House of Wax: An Interview with Paris Hilton
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By Todd Gilchrist
Paris Hilton, unlikely enough, easily ranks among the world's most sought-after celebrities, and it's only now that she is beginning to create a body of work for herself that audiences can actually follow. Prior to her upcoming film House of Wax, co-starring Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray, Hilton appeared on the hit TV show The Simple Life and has made cameos in a number of films and television programs. In this recent interview with blackfilm.com, Hilton discusses her new film, reveals the challenges of becoming another silver screen scream queen, and explains how she manages to find time to work on all of her myriad commercial endeavors.
Was the death the same in the script?
Paris Hilton: Yeah, that was all in the script already. I thought that was, like, the coolest death scene in the movie and I liked my character a lot. It was fun to play.
What were challenges did being in this movie pose to you?
PH: It was pretty brutal. It took like two days to shoot and it was night shoots so we were shooting from, like, you know, midnight to nine a.m. So, it was hard and I had to, like, pretend to be scared even though I really wasn't.
Did you take acting classes to prepare?
PH: Yeah, I've been taking acting classes for, like, three years now.
Any specific training for a horror movie?
PH: Screaming classes. (Laughs)
What was it like working with a first time director?
PH: I thought Jaume was an amazing director. I think it's a really great project. He was great. I love him.
How familiar were you with the original movie and how they changed it?
PH: Well, the first one was very creepy and scary, but this one I think is definitely scarier and sexier because this is, you know, a really hot cast and the Vincent Price one didn't really have a hot cast. (Laughs)
Did they make a mold of you for your death scene?
PH: Yes, they did. You have to, like breath through a straw. It was kind of scary because I get, like, claustrophobic, but you have to do it.
Is it jarring to see yourself dead?
PH: I thought it would be but I saw the movie two nights ago and no, because I know, I was there, but I remember the whole time shooting it.
There are a lot of shots in the beginning with the video cameras. Was that added in reference to your notoriety?
PH: That's just part of the whole movie before I was even attached to the script, that was already in the movie.
PH: No, I didn't care.
PH: Uh, I just finished a movie called Bottom's Up, which is like a romantic comedy and then I have a lot of projects lined up right now that I'm attached to star in, but I can't really talk about them all yet.
What's the next step for you as an actress?
PH: Oh the next. The last movie was a romantic comedy and the next one is drama, so I probably won't do a horror for a couple more films later.
What is most challenging for you as an actress?
PH: I think drama would be, but horror to because you have to be scared when you're not so that's hard to do.
Are you planning to do comedies?
PH: One of my next films is comedy, yeah.
No more Simple Life because Nicole knows what she did?
PH: Yeah, it's my show so I'm just gonna bring in some new people.
How did SNL go?
PH: That was really an honor. It had been a dream of mine to do SNL so it was awesome. I had a fun time and I did a great job.
Did you have any hesitations regarding people's expectations of your jump to the big screen?
PH: I've been training for a long time and this is what I've wanted to do my whole life so I'm just doing what I want.
What horror movies did you watch to prepare?
PH: I watched, like, "Halloween" and the Freddy Krueger movies andŠ I love scary movies, I love those films.
How aware do you have to be of the conventions of horror movies?
PH: Well, when I was, like, about to get killed, I was in my tent, so I just ran and I'd run to, like, the nearest place I could, which is the sugar mill, so I think with the character that was the only place to go. So, it was written perfectly of how the situation would have happened. I would have done the same thing if I was in that situation, just run to any place to hide.
Are you disappointed this is rated R?
PH: I didn't really think about it. When I was younger I always saw rated R movies so I don't think it will matter. People will still go.
How did you feel about the way you were killed?
PH: I thought it was awesome. It looks really cool. I liked it, I thought it was, like, one of the coolest scenes in the movie.
Did you get any tips from any of the more experienced actors in the cast?
PH: Whatever. We didn't really talk about it, we'd just rehearse.
How difficult is it to balance all the different endeavors you're involved with?
PH: For me, like, I love to work and I work every day of my life, like 6 a.m. until midnight, every night I'm working, so I just, if I'm on a plane, I read scripts and if I'm in a city I'll go to all night clubs. I enjoy it and I know that I'm a brand and I have to do all these things and I love it.
When does your album come out?
PH: In August.
What's the style?
PH: It's like, um, it's kind of like Gwen Stefani-ish, Blondie, fun dance music, club music.
Who gets the rights to the songs?
What producers did you work with?
PH: Right now I'm working with Rob Cavallo. He did Green Day's new album and he's doing my entire album. A bunch of producer's are sending stuff in but I like to work with him only because I feel comfortable with him.
The party image is what most people have of you. What is a day in your life like according to you?
PH: Well, I get up and I have meetings or I have to go to aŠ It's always different. It could be a photo shoot, it could be a movie set, it could be working in the studio or in a meeting for my design for my clothing line. I don't know, I fly all around the world doing different things every single day. It's always a different thing, it's never the same thing.
Does that party girl image bother you? Is that a perception you're looking to correct?
PH: You know, I was 16 years old when I lived in New York. If anyone else was invited to all those parties they would go to. I don't see anything wrong with it. I was a teenager. Everyone has fun, but me, for me I would get to go to more things because I got invited to more things so, whatever, I had a great time and now I'm just too busy.
You are partying less now.
PH: I'm too tired to go out now.
I went to the screening last night and in the scene where you die, a lot of people clapped. Does it bother you that somehow people love to hate you?
PH: I think they just think it was a good scene, so I don't think people don't like me. I think people like me.
What were the sets like?
PH: Well, I knew with Joel Silver it's going to be that way so I expected that. It was really incredible, the set they made, it was awesome.
Would you like to use your image for anything good?
PH: I do many charities. I work with children, animals, people with AIDS, cancer. So, I've been doing charity work since I was a child, but that's something the media never talks about becauseŠ
What are you working on now in terms of charities?
PH: Multiple sclerosis and breast cancer. I'm really involved with those charities. I just lost both my grandmothers to those diseases.
While keeping busy branding yourself in so many arenas, how difficult is it to find projects that stimulate or satisfy you?
PH: Anything I do, I feel artistic and creative, so no matter what I'm doing I'm going to be.
Do you have a sense of humor about the parodies of you such as the South Park episode?
PH: I haven't seen it, but when people copy you, that's like the most flattering thing, so whatever people can say, I just laugh about it. It doesn't matter to me.
What actresses have you admired the most?
PH: I love Cameron Diaz. I think she's so beautiful and funny, she's my favorite actress. And I love Angelina Jolie.
What's a dream list of directors and actors to work with?
PH: Um, I want to do a movie with the Farrelly brothers because I've seen "Something About Mary" so many times, I love that movie. So, thenŠ
What about actors or actresses?
PH: Uh, I don't really think about it. I don't care.
Is there a particular genre you'd like to aspire towards?
PH: I love comedy. If I had to, like, shave my head, I would hate that. But yeah, I like comedy the best.
Are you developing other reality shows?
PH: Yeah, I'm going to produce some reality shows that I won't even be on, I'm just going to produce them.
What are they going to focus on?
PH: I can't say yet because I don't want anyone to steal my ideas, but we're developing them right now.
What about the next Simple Life?
PH: It's going to probably be, they're looking right now all around Hawaii just to see what the best island is. It's gonna be bikini's and blondes in the sun.
So it will be you and one or two other actresses?
PH: I don't know yet. We're looking with Kim and just, my sister, trying to see if a lot of people, my friends, want to come down and check it out.
What do you do for your spare time?
PH: I love ice skating. I've been playing ice hockey since I was in tenth grade and just going to my ranch and going horseback riding, going fishing, cooking, just doing normal things.
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