Hollywood is learning that reality bites. Residents of a quiet area between Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards are up in arms over the ongoing filming of The Hills at Lauren Conrad's residentce, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Hills producers and city officials say the neighborhood unrest (which has been building for some time) is overblown - and fanned in part by a resident of the same street who produces a competing reality TV show (!?).
The real-life drama has at times eclipsed that of The Hills. One incident involved a brawl between residents and producers, another an alleged knife fight between celebrity news photographers on a homeowner's lawn.
The recent controversy over The Hills comes amid debate over the practices of the celebrity news and gossip media in general, and what some suggest is disruptive filming taking place throughout Los Angeles County.
Security guards and cops are regular fixtures in Lauren Conrad's 'hood.
The Orange Grove Ave. dispute is unique in that many of those who live on the tree-shaded street are themselves part of the entertainment biz.
Residents describe their neighborhood as a kind of Mayberry tucked between the Sunset Strip and Hollywood's touristy area. Until this, they say, the street has been known more for its potluck block parties than celebrities.
That all changed when The Hills' leading lady purchased her three-bedroom, Mediterranean-style villa in the 1600 block of Orange Grove on February 1.
The weekend Lauren Conrad and friends Audrina Patridge and Lauren Bosworth moved in, a 15-person MTV production crew was there to film it.
It didn't take long for the home's address to land in the hands of celebrity gossip media and fans of the weekly MTV show.
Sightseeing vans and tour buses soon were regularly detouring through the neighborhood and stopping so tourists could snap pictures and peer over Lauren Conrad's fence in hopes of a glimpse of the young women.
Residents say Conrad and BFF Lauren Bosworth (Lo) have been courteous and cordial but complain that gawkers blocking their driveways and littering their lawns and the continuous filming has become a nuisance.
"Most of the people in this neighborhood work in the industry. We're happy and accustomed to responsible filming," said neighbor Mary DeConcini.
But the filming has turned Lauren Conrad's house into "a production facility for their TV show," said David Brumer, who lives next door. "They're running an ongoing production studio in our neighborhood."
Brumer, a commercial realty agent, said many in the neighborhood doubt that Lauren Conrad, Audrina Patridge and Lauren Bosworth even actually live in the house, despite what the show's story line suggests.
"Lights are left on in there 24/7, so you wonder if anyone is sleeping. Most of the neighbors don't see them there on a regular basis except when they happen to be shooting," he said.
Fans sometimes show up at night, however.
"Last Saturday night between 12:30-2:30 I was awakened three times by girls stopping in front of the house yelling, 'Lauren, we love you!'" Brumer said.
More worrisome are the occasional altercations in front of Lauren Conrad's house, according to irate neighbors.
Continue reading this article in the Los Angeles Times ...