Want to Get Serious About Paris? Here's a Few Suggestions
Those of us who saw her turn as a shapely, doomed sexpot in the B-level horror film House of Wax, might wonder if she’s got the chops to pull off an acting feat that accomplished.
But journalist Barbara Walters insisted Hilton was ready to get real in a conversation from jail Sunday, saying, “I’m not the same person I was. I used to act dumb. It was an act.”
I’m not buying it. That's because I remember a poolside conversation I had with an unnamed network TV executive just before the debut of Hilton's reality TV show, The Simple Life.
This executive knew the juice of the show – featuring Hilton and off-again, on-again friend Nicole Ritchie isolated from their wealth and plopped in jobs designed to embarrass them – would mostly come from its stars’ genuine and complete cluelessness. Lame-o reality TV-style acting would not do.
“Five minute into our meeting,” the executive told me, “I knew we had a series.”
(I knew they had a series when I saw a preview clip with Hilton asking a family if they “like, they sell wall stuff” at Wal-Mart – a comment Hilton also explained away by saying she was playing dumb.)
I’m also not down with those commentators who suggest the world is unfairly piling on the 26-year-old “celebutante” (yes, Mr. Hitchens, I’m talking about you). The world of tabloid-fed celebrity excess is a contact sport. Just ask Britney and Lindsay; if you’re going to lace up the gloves and jump into the world of tabloid-fed fame, you gotta expect to get tagged every now and then.
We've even seen some serious journalism come of this debacle, as the Los Angeles Times presents a story today noting that Hilton's current 23-day jail sentence is 80 percent longer than most sentences for similar infractions.
What I don't understand, is why Los Angeles-area law enforcement -- and by extension, the news media overall -- seemed so hamstrung by this issue. They have so many celebrties who break the law, there are wings of their jail reserved for the well-known. It has been more than 10 years since the O.J. Simpson trial. Why haven't these judges and sherriffs (and journalists) figured out how to process celebrity lawbreakers in ways that make sense and are fair to everyone?
Still, I’m willing to throw a lifeline to the incarcerated hotel heiress, if she’s willing to listen. Here’s a few ideas from me and my colleagues in Floridian for Hilton, if she’s really serious about getting serious:
• Change last name to something with more class and intelligence, like, say, Trump.
• Ditch the scrawny chihuahua with the Wikipedia entry — see: Tinkerbell (dog) — in favor of a basset hound. Call it Wellington.
• Give scared straight lectures to Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Britney Spears on the horror of two weeks with no cell phone.
• Boy toys like NFL quarterback Matt Leinart are history. Time for a guy more likely to upgrade your serious image: Fred Thompson. Or maybe Henry Kissinger. The older and more conservative, the better.
• Forget those holidays on the Riviera. Instead, build huts in Botswana with Angelina Jolie. Extra points for adopting a child while there.
• Kick Nicole to the curb and get a new sidekick, like Stephen Hawking or Bill Gates.
• Write a memoir without a pink dust jacket.
• Drop “that’s hot.’’ It’s so not.
• Consider reading these classic works of literature: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler; Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte. In each, a rich, spoiled blond does anything her little heart desires. In each, someone ends up dead.
• Take a vow of silence and enter a convent. Might not do much for Paris, but the rest of us could use the break.