Paris Hilton Gave ‘This is Paris’ Doc Director Full Control Because She Wants It to Be ‘Honest’

The heiress gave total editorial control of “This is Paris” to director Alexandra Dean, but neither of them could control that they’d end up rolling the film out during a pandemic

Paris Hilton
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Alexandra Dean, director of “This Is Paris,” is worried that because of how the pandemic changed the documentary’s rollout plan, viewers might not realize Paris Hilton didn’t make the film herself.

“I’d like people to realize how brave she was to do this,” Dean told TheWrap of Hilton’s willingness to hand over control of the story of her life — including revelations of trauma and accusations of abuse — to a stranger.

In the film and in conversation, Dean shows Hilton as someone savvy, ambitious and always in control of her career and her image. The bubbly airhead persona is one curated and maintained by Hilton, who is shown to be sharp behind the scenes. So, why would a person with that much control over their image allow someone else to tell their story?

“I think she did understand that you make a different film when you let somebody have control. I think she wanted to be honest,” Dean said, going on to describe how the film shows Hilton’s battles with past traumas and PTSD, then suggesting that allowing her story to be told was healing for the heiress and DJ.

“I think she wanted to take this journey and see if it could help her,” said Dean, who has experience creating films about smart women being overlooked because they also happen to be beautiful. Dean made 2017’s “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” about the glamorous actress whose decades-old inventions laid the groundwork for modern Wi-Fi, though she rarely gets the credit.

If the Tribeca Film Festival had gone on as planned instead of being decimated by the coronavirus, Dean would have had the chance to explain that “This Is Paris” is really a followup to “Bombshell.”

Dean said of her film’s subject, “She let me do this film as a way of kind of answer the question, ‘Could we so misunderstand a woman today the way we did with Hedy Lamarr?’”

In the three days since its release, the movie has racked up over 3 million views from people searching for the answer to that question, too. “This Is Paris” is now streaming on Paris Hilton’s YouTube channel.


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