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11.04.08

My Day With Paris

With a starring film role and a new British reality show, the pop tart has the rare opportunity to take her career up a notch. But will she take it?

With a starring film role and a new British reality show, the pop tart has the rare opportunity to take her career up a notch. But will she take it? She talks with The Daily Beast’s Tom Tapp.

Paris Hilton is smoking. She’s walking around the room in fishnet stockings and high-heeled black boots with her cleavage exposed, and puffing on a cigarette. This is how she’s decided to meet the press for her latest film, Repo: The Genetic Opera. A futuristic Goth musical, Repo is set in a time when the human race is afflicted by a plague of organ failures.

The crisis gives rise to the all-powerful GeneCo, a company that trades in organs new and used. It also begets a plastic surgery chic, where people trade faces like they do cars. Hilton plays Amber Sweet, one of three heirs to the GeneCo fortune, controlled by her sadistic father (Paul Sorvino).

For her next promotion, Paris has been shooting Paris Is My BBF, the second season of her reality show where she flies to London to find a new best friend. We wonder if there will really be a true winner in the end.

It’s a role that has Hilton marching around looking pouty/sexy, singing as the film’s screeching industrial metal soundtrack whines away. Her performance is perfunctory, but serviceable—it’s mostly about costume changes and playing up her kittenish vibe to get the plastic surgery she craves.

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It’s a similar scene today: Hilton is clearly playing up her assets for the media. And she knows her audience. Most of her interviews will likely be blog boys from horror and sci-fi websites. As always, Paris comes ready to please.

After giving out methodical directions to an assistant, she puts out the cigarette and sits on the couch very close to her interviewer. That famous coy smile crosses her face. As the interview begins, her voice takes on a girlish pitch.

“It was fun to be different from being a blonde,” she says, staring off sideways. “Amber is a tragic character. You feel sorry for her.”

Though it’s hard to think of Paris Hilton, arguably one of the most famous and wealthy heiresses on the planet, as understanding tragedy, perhaps she’s growing. One wants to believe that Paris has decided to take on truly serious role, to cozy up to gravitas for a moment.

Then she continues: “Probably the hardest scene to film was when my face falls off. I felt like Freddy Krueger. I looked in the mirror and was like, ‘Ew.’ It was gross.”

The celebutante says she’s never had plastic surgery herself. “I love being all-natural,” Hilton says, before adding she worries about friends and young girls who do go under the knife. “They make themselves look older. A lot of girls who are 21, they have a lot of work done and they look 40. It ages you. And you’re going to have to maintain it. By the time you’re 30, you’re going to look like you’re 50. By the time you’re 50, your face is going to fall off.”

That goes for men, too. While Hilton doesn’t say much about boyfriend Benji Madden, she does say she wouldn’t want to marry a guy who’d had plastic surgery. “You marry someone,” she says, “and you think they look a certain way and then you have kids with them and you’re like, ‘Oh, the nose is completely different.’ It’s crazy nowadays.”

Paris circles around the topic of appearances like a vulture; it is her favorite subject. When we try to talk politics (despite her involvement in a very funny Obama promotion and her shoot for the cover of Nylon’s “America” issue), she balks. Instead, she would rather debunk the rumors that swirl around her, keeping her image clean.

Asked if she’s really booked on one of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space flights, Hilton hedges, saying she’s talked with Virgin but she’s scared and thinks it may be kind of “freaky.”

Another whisper is that she will star in an HBO sitcom with Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. She says it’s “interesting” but “not happening.” Hilton says she doesn’t “have time for that. There’s too many projects going on. I get 50 scripts a week and I turn down everything. I’m constantly traveling, whether it’s for my clothing line or my fragrance or my shoes or whatever I’m doing. I don’t have time to be in Toronto and do a movie for two months. So I only do projects I think are going to be really interesting and iconic.” Having seen Repo, one wonders if she should reconsider, especially when the rumors are more interesting than reality.

Take, for instance, the British tabloid story that Hilton would be in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. That’s not bad company, but Hilton wasn’t even aware of the film when she met with the director. “I met him at his little pub in London, called The Punch Bowl,” she says. “He’s very nice. And then all of a sudden there’s some quote in a paper saying that I’m going to be in the Sherlock Holmes movie. I didn’t even know there was a Sherlock Holmes movie and I never said that.”

Things may get better, however. Hilton recently parted ways with her manager Jason Moore, and says she’s getting calls from “everyone.” In the meantime, she continues to work on her brand. She even calls it that. “I admire people like Donald Trump, who are their brand,” she says. “They go out there and promote their brand and themselves and they’re good people.”

For her next promotion, Paris has been shooting Paris Is My BBF, the second season of her reality show where she flies to London to find a new best friend. We wonder if there will really be a true winner in the end.

As the interview wraps up, Hilton mentions she’s having an “insane” bash at her house that night and needs to go clothes shopping. What does one do to top the sequined interview look? She’s heading to Trashy Lingerie.