Paris Hilton sat down with The Associated Press on Thursday for a chat about her new MTV reality series, Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. The series will shadow a group of twenty contestants as they live together and compete in weekly challenges to become the next Nicole Richie. More than 85,000 people have added profiles and videos to ParisBFF.com in hopes of becoming Paris’ new bestest, the twenty-seven year old, who also serves as one of the show’s producers, tells The AP. Visitors to the site vote for their favorites, and the Top Twenty most popular candidates will snag a spot on the show. Production on Paris Hilton’s My New BFF begins next month.
AP: Why take your search for a new best friend to the reality-TV world?
Hilton: Well I did “The Simple Life” for five seasons. I had a great time. I love reality TV. It’s my favorite to watch. When I was approached with this idea I just thought it would be so much fun, being a producer on the show as well, having boys and girls move into a house all vying to be my best friend, I just thought it’d be fun and I’d also like to meet some new friends.
AP: Do you think you can find a real, lasting friendship this way? Do you have a preference of male or female?
Hilton: I just want to see the contestants and see how they are. I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, just as long as its someone I can trust, someone I can have fun with and just someone who’s going to be able to like handle all the other things that are going to come with being my best friend.
AP: Like what?
Hilton: Just being in the media, just someone who’s not going to care about that, just someone who cares about me.
AP: What are some of the qualities you’re looking for in a new best friend?
Hilton: Just someone who’s fun, someone who I can trust and just someone who, I don’t know, just someone to get along with that is not going to screw me over. Just someone to have a great time with.
AP: You recently found a new best friend in Benji Madden. What are some of the challenges in finding friends you click with?
Hilton: It is hard meeting new people. Most of my friends I’ve had my entire life, like obviously my sister and Nicole Richie have been with me forever. So when I meet new people, I’m always a little wary of the reason they may want to become my friend. I can usually just tell by when we’re out in public and there’s paparazzi around, I see, you know, who gets a little bit too excited or whatever. I can tell how those people are.
AP: Because it’s a show, it’s possible that some contestants might be more interested in being on TV than being your best friend. How will you determine people’s sincerity?
Hilton: We’re at MTV right now and just going over all the challenges and different things we’re going to be putting the contestants through. I can’t really tell because they’re all top secret.
AP: How has this experience been different from “The Simple Life” and your feature-film work?
Hilton: This is like completely different. “The Simple Life” was more fish-out-of-water, Nicole and I just doing things we’ve never done.
AP: What kinds of things appeal to you when you’re looking at the videos on ParisBFF.com?
Hilton: Just people who are fun, people who I know are going to be great on TV, people who have fun personalities, they’re not shy, the people who tell their deepest secrets, people who are open to being honest and having a great time. That’s what my show’s about.
AP: Talk about your role as executive producer.
Hilton: Actually I was a producer of “The Simple Life” as well. Well, just being in control of everything and making all the decisions and just really being on top of everything, coming up with ideas. The casting process, with “The Simple Life” I didn’t do all that, so this has been a lot of work but a lot of fun as well.
AP: What else is going on with you?
Hilton: I’ve just been traveling for a while and just launched my clothing line and my shoe line. I’m just getting ready for my movie â€” “Repo! The Genetic Opera” is coming out soon. So I’m just getting ready for that.
AP: With all your projects, do you still have time for fun?
Hilton: Not as much as I used to when I was younger. But I’m always traveling. I have a lot of businesses I run. Everything is so successful so it feels really great and I’d rather be working than doing anything else.