It didn’t take Paris Hilton long after being bounced from the clink to get back to work. Last week, the celebutante star of The Simple Life and the feature House of Wax has landed a leading role in Repo! The Genetic Opera, a musical thriller co-financed by Saw producers Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who helmed the last three Saw movies, including the upcoming fourth installment. The socialite tells EW Repo! is a sort of Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Moulin Rouge-type deal in which she will sing, dance, and wear prosthetics for her role. Intrigued yet? Read on.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So we read about your casting in Repo: The Genetic Opera.
PARIS HILTON: Yeah.
Can you tell us how you got involved with that?
Almost a year ago, I got a call — or actually, I met Mark Berg, one of the guys from Twisted Pictures, and he told me that he had produced all the Saw movies and that the director and him were talking about me for the lead girl, Amber Sweet, in the movie and the director thought I was perfect for it and he really wanted to meet me. So we set up a meeting, and then I came in, met him, and then, like, a month later we did auditions where I sang and I danced and did it with the other character that I’m doing my big scenes with and they love me! [Laughs]
So they made you try out as if you were auditioning for a Broadway musical, almost.
Oh yeah, it was a process.
Did you have to prepare songs from the show or did you do stuff that you had already worked on?
They just gave me the script and the CD of the song, how it sounded, and I worked with my voice coach every day and my choreographer and then went in and did it and they said I blew everyone else out of the water, so it was really exciting.
So that’s why they like you. Why did you like them? What was it about the role and the project that made you think it would be cool to do?
There’s nothing else like it. It’s like a movie I’ve never even heard of. I love musicals, like I love Moulin Rouge, and I love horror films, and putting those together, it?s like Rocky Horror Picture Show, Moulin Rouge with the director of Saw, and the script is really great, and I have Paul Sorvino playing my father, and he’s a great actor, and it’s an honor to be working with him.
So is it going to be a campy, Rocky Horror-style — is that the tone that they’re going for?
It’s gonna be a scary horror film, but a musical as well, with really cool characters and a very cool storyline. The music is awesome as well. It’s really new age, cool music.
In terms of your singing, is that kind of singing different for you than the more pop singing that you?re used to?
Yeah, definitely. I’ve been working with this new voice coach, Roger Love, and he’s really incredible. All the exercises we do have really strengthened my voice. The music’s pretty hardcore. My character’s, like, insane, so it’s fun to play with the character and do that. Totally not like me at all.
Was there ever a moment where you hesitated because the whole project sounded so weird?
No, not for one minute.
I knew with Darren [Lynn Bousman] being involved it was going to be a great movie. He’s an amazing director and he knows what he’s doing. He already showed me a little short — they shot it in like two days — a little short of what they wanted to do with it and it was just so awesome.
So when does production start?
You’re working on your voice. Is there anything else you think will be a big challenge for the role?
Probably just all the prosthetics and make-up, just sitting in the chair for hours because every scene I’m going to look completely different. There’s five different looks for me, I always look completely different. I’m excited for that transformation, because he wants to make it so you can’t even tell — like, that’s really Paris?