“I think Very Cavallari is the first time people will get to see the real Kristin,” Cavallari, 31, told PEOPLE at NBC’s Summer Press Day at Universal Studios on Wednesday. “It’s every area of my life. So it’s me as a wife, it’s me as a best friend, and it’s me as a boss, as a business woman. So the ‘bitch’ persona — I think I’ve been able to kind of channel into being the boss and owning my own company, and then you get to just see who I am with the people that I love the most.”
“I’m really excited for people to finally see me after so many years of being in reality TV,” she added. “This is the first time that I can really get behind it saying, ‘This is 100 percent me.’ ”
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Since Cavallari wrapped The Hills in 2010, she’s tied the knot with NFL alum Jay Cutler and welcomed three children: Camden, 5, Jaxon, 3, and Saylor, 2. She also built her own business, launching a lifestyle product line called Uncommon James — and moved across the country from California to Chicago to Nashville.
“It’s been almost eight years since we wrapped The Hills, so it’s been a decent amount of time where I was ready to have cameras back,” she explained. “I just feel like so much has happened in those eight years. And with Jay being done with football, I’m finally able to do a show. Our lives for the past seven years have really revolved around Jay’s schedule.”
“So I just feel like everything has lined up for me to be able to do this and I’m excited to let the world back in,” she added. “This time around I have an executive producer credit, so I sort of have this security blanket where I know at the end of the day if I really wanted to get something taken out, I know that I could. And so that was a very, very freeing feeling to have coming from Laguna Beach and The Hills, where I really had no control and no say over anything.”
And while Cavallari certainly doesn’t watch old re-runs of The Hills, she credits the show with shaping who she is today.
“There are moments I’m not necessarily proud of, but overall I don’t regret anything. I really enjoyed it,” she said. “I remember [executive producer] Adam DiVello asked if I was cool with the whole, ‘The Bitch is Back’ slogan and I was like, ‘Yeah, if I’m going to do it, let’s do it.’ It’s kind of how I’ve always been. Even on Laguna Beach, at the end of the day, we were filming a show. It has to be entertaining, I get that.”
When it came to letting the cameras back in, there was one important person Cavallari had to get on board: her hubby.
“It took a lot of convincing on my part,” she admitted. “Yes, he’s used to [public attention]. But at the end of the day, he really just wanted to play football and didn’t want to deal with the media aspect of it all. So it was an adjustment for him to have cameras in the home. We put parameters on what we could and couldn’t film and we talked about, as a couple, what we were willing to put out there. And certain things we didn’t want to put out there, which is what it is. I care more about my family than I do about the show, so I just really wanted to make sure that he was comfortable. And season one was great — a few little hiccups here and there, but overall everyone’s happy. Still married!”
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“When I married Jay and I moved to Chicago I was like, ‘I can kiss the entertainment world goodbye,’ ” she added. ” So I’m so grateful — I’m so thankful that people still give a s— and that I’m able to do both and first and foremost be a mom. I’m home every night at 5 for dinner with the family, and I’m there every morning to get my kids off to school. And those things are the most important things to me.”
In fact, Cavallari said she feels like being a mom is “truly who I was always mean to be.”
“I feel like I have a real purpose here on life and it’s forced me to try to be the best version of myself that I can be for my kids,” she said. “And I just feel like they completely opened up my whole life. It’s the best.”
The couple’s kids, however, won’t be featured — which Cavallari said was a “very conscious decision” that she addresses in the first episode.
“They’re not on the show at all. They would be around — we were filming sometimes and they would watch the monitors,” she said. “They loved being around it, but we want to keep our kids kids. I don’t even really show them on social media. If I post them, it’s of the back of their head or something to that degree. When they’re old enough to decide if they want a camera following them around that’s one thing, but they’re 5, 3, and 2 and I want to keep them that way.”
As for a possible Hills reunion down the line? Cavallari’s is definitely open to the idea — especially if it gave her the opportunity to clear a few things up.
“It would be great to be able to go through and be like, ‘This was fake. This was fake. This was real, but this was fake and this was fake,’ ” she said. “I don’t know they would ever have us do that. But I think it would be kind of cool to catch up with everyone and see where everyone’s at in their life.”
Very Cavallari premieres this summer on E!