Before Paris Hilton agreed to let Sofia Coppola film scenes for “The Bling Ring” in her mansion, she didn’t know much about how a group of San Fernando Valley youths managed to break into her home four years ago.
Though she was questioned by police about the robberies, she says she never realized that the so-called Bling Ring had been in her home on six separate occasions. That was just one of the facts that came to light after she teamed up with Coppola, filming a cameo at a club scene in the movie and allowing the filmmaker to use her actual home as a production location.
“Sofia told me so many things I didn’t know,” Hilton, 32, said on the red carpet at the film’s Hollywood premiere on Tuesday evening. “I didn’t know they tried to take my dog. I didn’t know they were selling my things on Venice Boardwalk.”
Hilton flew to the South of France last month to attend the Cannes Film Festival premiere of “The Bling Ring,” where she told reporters that seeing the movie for the first time nearly brought her to tears. She seemed less rattled by the film after watching it for a second time on Tuesday, traipsing around the film’s after-party at the Chateau Marmont in a bright pink dress, hand-in-hand with her 21-year-old model boyfriend, River Viiperi.
She said she was still trying to wrap her head around why a gaggle of teens were so obsessed with her.
“It’s pretty bizarre,” she said. “They were so obsessed that they just wanted to steal our lives. It’s a scary world we’re growing up in now.”
When Hilton was a teenager, she said, she looked up to stars from decades past — Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn. But perhaps because she was raised near Hollywood — daughter of a famous real estate baron — she insists she didn't idolize many current celebrities.
“When I was growing up, I just loved the animals,” she said. “I wanted to be a veterinarian. I didn’t really care about celebrities.”
As those who see the movie when it hits theaters later this month will discover, however, Hilton does appear to be transfixed by her own image. Her over-the-top mansion has a nightclub room with special lighting and a stripper pole. There’s a closet devoted solely to rows of designer shoes and another, smaller room where she keeps her diamonds and strings of pearls. The most striking thing about the decor, though, is that her face is one of its major themes. Magazine covers with her visage hang framed on the walls, while pillows with her headshot rest on couches.
“I think it’s funny. That’s the reason I have them,” she said of the pillows. “My girlfriend bought them for me as a joke, and I thought they were hilarious and kept them. There are, like, four.”
While no level of ridicule may convince her the pillows are in bad taste, “The Bling Ring” has affected Hilton in other ways. She is no longer as open about her whereabouts, tweeting things about a party after she leaves it instead of while she is there. And she’s upgraded her home’s security system.
“I’ve put an advanced security system with laser systems. Security guards are always there, and there are cameras everywhere,” she said. “So if anyone tries to get in, they’re going to get caught.”
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