The beauty of Paris
Ballinrobe native Alan Murphy had the experience of a lifetime last week - an exclusive interview with Paris Hilton
When I found out a couple of weeks back that I was going to be meeting the most famous woman on the planet, Miss Paris Hilton, for an exclusive interview, I thought ‘heck, I’ve just died and gone to heaven’. This is Paris Hilton we’re talking about!
Just in case you haven’t been living in this universe, Paris is a phenomenon. Google her, and you’ll uncover 51 million websites dedicated to the star, second only to the President of the United States, good ‘ol George W Bush. Paris is a reality TV star, a movie star and a pop star. She’s a fashion icon and socialite with her own line of perfumes, jewellery and nightclubs … you name it, she’s done it! Oh and let’s not forget, she’s an heiress to the colossal Hilton Hotel fortune, and her daddy Richard’s real estate wealth.
After trekking to the Big Smoke of Dublin, I was told to be at BT2 on Grafton Street by around 11am where the star was launching her latest fragrence, aptly named Heiress. Paris was due to arrive at 12 noon, but swanned in at the fashionably late time of 12.30pm on a bubblegum pink carpet to greet her adoring public. Come on now, you didn’t really expect her to be on time, did you?
Once inside BT2, she took to her throne-like seat on a specially-created platform, and got down to work. Work? Yes, a lucky couple of hundred fans, who purchased her perfume prior to her visit, received golden tickets to meet their idol. Paris had barely signed a photo of herself though, before she disappeared for what supposedly was a bathroom break. Signing your name can be hard work you know.
On her return, she informed one of her several minders that she wanted some water, without ever once making eye contact with the obliging slave. And the signing recommenced.
Trying to get a quick word with Paris Hilton is tougher than getting a sprinter to run a marathon. The lucky few press that managed to get inside the store had to interview the star as she chatted to fans, signed autographs and posed for photos. It didn’t matter if you were Gerry Maye or Glenda Gilson, all the press got 30 seconds to speak with Paris. Each question you intended to ask first had to be written down and passed on to one of her minders, who would decide if it was suitable. Then your 30 seconds began, and once they were up, boy did you know about it. Journalist after journalist got the customary tap on the shoulder to say ‘time’s up’, and no one dared try and grab a few extra seconds.
After a four-hour wait, with my poor little legs ready to give way, it was finally my turn to meet the star…
Only one problem – time was up, the signing was over, finished, kaput. I was informed Paris was heading for a bite to eat at a very exclusive lunch reception upstairs in Brown Thomas. But wait for it! I was asked would I mind attending the lunch with Paris, her parents, and a very few select guests, before doing a private interview with her? Did I mind? Lunch with the Hiltons – I dare you to try and think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Despite almost collapsing with excitement, and my mind thinking of how I was going to propose to Miss Hilton at the intimate lunch, I calmly answered, ‘yeah that’s no problem, I don’t mind’. Cool as a breeze!
After being escorted to the room where the champange was flowing and some funny-looking food was being served, I was told that Paris was now ready for me. Off I went, microphone in hand, to meet the hottest woman on the planet. I was brought to a little room, where Miss Hilton sat busily texting on her mobile phone. It was just me and Paris…ok and a minder, and two pals. But hey, that’s not bad going. After all, I was the only journalist in the country to secure a private interview with the American beauty.
Her minder politely informed her that I was Alan Murphy and I was here to do an interview. Paris continued to text, not once looking up to meet her future husband. Moments later, the star finally looked up, I then took a seat and the interview got under way.
First question: “Are you enjoying your time in Ireland Paris?” The answer came that of course she is enjoying it because, wait for it…she’s actually Irish. Isn’t every American Irish? I later found out from her mother Kathy that the Hiltons were indeed Irish. Paris’ great grandparents were born here. Oh and Kathy also had an Irish nanny when she was a kid!
We then chatted about her perfume which she thinks is very ‘Paris’, her singing career and who is the hottest woman in the world right now. Disappointingly, she answered Angelina Jolie. I was hoping she would have said herself. After that we posed for photos, and joined the rest of the guests.
So what was Paris really like I hear you ask? While she’s beautiful, endearing and quite bubbly, it’s hard to feel any genuineness from the miniscule star. Paris is a product, a character, an act. She says what you want to hear, and she says it in a false, childlike voice with ditzy mannerisms to match. She happily signs autographs, she’s friendly to kids, and she’s at home posing for the cameras. But underneath that sweeter than sweet exterior, there has to lie a cunning businesswoman who knows what to do and when to do it. No one could have achieved and accomplished so much success without a modicum of intelligence. But in saying all that, during my brief chat with the star, she said I was hot! Paris Hilton thinks I’m hot! So indeed I left the interview feeling the same way as when I entered – ‘have I just died and gone to heaven?’
Alan Murphy is a journalist and radio presenter with Galway Bay FM. He also writes a monthly column for Galway Now Magazine