but there was something telling me not to," Cavallari says. "And so, at first, I was open to it but I was hesitant."

But there were "a few things" that were "enticing" about doing a Laguna Beach-themed podcast, she says.

"Working with Stephen has been so much fun and so easy and a dream come true. But the fact that there [were] only 40 episodes was really appealing to me because there was an end date," she explains. "I think that was my biggest concern with a podcast, in general, was that it would just continue on forever. And the timing of it worked out well with my schedule."

Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship and Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'
Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship and Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'

Dear Media

The Uncommon James founder continues, "I haven't watched the show since it aired when I was 18. I'm finally so emotionally removed from it that I felt like I could go back and watch it and just have fun with it. And so, everything just kind of came together. So I'm really excited that we're doing it. We've had so much fun. I have found it to be incredibly therapeutic, and it's just been a really great experience."

Teasing what listeners can expect from the podcast, Colletti says fans can look forward to "a new chapter to a story that they're familiar with that's going to be chock-full of all sorts of shocking moments."

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"It's an opportunity for these characters that they watched in this reality show, these people to go back and tell their story as opposed to having someone tell their story for them. To me, it's almost like an audiobook of what really happened, what happened behind the scenes. And then of course, what you didn't see, what didn't make it to air, necessarily," he continues. "I think that that's one of the most intriguing parts."

Colletti adds, "And also, in real-time with us, you're going to have us kind of remind ourselves what happened, what was on the show. Come to these moments of like, 'Oh my gosh, I couldn't believe this happened.' And be able to connect the dots on what the producers and editors built through every episode, and what had actually happened during that time."

Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship and Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'
Exes Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti on Their Friendship and Laguna Beach Podcast: We've 'Learned a Lot'

Dear Media

Meanwhile, Cavallari also teases that the podcast will explore the "complicated answer" of whether or not what fans saw was "real or not."

"What I love about the Laguna Beach podcast that we're doing is we do not hold back at all, and we really do break everything down from editing to them telling us exactly what to say, to being put in situations we would never normally be in," she says. "We really break it all down."

"I think viewers — I mean, unless you don't want your reality TV bubble burst. I think that viewers will be able to get a real sense of how a reality show is made after listening to our podcast," she adds.

Dear Media's Back to the Beach with Kristin and Stephen is now available wherever podcasts are available. New episodes are released every Tuesday.