Do you remember The Simple Life? It was an early aughties reality show that followed socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie as they pared down their privileged lives and co-existed with the 99%. Hilton quickly earned herself a reputation as a vacuous airhead with little depth or real-world understanding. But, as it turns out, that was all an act – or at least she admits that her voice was.

According to an interview with Broadly, Hilton knew exactly what she was doing when she created her character for The Simple Life, going so far as to put on a high-pitched baby voice that became part of her signature persona.

Hilton realized at a young age that she could use that particular voice to, essentially, get what she wanted. She said, "[The baby voice] developed when I was like really young, when I was a baby or a kid. If I wanted to get something from my dad, I'd be like, 'Dad, I really want this!’”

From there, she learned how best to manipulate men: “I learned that from a young age. If my boyfriend got mad at me and I was a teenager, I’d [say in a baby voice], ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.’ Then [boys would] just forgive you.”

When development began for The Simple Life, Hilton realized she’d need to create a character that embodied the dumb blonde archetype the tabloids had assigned to her — even if it was removed from her actual personality: "When I was developing the character for The Simple Life I just was like, 'This is your voice for the show, do it all the time.’ I think if you're actually like that in real life, it's, like, beyond. But if you're in on the joke, you know what you're doing, you're aware of it, and you're doing it purposefully, I think it's actually smart.”

Hilton egged things on by playing into the Rich Girl stereotype, and producer Nicole Vorias confirms it was well calculated: "Remember that line when she was like, 'What's Walmart?' She knew what Walmart was. She [created the line] herself and made it something that she knew [would] be like a water cooler [moment].”

Paris -- who's sold over $2 billion worth of perfume alone in addition to her countless other successful business ventures -- continued, "The people who don't get it are the ones who would say that, because they only saw The Simple Life or an interview where I talk like a baby, that I'm just this spoiled airhead. Anyone who'd actually look into it would actually know it's the opposite: You don't get this far and build something like this by being a dumb blonde."

Check out the full interview at Broadly.

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