Katy Perry Interview – Smurfs 2
Bombshell Katy Perry, 28, voices one of the lead roles in the upcoming film, The Smurfs 2, the follow up to the original movie in 2011, in which she revisits her role as Smurfette.
In her personal life, she’s recovering from her marriage and subsequent divorce to Russell Brand and she recently ended a fling with John Mayer. She is currently rumoured to be seeing Robert Pattinson. Prior to her marriage she was romantically linked to Justin York, Matt Thiessen, Johnny Lewis, and Travie McCoy.
The California-born singer’s original name is Katheryn Hudson, which she still uses when trying to be incognito.
Perry has 37 million Twitter followers, 53 million Facebook fans, she was ranked 7th in Rolling Stone’s global Queen of Pop in 2011, and Men’s Health named her Sexiest Woman of 2013.
Q: Your character, Smurfette, left her small village and went into the world on her own. That’s kind of similar to you.
Yes, we can’t control how we were born or what we were born into but we can always change that.
Q: You’re basically a good girl. What prevents you from veering towards the dark side?
Q: What about in addition to Karma, your own values and beliefs?
Yeah. For me personally, I grew up in a very strict, religious household, but what I was able to take away from that was that my moral compass is very valuable, and to stay in tune with that. Integrity and respect are important characteristics to adopt. I got to kind of sift out the other stuff that I didn’t really care for early on.
Q: What were you like as a child?
I just had too much energy, which I wish I had today. I was bouncing off the walls like a monkey, I really was. And I remember people going, ‘Oh God. This kid has so much energy,’ I was just such a showoff, but that’s what got me here.
Q: You went on a quest recently yourself to Madagascar. How do you go to places and not be recognized?
Sometimes I do things to be Katheryn Hudson and I like that. It’s very important to have that balance. But that trip was really important to me and it really increased my gratitude and humbled me and did all the things that you hear it does to people, definitely. It was empowering to be able to take my spotlight and to transfer it into another area that needed it more.
Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a performer?
When I was nine years old.
Q: What happened?
I have an older sister. I am a middle child, I have a younger brother, and with older sisters of course, if you have an older sibling you are kind of in competition with them. You want to be like them, you want to wear their clothes or what have you, and so my sister came home one time from a couple of weeks with her godparents during the summer and she brought home a demo because they had a recording studio in the basement. I wanted a demo as well when I was nine. And so what I did was, I practiced her demo and then I performed it for my mother, and eventually she said, ‘Oh, you are the one that needs the singing lessons.’ So it was like I found my magic trick.
Q: So you won the competition with your sister?
Well she is more skilled at other things than I am, so there’s no more competition anymore, she’s the closest person to me in the world.
Q: Is she managing you?
No, she’s just my sister. She’s my protector though.
Q: When did you know you wanted to act?
Well, I definitely knew I wanted to do some voicings and animation because they brought me so much joy as well and I just thought it was an organic transition just to use my voice in that capacity, but I haven’t done a whole lot of live action acting because I said I would like my days to start up at eleven AM instead of four. (laughter) And I do know how difficult it is for actors, on TV especially, one of my best friends is on television doing sixteen hour days, and starting hair and makeup at five and then you are playing a part and you don’t necessarily get control of the edit and then you don’t get to really do the storyline. And I am just such a control freak, I would have to be the director, producer, actress and hair and makeup. (laughter) So we will see, maybe.
Q: So after this movie are you tempted to do more movies?
I am tempted to be Rachel in Blade Runner 2. If Ridley Scott will call. (laughter)
Q: Your documentary (Katy Perry: Part of Me) was terrific. How was the experience to see yourself on screen and in that film particularly?
Well it’s kind of interesting. So it’s not like always the most comfortable but people seemed to really like it and enjoy it and so I am just going to go with that. I’ll stick with that.
Q: Is it a relief when you can play a character that you can hide behind, like now with Smurfette, as opposed to where you have to expose yourself?
I don’t feel like I have to hide behind anything necessarily, I enjoy just playing a character, and there are many different characters inside of me that I like to play on and I think there’s a little Smurfette inside of me and I just had to bring her out.
Q: About Blade Runner 2, the sequel, what are you looking for to play?
I really enjoy playing the opposite of what you would expect in live action films, and I have done a couple of little TV spots and I really like playing characters, self-deprecating characters. My heroes are like Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, those are all of my favorite types of actresses. So I would like to follow in that type of work.
Q: Would you do a movie that requires nudity?
I don’t know, that’s something I think that probably I would answer when it came up.
Q: So you feel more inclined towards comedy then?
Yeah, I am more interested in comedy but I would be challenged by drama, but the animation is a really nice way to kind of dip your foot into the water. It’s not easy by any means, because it’s not like anyone can do it, but I can go in this studio with pajamas on and no makeup and that’s nice.
Q: Doing what you do demands a lot of courage. What advice could you give to girls that don’t have the courage to follow their dreams?
Well, I would just say to take time out for themselves and work on themselves.
Q: In what ways?
Have a good support system, good friends with good morals, and just kind of concentrate on supporting yourself and just strengthening yourself. And doing something, like when I am home, and I have time off, I like to eat well and hike with my girlfriends and do things that really serve me well and boost my confidence and my serotonin. Be kind to yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Q: Do you identify with some of your songs like Teenage Dream, the romanticizing and positive feelings?
Yeah, I think to have a positive outlook on life means you are actually living. You are winning the life goal.
Q: Are you a big thinker yourself?
I would hope so.
Q: There’s this quote from the movie that says, ‘It doesn’t matter where you come from, but what you want to be. ‘
Q: It seems like it’s written for you in a way.
Yeah. Well I had a film myself and the quote from that film was, ‘…be yourself and you can be anything.’ I think it’s got a parallel theme to it, but I think it’s just based on figuring out who you are.
Q: How difficult is it to be yourself in the business that you are in?
Difficult? Well if you give a lot of the extra stuff that is all like a by-product of the actual product, a lot of weight, then it’s more difficult, but I don’t give it a lot of attention. You just have to prioritize which opinion is actually important.
Q: When you look back at the last couple of years has anything surprised you about yourself?
Well I think that when you are 25 you think you know a lot more than you actually do, and even more so at age 28. And I’m sure when you are in your 30s and you look back, you think, ‘I didn’t know anything when I was in my 20s.’ I guess that’s been a surprise.
Q: Do you like the getting dressed up aspect of your job?
Of course, yes. I like playing characters, and I have lots of different sides and facets to my personality and I like to play on them all.
Q: You’ve said that you like to look a little cartoonish. Can you talk a bit about that?
Life can never be too cartoonish. I like to be cartoony, yeah. I like to exaggerate and be larger than life when it’s appropriate for stage and for film and for animation. I love doing the animation. I get to come in my pajamas, with no makeup, no lashes, I look nothing like myself. I get in that booth and there’s always like a snack area, which is horrible. Horrible, horrible. But it’s fun. It’s really fun work to do the animation.
Q: Is that more like you when you get to wear track pants and no makeup?
I would like to say that I sleep in couture, but that’s not real. If I am not dressed up, I am dressed really down but that’s because I am working a lot, I am going to the studio, I am either in my workout wear or some hideous track suit I think because I want to put most of my attention into my work. It takes a lot of effort to dress up, which I like putting in the time. I put in a lot of time. This is like seventeen hours. (laughs)
Q: Do you put a lot of time into working out and keeping fit?
Yeah, but mostly just for my mental health because it really helps your overall perspective and life, when you get that certain Serotonin that you need.
Q: Who were your female heroes when you were a teenager?
Well I wasn’t allowed to watch much growing up. My parents were particularly strange about certain things. Because I grew up in a very strict religious household a lot of things were monitored. And I don’t know why, maybe they didn’t understand the dynamic between one female and like 99 males. But I doubt that had anything to do with it. But as far as my own heroes, I like Wonder Woman. Let’s get that film made! And I like Gwen Stefani and Angelina Jolie, Lara Croft, and I like her more as a UN Ambassador, but I appreciate her films as well. And her as a person from an outside perspective.
Q: As an artist, when you think back to your childhood, is there anything that you remember being particularly annoyed at your parents for and when you think back that you actually appreciate now?
Oh yes, sleepovers. I was very annoyed that I wasn’t allowed to go to sleepovers, but I know what kids are up to on those sleepovers now.
Q: When was your first moment of seeing a Smurf?
Well growing up, anything my parents said I couldn’t do I actually wanted to do more, funny enough, so I always had to hide my love for the Smurfs or for Madonna. (Laughter) Can you imagine? Madonna and The Smurfs as taboo.
Q: How do your parents feel now about what you are doing? Do they feel proud of you?
Yeah, they are on the gravy train for sure. I love them and appreciate them, respect them, and I am highly annoyed by them but I think that’s a dynamic with most families. I haven’t heard anything different from everyone else.
Q: What do you like about fashion these days?
If you are not wearing a flower in your hair these days, you are not anyone. It’s like the 60s or 70s again, more like the 60s, San Francisco. I like that.
Q: Thank you.