Paris Hilton on Community Service Backlash: "I Was Just Joking Around and Being Honest"
Kathy Hilton, Paris Hilton
The World According to Paris (Wednesdays, 10/9c, Oxygen) is unflattering to its titular star, according to several critics. Most famously, the women of The View scolded Paris Hilton for her "fluffy" portrayal on this candid reality show, as well as her comments regarding community service for her drug bust in Vegas last year ("Because of a little incident in Las Vegas last year, I have to do 200 hours of community service and it really sucks balls," were Paris' words on last week's premiere).
Noticing several incongruities, ourselves, TVGuide.com spoke with Hilton and her mother, Kathy, regarding scrutiny, entitlement, hostility and manipulation. You know: fluffy stuff.
Is it tough to have people picking this show apart when you talk to them?
Kathy Hilton: No. People have seen a lot of the clips and they've seen the first episode. Starting [this week], it's pretty powerful. It's heart-wrenching [this week's] is a pretty intense show.
Which is more difficult: filming this show or dealing with it now that it's airing?
Paris Hilton: It's a lot of hard work, but I'm so proud of the show. I'm thrilled with it and I can't wait for all the fans to see it. It really shows the real me and people are going to get the chance to see the most intimate moments of my life.
Watch The World According to Paris videos
But this show is opening you up for criticism. There was a report that you were extremely upset about Barbara Walters' questions last week [regarding Paris' assertion that community service "sucks balls"] when you were on The View.
Paris: I think the media always makes up stories. She's a journalist. I respect her and I've known her for years. I think she just didn't understand. She'd seen the first episode and she asked me why I was complaining about the community service. I was just joking around and being honest. Who wants to go paint walls? I was being honest: I didn't enjoy it.
Kathy: Basically when you have to get up four days out of seven and do community service, yes you deserve to do it, you have to do it, but it's not like, "Oh! Let's get up and go do this!"
On your way to community service, Paris, you say, "Am I gonna be working with, like, convicts and, like, prisoner people?" Do you see yourself as set apart from convicts and "prisoner people," despite the fact that you've been to jail?
Paris: I was just joking around when I said that. A lot of the times on the show, I'll say things where I'm just joking and doing it for a laugh. I don't see myself as different from anybody else. I've made my mistakes and paid for my actions. I think I've been through hell and back and it's made me the person I am today.
Paris Hilton lets viewers into her world
Do you think that sometimes your jokes might hurt people's feelings, though? You refer to your assistant Lexie as a "pervert" and to Brooke Mueller's assistant Kristen as a "creep."
Paris: People know that I'm just joking around.
Kathy: And I think you didn't really like Kristen.
Paris: And I didn't really like Kristen, so I was just being honest how I felt. I didn't trust her and I didn't think she was a good friend. I was just saying how I felt.
Are you a defensive person? You chalked up your comments regarding Kristen to the vibe she was giving you.
Paris: There's been so many girls in my life that have used me and sold stories about me to the media and lied about me that I don't really trust many people in my life. I've been screwed over a lot by many people. I'm always cautious when I let new people into my life.
Paris Hilton: There are things "I never thought I would show on camera"
One of the most surprising parts of the episode came when you admitted that you use your "baby voice" to manipulate people.
Kathy: I don't think it's a manipulation.
Paris: When I'm shy I do it or sometimes if I want somethi--...
Kathy: (Overlapping) ...When you were little, with me...she would use the baby voice. But I think it's going to a shy and uncomfortable place. When Paris walks out on David Letterman or Jay Leno, and she prances out, it's like, "What is that prancing, like you're on a catwalk?" She says, "Mommy, I just do that because in the beginning of an interview, I'm shy." And then, that's where she goes. Interviews can be intimidating.
It is referenced as something that gets Paris what she wants.
Kathy: Well, when she was little. She was referring to that with dad and mom.
The Paris-Nicky dynamic is interesting: Kathy, you're asked to call Nicky to ask her something on her sister's behalf. It's interesting that Paris couldn't go directly to the source.
Kathy: Nicky is a toughie. It has to be her idea, and Paris is neat and clean about herself but when she comes into your house, she is a tornado. With Nicky, everything's gotta be perfect. I kind of manipulated Nicky, I guess.
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Paris, what terms are you on with Nicky?
Paris: Nicky's my best friend. We are so close. Closer than any sisters I know.
Do your previous comments imply that it's unfair to judge this show by one episode? A widespread criticism is that Paris' own show doesn't portray her in the best light.
Paris: This is just the first episode, so we're just introducing the characters. Throughout the series, you'll see a lot of amazing storylines and people go through a journey with me. You shouldn't judge it on the first episode.