These days, you can’t throw a glitzy Hollywood party without two things: a red carpet and the Hilton sisters. Platinum-blond hotel heiresses Paris and Nicky Hilton have become ubiquitous fixtures on New York and L.A.’s star party circuit, even if they’re not known for much else.
But now Paris Hilton, 22, is getting attention for actually doing something. She and close pal Nicole Richie (yes, Lionel’s daughter) are the stars of FOX’s latest reality show, The Simple Life, in which the two party girls were dropped onto a farm in Altus, Ark. (population: 817), to live with a family for four weeks. Buzz for the show has been so strong that the network has decided to delay the premiere from August until the fall. Hilton recently spoke with PEOPLE about her Green Acres-style adventure.
You’ve said your sister (Nicky Hilton) would never have survived in Arkansas. What part wouldn’t she get?
Everything. The room. Working. Getting up at 4:30 in the morning. She would have hated it.
What makes you different from her that you could pull it off?
I am tougher than her. She is more of a city girl. I am a tomboy. I can play in the dirt, I don’t care. It’s fun.
Are you hoping the show will further your film career?
Yeah. I think it will be really good just to see how I look on camera.
Your costar Nicole Richie said you guys met some boys in Arkansas. What happened?
We just met some cute guys. We were there for so long. We didn’t do anything. We just kissed.
Where did you meet the boys?
We were at the gas station working and they ditched school and came to meet us. Everywhere we were, people would show up. It was such a small town. Wherever we were working, people would come.
What is your best fashion advice for anyone heading to a farm?
Don’t wear heels.
You stayed with a family while you lived in Arkansas. Any plans to bring them out to Los Angeles?
I am trying to get (family member) Janet to come out here. She is scared to come out to LA. I’m like, “You’re gonna love it.” And she’s like, “We’ve never been on a plane. We’ll drive.”
Would you let them stay with you?
Sure. I lived with them so long, of course they can stay with me.
What would they find most surreal about your place?
Everything. More than one bathroom.
Are you ever overwhelmed by the public fascination with you and your sister? It seems like you can’t open a newspaper without reading something about you.
I know. And I don’t even have a publicist.
There were some pretty mean comments about you and your sister at the recent MTV Carson Daly roast. What is your response to all of that?
I don’t care. I think it’s fun. He made fun of everyone. I don’t care if people make fun of me.
So you are pretty thick-skinned?
I could really care less, after all these years.
We hear you’re working on a CD. Who are your musical influences?
I just love Madonna. I love Britney Spears, love Christina Aguilera. But I don’t want to be another pop star, really. I want to be different and cool.
You also have quite a few movies coming up ?
The Cat in the Hat, Wonderland … In Wonderland I am like this girl that hooks up with Val Kilmer on a boat. Just this random girl, I guess. I think I am supposed to be a porn star. I don’t know. My name is Barbie. Then in Cat in the Hat I am dancing at this rave and Mike Myers comes up and dances with me, and Alec Baldwin is chasing him around.
Any plans to pose for Playboy?
I’m not doing that. They have offered me a lot of times. But I just don’t need to do it. I like Playboy. I like Hef. I think it’s cool, whatever. But I just don’t want to do it.
What do you steal out of Nicole’s closet?
Nothing. We always buy things in twos. Our parents always bought us the same thing and dressed us up as twins when we were growing up. We always just buy the same thing. We didn’t even know that we were both gonna be wearing stripes today.