Hotel heiress Paris Hilton insists she was "just playing a role" in reality TV show The Simple Life and thanks Reese Witherspoon for her performance.

The socialite, 23 - who co-stars with pal Nicole Richie in the documentary about two rich girls surviving on an Arkansas farm - claims she faked her 'dumb blonde' behaviour to boost the programme's ratings.

She explains, "In real life, I wouldn't behave as we do on the show. If I had a job, I wouldn't get fired. I am actually very mature, and don't like to cause trouble.

"I am just playing a role and a character for a TV show. If we didn't get fired and yelled at, it wouldn't be funny. have been studying acting for years and am very serious about it. I'm using this as an acting experience.

"I use the image of what people think I am and combine that with elements of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde and Alicia Silverstone in CLUELESS. I'm here to entertain."

29/06/2004 17:55