'Hills' Stars Are Over Audrina Patridge's Nude Photos, Say People Watch Show To 'Escape'

'I miss my privacy, but it's something that comes with what I'm doing right now,' Patridge admits before premiere party.

Audrina Patridge put on a brave face Monday, and in what might be the understatement of the week, told MTV News, "I miss my privacy, but it's something that comes with what I'm doing right now."

Just hours before the New York premiere for the next 10 episodes of "The Hills," Patridge, Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port admitted that tough times — like when controversial nude photos of Patridge surfaced last week — can be a bit difficult to navigate. Port explained that while the trio will often lean on each other when headlines scream across magazine covers and blogs, "It's a little awkward because sometimes [we] don't want to talk about it."

Indeed, when asked directly by MTV News about the photos, Conrad said quite simply "I'm not talking about that." There would be no further direct comment from any of the young women.

Still, they were more than willing to discuss boundaries the show and media may have crossed, and where they see themselves once "The Hills" goes off the air.

Acknowledging the catch-22 each of the reality stars faces, Conrad said, "The problem with being on a reality show is that you're not really in a position to tell people to stay out of your personal life, because your career is filming your personal life. That's what we do."

Conrad said she believes the media's infatuation with her and her friends reflects their success. "One celebrity blogger who is very mean to me came up to me and told me, 'I wouldn't pick on you unless you were doing well.' The higher you get, the harder people try to pull you down."

Port, who has perhaps best kept her personal life out of the spotlight, said that was always part of the plan for her. "I set very clear boundaries in the beginning. I said, 'I'm not willing to show my personal life, my romantic life, my family.' " Asked if the producers of the show still pressure her to reveal more of her personal life, she said with a knowing smile, "They try all the time."

Meanwhile, the women continue to pursue their own endeavors with the hopes of building careers after the show ends. Patridge's recently revealed nude photos were reportedly taken before she signed onto the show, when she aspired to be a Playboy model. Now, Patridge said her focus will go back to her initial dream of acting. "I moved [to L.A.] originally to do acting. I spent the last two years filming a lot and dating a lot of guys and going out and partying. I'm at the point now where I'm kind of past that. I'm starting to focus on what I originally came here to do." Modeling, she insisted, was always "just for fun."

Conrad claimed to have no acting ambitions whatsoever after a brief role in last year's "Epic Movie." Recalling the shoot, she said, "That killed any interest I would ever have in acting. I'm not a patient person. I had one line, and it took 14 hours. I walked away thinking, 'I never want to be an actor.' "

Fashion, on the other hand, remains her number-one ambition. The Lauren Conrad Collection continues, she said, and her skills are only improving. "Every season, I learn a little bit more about designing and the process. Each season of this line is progressing with me."

Meanwhile, Port has recently announced her own line of clothing called Eve & A. Calling design "something I always wanted to do since I was a little girl," Port insisted, "It's not going to be any sort of competition [with Conrad]. We have completely different aspirations. I like a lot of color. This clothing line is a lot of party dresses, cocktail dresses and sophisticated coats," she explained.

With ratings for the show going strong, it's likely all three women will see their lives scrutinized for the foreseeable future. Conrad admitted, "At the end of every season, I think it's my last."

But will audiences still be watching the inevitable fourth and fifth seasons? When asked how many more seasons she'd be game to do, Port said, "I could do a couple more seasons, and then people aren't going to want to see it anymore. We're just going to be pregnant and married by then," she laughed.

Contemplating the show's phenomenal, if surprising, cultural impact, Port said, "I don't really know how to justify watching 'The Hills,' to be honest. I think the only reason I would watch the show is just to escape and forget about your own troubles for a second and watch other people's mindless worries."

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