10 Secrets of Filming Reality TV Shows

You May Be Asked to Change Your Personality
Audrina Patridge (left) and Kristin Cavallari, formerly of "The Hills" looked like they were getting along in 2010, and Patridge says at least one fight between them was staged. David Aguilera/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic

The witchy woman, the hunk who's a player, the middle-aged man who always flies into rages — these may or may not be the contestants' real personalities, because sometimes reality show producers ask contestants to fake it. One anonymous producer told Reader's Digest that once he cast a contestant as a villain, while in reality she was a sweetheart. "As producer, I sat her down and said, 'Listen, you were cast in this role. If you want to make good TV, if you want the series to come back and make more money next year, then you need to play along. If you don't, you're going to be cut out entirely.' It worked."

In "The Hills," a reality show that followed the lives of several young women living in L.A., former star Audrina Patridge said initially, much of the series showed true events. But as time went on, it got more "unreal." One of the more memorable episodes showed Patridge fighting with fellow star Kristin Cavallari over heartthrob Justin Bobby at a party. "I actually had to leave early for another event, we were there for about three hours and they were like, 'You can't leave until you and Kristin get into a fight," Patridge told the Daily Mail. So they manufactured one to get it over with [source: Zhao].