Katy Perry: America's Biggest Export Goes Glam

Katy Perry, whose latest album, Prism, came out in October, is a global pop star with subtext. Here, she opens up to W Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg about her celebrity crush, going to therapy, and more.

Released on 10/22/2013

Credits

Starring: Katy Perry
Featuring: Lynn Hirschberg
Director: Peter Fackler
Cinematographer: Joe Turner Lin

Transcript

00:04
The first song that made a big impression on me
00:07
was the song Killer Queen by the band Queen.
00:10
I remember I was 15.
00:12
I was hanging out with my friend, Morgan.
00:14
And this was in Santa Barbara, my hometown.
00:16
And we were over at her house.
00:19
And she was, kind of, the cooler friend.
00:22
You know, the one that you idolize
00:23
and maybe, like, have a weird, strange
00:26
obsession slash crush on them.
00:28
And we were, like, standing on her bed
00:30
and she just hit play on a huge boombox
00:34
and the song that came out was Killer Queen
00:36
and, like, it's almost as though my world froze.
00:40
And then I moved to LA when I was 17
00:43
and I was being mentored by this guy named Glen Ballard
00:45
who made Jagged Little Pill for Alanis Morissette.
00:49
I was a little bratty when I came to LA.
00:51
I was a little entitled.
00:54
Because I was in Beverly Hills.
00:56
A big famous producer had taken me under his wing.
00:59
I was getting a monthly allowance.
01:01
I mean, I didn't come from anything,
01:03
so this was all very exciting.
01:04
I had a Louis Vuitton keychain on my Jetta.
01:07
It was exciting.
01:09
And I thought I was the bee's knees.
01:11
And then, someone said something to me one time and said,
01:14
You know, you should be really grateful,
01:16
because it doesn't always last for people.
01:20
And I was like, Whatever, shut up.
01:22
And then, I got dropped.
01:24
And then, that Jetta got impounded.
01:26
And I couldn't pay my bills.
01:28
I heard mores nos than I heard yeses.
01:31
I built a lot of character, a lot of strength
01:32
that I needed for today that,
01:35
I think, if I were to have launched at 17,
01:38
I would have probably have already been finished by now.
01:40
I was in Texas and I was doing some promotion stuff for...
01:46
Visiting radio stations.
01:47
And I Kissed a Girl came on.
01:48
And I filmed it.
01:51
It was, like, early days of when you could film yourself.
01:54
I think I was filming myself on the laptop, actually.
01:56
And I was jumping around.
01:58
I was very excited.
01:59
In 2008, when that song came out,
02:04
it was a little bit radical.
02:06
You know, the topic of bisexuality
02:08
or who am I, what is my preference?
02:11
And so, even though it was a very tongue-in-cheek
02:14
I kissed a girl and I liked it.
02:16
'Cause that's what I like to do sometimes.
02:17
I like to do everything with a wink.
02:19
So, even though it's just a fun little pop song,
02:22
sometimes, fun little pop songs,
02:24
they are the zeitgeist of
02:25
what's going on in popular culture.
02:27
You know, I do love a good innuendo.
02:30
I love doing things with a
02:31
little wink every once in a while.
02:33
It's like mom and dad know what this means,
02:35
but just sing along kids.
02:37
You won't know for 10 years.
02:39
For a long time, people were talking about bullying
02:42
and that was a big hot topic.
02:45
And, I think, sometimes, you can forget
02:46
that you can be your own bully in some ways.
02:48
Like you are the person that is standing
02:50
in the way of your success.
02:52
Whether it's professionally or personally.
02:54
And, honestly, that was the case for me.
02:58
I was having a great professional streak,
03:00
but, personally, I was really immature.
03:02
And so, I had to balance them out.
03:04
Finally, I had enough and I said,
03:06
Hey, you need to speak up for yourself.
03:08
If you're not happy with something, you change it.
03:11
Change it, make yourself better every single day.
03:13
So, I went to a lot of therapy.
03:16
And I guess I put it in the way of,
03:19
like, you're gonna hear me roar.
03:21
Finally, I'm gonna be able to speak up for myself.
03:24
I try and keep my connection with the G-O-D.
03:29
Or with the power that's bigger than me.
03:34
It's very important, I feel like,
03:35
to believe in something bigger than yourself,
03:37
because, if not, you don't have
03:39
any kind of accountability.
03:41
If you just think, Hey, at the end of it all,
03:43
I'm just gonna be dust.
03:44
Or I have no soul.
03:46
Or whatever, then why not just be a menace to society,
03:51
because you don't have anyone that
03:52
you have to be accountable to.
03:54
There is a lot of behind the scenes work
03:56
that goes into making a film.
04:01
And I hate mornings.
04:05
So, I told some executives over at the studios...
04:07
I said, Hey, if you wanna start shooting at 11 AM,
04:11
I'm your girl.
04:12
Otherwise, I'm not interested,
04:14
'cause I live a rock star kind of life
04:15
where I don't go o bed till four.
04:18
But I always say, if Ridley Scott wants to hire me
04:20
for Blade Runner 2 to play Rachel,
04:22
I am absolutely available.
04:24
[Lynn] You're perfect.
04:27
Goodness, who do I have a crush on?
04:31
I actually kind of am dating my crush.
04:34
I really actually had a crush on him for a long time.
04:36
It just so happens we fit together great.