"We had such a great time filming," the reality star tells PEOPLE of their reunion on this week's Very Cavallari

Kristin Cavallari is bringing a little bit of Los Angeles to Nashville on this week’s Very Cavallari.

PEOPLE caught up with the reality star ahead of Thursday’s episode, which will feature a reunion between Cavallari and her former Hills costars Audrina Patridge and Heidi Montag — marking the first time the three have been on camera together in 10 years.

“It was really fun,” says Cavallari, 33. “We had such a great time filming. It really felt like no time had passed! And it was just fun to be with friends I’ve had for a long time. We’re always going to have that connection, just because of what we went through together, you know? We’re always going to be in each other’s corners.”

Kristin Cavallari with Heidi Montag and Audrina Patridge
Heidi Pratt, Kristin Cavallari and Audrina Patridge
| Credit: Kristin Cavallari/Instagram

Ten years after saying goodbye to The Hills, the hugely popular reality show on MTV, Cavallari says she, Patridge, 34, and Montag, 33, have all “changed a lot for the better.”

“Everyone’s just grown up a lot,” she says. “Everyone has a really good head on their shoulders. And it’s really nice to talk to Heidi and Audrina and realize how far they have come.”

“They have good hearts, they’re not affected by everything, and they’re just good people,” she continues. “I think that we’ve all learned a lot from our experiences. We’re all moms now, and all of that just plays into becoming an amazing woman. I really stand by that they’re both really great people and I’m proud to call them friends.”

And according to Cavallari, filming scenes for her own E! reality show is a far cry from filming the drummed-up drama that dominated The Hills.

“Audrina, Heidi and I understand that we’re filming a reality show and what they want from it. But the producers aren’t trying to make us be somebody that we’re not,” she says. “I just go in and be myself, and Heidi and Audrina as well, so it just makes it really easy and really fun.”

In PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peek at the episode, Cavallari, Patridge and Montag grab lunch together to reminisce on the good old days. The topic of Cavallari’s relationship with Brody Jenner on The Hills comes up, which she has since revealed was part of a fake plot line for the show. (After their closing scene in the series finale, the camera pulled back to reveal a sound stage and camera crew — intended, creator Adam DiVello later revealed, as a wink to the show’s more skeptical viewers.)

“We dated when I was 18, and then when I came on the The Hills, we didn’t actually date, obviously,” Cavallari says in the clip. “And we were able to just be friends and hang out, so yeah, we’ve kept in touch a little bit.”

But one person Cavallari really did date during her time on The Hills? A crew member!

“Do you remember when I dated Miguel the cameraman?” she asks.

“Yes!” Patridge exclaims. “It was towards the very end.”

“We dated for a few months,” Cavallari recalls. “Nobody knew, and I was dating Brody on the show. Meanwhile, I’m like, filming it! But we went to Canada and paparazzi got us at the airport a week before we wrapped the show.”

“I dated a cameraman, yeah. Um, sure did,” she adds with a sheepish grin. “It was fun, and I don’t have a lot to say!”

Very Cavallari airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on E!