In a new trailer for an upcoming Youtube Originals Documentary, This Is Paris, Paris Hilton does something we’re not used to seeing: she gets real. The reality TV star might have landed on the national stage for playing a goofy, privileged, rich girl, but there’s much more to her story. In the preview, Hilton hints at painful childhood trauma.
“I feel like the whole world thinks they know me,” she says. “No one really knows who I am. I don’t even know who I am sometimes. I didn’t used to be that way.”
Paris Hilton describes what it’s like to keep trauma a secret for years and the damages it can cause.
“I’m so used to like, playing a character, that it’s hard for me to be normal,” Hilton says as shots of her saying her signature tagline “That’s hot,” again and again with her fans, are edited together to show that many people don’t view her as a real person.
“I just created this brand and this persona and this character, and I’ve been stuck with her ever since,” she tells the camera later in the trailer.
The trailer makes it clear that there’s much more to this star than just a brand or tagline.
There’s a lot of footage in the trailer and it’s a lot to unpack. The trailer shows plenty of her adult life including a fight with someone backstage at an event the heiress is a DJ for. There is also old home video footage showing her as a child getting dropped off at boarding school in Utah.
Her sister Nicky Rothschild Hilton and their mother Kathy Hilton also make appearances in the trailer.
“Something happened in my childhood that I’ve never talked about with anyone,” Paris admits.
“I just heard screaming bloody murder,” Nicky recalls.
“But I couldn’t tell you guys, because every time I tried, I would get punished by them,” Paris says. “I still have nightmares about it. The only thing that saved my sanity was thinking about who I wanted to become when I got out of there.”
Nicky goes on to explain what she’s learned about trauma.
“They say [with] trauma, the mind may forget, but the body never forgets,” Nicky reveals. “It’s trapped in you, and it can come out whenever.”
The project, spearheaded by Emmy-winning director Alexandra Dean, promises to “unseal the hidden past of the international icon,” with Paris facing “the heartbreaking trauma that forged who she is today,” according to the official description.
The star, whose great-grandfather Conrad Hilton established Hilton Hotels, said filming the documentary was “almost therapeutic.”
“I’m excited, but I’m also very nervous given the topics discussed in this film,” she explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last month. “It’s things I’ve never talked about before, really personal and traumatic experiences, so to talk about that publicly is obviously very hard.”
“Obviously I’m used to being on camera from being on camera for so long. But I’ve always been a very naturally shy person, so I loved just inventing this character and playing that character,” she said. “To actually be myself was a completely different experience, but also almost therapeutic in some way, where I learned so much about myself. I had no idea why I am the way I am, and now I understand myself so much more.”
This Is Paris is slated to premiere Sep. 14 on Hilton’s YouTube Channel. We’re intrigued and can’t wait to learn more about a personality that’s been part of the pop culture conversation for so long now.