Many have pondered the exact definition of what a movie producer does.
Trust Paris Hilton and her rapier-like intellect to get to the heart of the matter.
The hotel heiress is one of seven executive producers listed in the credits for the 2006 straight-to-video release “National Lampoon’s Pledge This!”
Investors in the movie have sued her for breach of her $1 million contract and, at a recent deposition, she was asked, "Did you do anything on the ‘Pledge This!’ film in the role of producer?"
Her answer was brutally honest: "I’m not sure what a producer does, but — I don’t know, help get cool people in the cast."
The “cool” cast of “Pledge This” includes Hilton herself in the challenging role of a sorority president at the mythical South Beach University. As either star or producer, she allegedly didn’t do anything to promote the film despite the requirements of her contract — which is why she’s being sued.
“Hilton failed to attend any talk shows or telephonic or in-person interviews,” the suit, which is set for trial June 8 in Miami, says.
Hilton’s whopping $1 million fee amounted to almost one third of the $3.2 million production budget for “Pledge This!” Her contract provided that she “perform reasonable promotion and publicity services,” but before the movie’s premiere in October 2006, she had reportedly decided to disassociate herself from it.
“The movie is horrific,” the New York Post quoted an unnamed source as saying. “It is a limited release that will likely go straight to video. Paris doesn’t really want to be associated with it. Her movie career is not exactly booming, and she needs to not be seen as a flop. Also, the movie has a lot of topless women in it, and she is trying to distance herself from the whole porn thing.”
By the time of her deposition, Hilton had also starred in and executive produced “The Hottie and the Nottie,” which was released last year. She did do some promotion for that movie, including the “Late Show with David Letterman” and an interview with MoviesOnline in which she was asked, “You’re also the producer in this movie, what’s that job?”
“It’s a lot of work because you’re basically now working on- and off-camera,” she replied. “But it was just such a fun project that I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Hilton’s promotional efforts for “The Hottie and the Nottie” don’t seem to have paid off. The film grossed only $27,696 in the U.S. and $1,596,232 worldwide — even less than the total $1,751,490 gross of “Pledge This!” which was not released theatrically in the U.S.