Image Credit: David Gabber/PR PhotosWhitney Port is a rare breed of reality star — more a listener than a talker, she tended to be the voice of reason on MTV’s The Hills and The City, the one her more dysfunctional co-stars would gravitate to in times of need. So it’s no surprise that Port has come out with True Whit, a how-to book of sorts about navigating your twenties, covering topics like work, style, dating, and food. We caught up with the blond TV star-turned-author in the middle of her book tour to find out more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We know you mostly for your TV shows and also as a fashion designer. How did the opportunity to write a book come about?
WHITNEY PORT: It was kind of a natural progression. I was finding that I was getting lots of questions from girls all over the world about so many different things that they were going through. My mom says lots of girls my age are going through a “quarter life crisis,” where we’re not quite sure what we’re meant to be doing, and we’re under a lot of pressure to make decisions that will basically make or break our futures. I thought I’d write a fun book on how to alleviate those pressures and give a lifestyle guide based on my experiences and how I got to where I am today.
Your book is divided into different sections — decorating, style, exercise, health — almost like a magazine. Was there any section that was harder to write than the others?
The dating section was the hardest because it’s never easy to get that intimate about relationships. I can sit here all day long and chat about fashion and beauty and diet tips — all that sort of surface level stuff –but the boy-girl stuff is never easy. Or boy-boy or girl-girl. [Laughs].
It’s sort of surprising that you’re uncomfortable talking about your relationships when we got to see so much of them on TV. Is it different writing about love than it is to just invite the cameras into your life?
I don’t know if it’s harder to write about it, but now that I read my book I can’t believe I actually gave up that much information and named names. I really didn’t think about the publishing of the book while I was writing it, and I wasn’t really thinking about whether I was being disrespectful to certain people. I just wanted to be brutally honest — now, after the fact, I don’t know if I should have said so much.
You mention in the dating section that the producers of The City meddled in some of your relationships. Are you worried about MTV’s reaction?
[Laughs]. MTV is the least of my worries. They know what’s up. They were there, and they know what the experience was like. It’s no secret that [The City and The Hills] were not 100 percent true to reality. I’m not that concerned about it.
In the “Working Girl” section of your book, you make a few digs at your City costar Olivia Palermo. Have you thought about how she’ll react?
We don’t get along so great, and that’s not a secret either. I don’t think she’ll even care, to be honest.
You’re a TV star, fashion designer, and now a published author. Do you plan to expand your brand into an “empire”?
I definitely want to grow it, for sure. I want to take it one step at a time and not make any rash decisions. Right now, I’m focusing on my clothing line, Whitney Eve, because it’s by no means where I’d eventually like it to be. I’m working now on possibly taking my clothing line around the world. I may go back into TV if the time and project are right.
So how are things with Ben [Nemtin, from MTV’s The Buried Life]?
Great! Thanks for asking. Everything is wonderful. [Laughs]. Honestly, there’s nothing else I can say other than things are fine. That’s all I’d even tell my best friend. Honestly.