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Best of Boston 2009

Who I am

Paris speaks
By SHARON STEEL  |  February 13, 2008


Paris Hilton is late. Really, really late. But nobody is complaining — it’s not as if we expected otherwise. The 26-year-old socialite heiress rolled through Boston last Wednesday on a dual mission: first, to promote her new romantic comedy, The Hottie and the Nottie, which most local theaters aren’t touching with a 10-foot pole (it opened exclusively in Revere); and second, to accept the Harvard Lampoon’s first-ever Woman of the Year award. (Don’t confuse this last with Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award, which goes to actresses deemed to have made “a lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment.”)

When I finally do meet Paris at the Four Seasons, she answers my questions in a Valley Girl vixen voice, with a languid aplomb that characterizes the way she approaches life — except, perhaps, for that 22-day stint in jail last summer. Smiling a pink-lipped Cheshire Cat smile, wearing a silk wine-colored tunic dress and gray-and-silver heels, she describes herself as “like, a businesswoman,” and ruminates on New England’s lack of beaches, her shoe collection, and being a brand.

The Hottie and the Nottie was originally set here, but you thought it would be best to move the filming to LA. What’s wrong with Boston?
I live in Los Angeles, I run a huge business out there, and I’m constantly having to do meetings. I have 50 things going on at once. So if I was here, I couldn’t really do everything. Plus, this movie . . . like, my character is totally, like, LA. The whole movie just made more sense in Los Angeles.

You didn’t feel it could be equally adaptable to a New England setting?
No. It’s too cold. There’s no beach.

You’re playing a version of yourself in this movie. Was that what drew you to the script in the first place?
When I saw the script, I was literally laughing out loud. I just thought it was such a cute movie.

You have your own clothing line and, now, a new shoe line. What or who inspires you in fashion?
Every time I go to New York, I always love the Betsy Johnson show. She has cute dresses.

So is Betsy Johnson’s whimsical style the sort of thing you try to channel into your own designs?
I travel around the world, so I see styles from Tokyo to, like, Australia. I just try to put everything together that I like from traveling a lot. My lines really represent me.

I see. Do you personally design —

Oh, you sketch?
Well — not everything. I have a design team as well. But I draw things, and they send me approvals.

Tell me more about your footwear collection. The soles are pink. Was that a nod to Christian Louboutin’s trademark red soles?
Sort of, yeah. I just, I love pink.

May I ask how many shoes you own?
Actually, my new home, I just built a closet — I turned the gym, actually, into a shoe closet. So I have, like, thousands of shoes.

Amazing. Is it like Cher’s closet in Clueless, where everything spins around on different racks and you can stop and start it with a remote control?
No, I wish. But my closet is really amazing.

Besides your clothing and shoes, you have your name attached to a number of other products: a cellphone game, sparkling wine in a can, five fragrances, an album. And you’ve written two books. How would you describe what it is that you do for a living?
I’m a businesswoman, a brand, an actress, author, singer, designer. I do everything. So I think I’m just, like, a businesswoman.

Tell me more about being a brand. What does it feel like to know that you’re being marketed?
It’s exciting. I’ve always wanted to be in this business and run my own companies. I feel really happy about it.

Did you always imagine you’d grow up to be what you are today?
No, I always thought I was going to be, like, a veterinarian —

Or a schoolteacher for kids. Yeah.

I imagine you must feel pretty misunderstood, especially over the last year or so. What do you want the world to know about Paris Hilton?
Yeah, I definitely feel misunderstood. A lot of people think they know me. But it’s just the media’s lies that they talk about me. I’m a good person. I have a good heart. I’m down-to-earth and I’m sweet. I think people, when they see this movie, they’ll see a lot of similarities between me and the character, about who I really am.

Related: Bruce Willis lets loose, The Estate’s first, The Hottie and the Nottie, More more >
  Topics: Features , Celebrity News, Cher, Christian Louboutin,  More more >
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