Paris Hilton is, of course, the living embodiment of everything cinephiles hate about Sundance. She doesn’t even have a movie in the festival, for one: She says she’s promoting her new flick, The Hottie and the Nottie, which one critic friend of ours described as “as close as you can get to straight-to-DVD without being straight-to-DVD.” More likely, though, she’s here to get paid (as the gossip columns claim) to show up at parties, including one thrown this weekend by the folks behind NYC club Stereo, which she fled from in tears before they could get their money’s worth. In a more private moment, she made out with also inexplicably famous Simon Rex at 5WPR’s Escape Mansion, deep in Deer Valley — apparently forgetting, according to a publicist we know, that she’d done the exact same thing at Sundance four years ago, at a Motorola party.
But she wasn’t just posing as a friend of film — she also claimed to be a big ski fan. “I skied yesterday,” she told us Sunday at the Fred Siegel gifting suite at the lift. “I love to ski.” Really? How good is she? “Oh, I’m really good. I’ve been skiing since I was 3. We skied black diamonds and double black diamonds.” But when she went over to the Spyder rep to get some free ski outfits, her story fell apart: We overheard her tell him that she’d taken a lesson. Then an expert skier who’d spotted her on the top of the mountain doing a ten-minute red-carpet photo shoot in a pink-and-white outfit gave an assessment of her skills: “I’d classify her as an advanced wedge turner,” he told us. Before we could confront Paris and demand the truth, she was gone, with about fifteen bags of swag she could easily afford on her own in tow. It’s no surprise that on Saturday night she had a police escort, apparently to protect her from being engaged, involuntarily, in another kind of cold-weather sport: the snowball fight. Her bodyguard told us that one hand-packed ball wound up hitting him in the head. —Jada Yuan