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Perez Hilton to ‘turn the energy up’ as host of ‘Chippendales’

He has been called an OG. In this case, it wouldn’t stand for Original Gangster. It might mean Original Gossip.

Back in the day — 2004 to be exact — when social media was new, Perez Hilton, now 40, began to spread the word about celebrities and beyond. Here’s a scoop: He’ll be in Las Vegas from July 26 to Sept. 2 to host “Chippendales” at the Rio.

Review-Journal: Describe your typical Sunday.

Perez Hilton: The perfect Sunday would involve me waking up from eight hours and 15 minutes of sleep. I’m a father now of three kids — 5, 3 and 9 months old. During the week, I might get about five hours and 45 minutes of sleep. On weekends since I have my mom helping, I give myself the luxury of sleeping in. The rest of the day is spending time with my kids doing something new. My son had been asking to go on a boat, so the other Sunday we went whale watching on a cruise. We didn’t see any whales, but it was still amazing.

How has being a father changed you?

I’m busy, but I love it. I spent a lot of time and effort (working with surrogates) and having children. It was well thought out and done with love and intention and now follow through. As for fatherhood changing me, it gave me anxiety. I never had anxiety before I had kids, and now I can’t stop thinking about the future and obsessing over it. For instance, I could take my kids to Europe this summer, but would that be the smartest thing? The smart thing is to sacrifice for the next 10 years and then take them to Europe when hopefully I’ve saved even more … and saved for college … and … You see how it goes?

Tell us about your gig in Las Vegas.

I’m the “Chippendales” special celebrity host. Their publicist emailed me about their last special celebrity host, Tony Dovolani from “Dancing with the Stars.” I responded and said that I would be a natural fit for that role, too. There are tons of hot dudes in “Chippendales.” Just getting another hot dude is great, but I bring a lot more. I promise to turn the energy up at each show to 110 percent.

Are you a Vegas person?

I genuinely have a deep love for Vegas and can even imagine myself living there full time. I’ve been going to Vegas multiple times a year since 2004 and some of my best friends live there.

Didn’t Vegas launch your career?

In 2004, when I started blogging, I went to Vegas for the anniversary of a place called Body English. Paris Hilton was the host. I was freelancing for In Touch Weekly, too, and I was stationed on the red carpet. Paris, who had just broken up with either a boyfriend or a fiancé, was only doing photos and no interviews. But apparently, she knew who I was, stopped and gave the only interview to me.

Where do you like to stay in Vegas?

Wherever I can get for free. I’m going to live in a house with the kids while I do Chippendales. I need a kitchen. Of course, I’m lazy and I’d love to stay in a hotel, but that would be tough for such a long time. Plus, it wouldn’t make financial sense for me to order room service every day.

How has the celebrity gossip business changed in the past five years?

It’s changed so much because of this social media culture. Fans have more access to celebs and some have built huge businesses off being on social media. I do think we’re at a point where people are overwhelmed. There is too much social media now.

Is there such a thing for you as a celebrity friend?

I don’t view celebs as my friends. Maybe I have some celeb acquaintances. It’s easier to keep them at arm’s length when you’re writing about them.”

Do you care when a publicist calls you and is freaking out?

I don’t get freaked out. I also don’t answer calls. They email me about the things I write. I’ll even respond back to their lawyers and write, “I know you’re just bluffing. If your client wants to sue me, go ahead.” As long as you have your facts right, which I always do, it’s fine.

What has been your best scoop ever?

The one I’m most fond of is the one that really put me on the map. I was the first media outlet anywhere to publish photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together. It was spring 2005 and there was so much traffic to my site that it crashed.

Is any press good press?

Absolutely. It doesn’t bother me if people say negative things about me. I’d rather them say negative things than nothing.

What’s more entertaining these days: Hollywood or Washington?

It’s the same thing. That’s why I’m thankful for the Kardashians. They’re a great escape.

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