Backstreet Boy Nick Carter — who famously starred with his siblings, including baby brother Aaron Carter, on 2006’s guilty-pleasure E! reality show House of Carters — is about to leap back into the reality fray with I Heart Nick Carter, a VH1 show documenting his relationship with new bride Lauren Kitt-Carter. But I Heart Nick Carter promises to be a more positive series, now that the happily married former teen idol is in a much better place.
“There were some great moments, funny moments with [House of Carters],” Nick told Yahoo Music during a recent visit with Lauren. “But what happened behind the scenes really was discouraging and disheartening for me. The relationship between my family has always been on rocky ground, and I was a hardcore alcoholic — not necessarily doing drugs at that time, but I was overweight, and I didn’t care about myself as much as I do now. I was able to really look [at that show] and use it as a chance to look in the mirror, to see who I was and who I didn’t want to be.”
Nick, now 34, is the youngest BSB member, joining the boy band at age 12. But he’s one former child star who eventually managed to get past his “troubled phase” and end up in a good place — with a good woman. So what advice does Nick have for the Justin Biebers and Harry Styleses of today?
“I mean, it’s hard to give advice, because if I was looking back and trying to give myself advice, I wouldn’t have listened to myself,” he admitted. “These kids aren’t going to listen to anyone. So you kind of just got to hold on and hope for the best for them. Hopefully they’ll make it through. I guess you could say I’m an example of that — that somehow or another, life finds its way and you can make a change. Just don’t hurt anybody along the way, and try to grow up.”
It was when Nick “grew up” that he met Lauren Kitt on a blind date, in 2008, and everything turned around for him. “When I first met Lauren, I was in a place where I wanted to stop completely any drinking and drugs,” said Nick. (After being diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition called cardiomyopathy, which caused the early deaths of Andy Gibb and Chris Penn, Nick realized he needed to change his life.) “I wanted to adopt a whole new lifestyle of fitness and health. And at the time — and they say this happens all the time — I didn’t want a relationship. I didn’t want to be in a relationship at all, and then all of a sudden… smack, right in my face.
“And six years later, now I have someone that I truly love and care about, that I want to be the best for, that I want to be alive for. I want to be healthy. I just want to be there for her and be accountable to her, so she has been my rock. We do fitness together, we eat healthy together, we play video games together. She’s my best friend, so it’s nice to have a best friend that is positive and a great influence.”
Nick and Lauren’s reality show, I Heart Nick Carter, premieres on VH1 Wednesday at 10 p.m. Nick and his fellow grown-up boy-bander Jordan Knight, of New Kids on the Block fame, also recently joined forces to form the brilliantly named duo Nick & Knight, who embark on a U.S. tour Sept. 15.