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THR Cover: Katy Perry on Russell Brand, the Media and Conversations With God: 'I Still Believe'

2012 Issue 23: Katy Perry
Joe Pugliese

In the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter, the chart-topping, record-breaking pop star discusses showing the demise of her marriage to the British actor in new concert-doc "Part of Me" (opening July 5), why the press has it out for her preacher parents and the next venture on her to-do list: her own label.

If resumés could talk, Katy Perry’s would be screaming, “Take a break, woman!” But that word -- "break" -- has no place in the 27-year-old pop star’s vocabulary, unless it involves breaking records, which she’s done plenty of in the last two years. That’s when Teenage Dream, her delectable second album, saw more hit songs top the Billboard charts than any artist since Michael Jackson in the Bad era. At the same time, Perry launched a grueling 124-date world tour and filmed every minute of the highly technical production, including backstage moments with her then husband, comedian-turned-movie star Russell Brand, for her own concert-umentary Katy Perry: Part of Me (opening July 5).

PHOTOS: Katy Perry: Pop's Candy-Colored Princess Gets Serious

On stage, her two-hour California Dreams show was a spectacle dazzled with cupcakes, confetti and Candyland themes, but behind the scenes, Perry tells The Hollywood Reporter in a new cover story, “There were times when what was going on in my personal life was so overwhelming that I had to bend over to let those tears fall straight out of my eyes and not my false lashes just as I’m about to go up on that ramp and sing ‘Teenage Dream.’”

VIDEO: Katy Perry's Divorce, Christian Upbringing Addressed in 'Part of Me' Trailer 

Fans will be able to see this key scene and experience many more onstage moments in 3D, and like Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never, there’s an underlying message of faith -- along with confidence, resilience, tenacity and humility -- to Perry’s place in the world. But unlike the “Boyfriend” singer, Perry, who was raised by born-again  traveling ministers in an ultrareligious home, proudly boasts, “I’m no poster child for Christianity.” 

Part of Me aims to show the real Perry, rather than the Barbie doll most choose to see: someone who struggled and hustled, who battled record company executives that thought they knew better (and her parents, who were sure of it), who had her heart broken in a million pieces, yet still declares, “I believe in love!” Much like her fans, who start as young as four, believe in the wide-eyed dreams of a (sometimes bad) girl gone -- and stayed -- good.

Some of the other details from THR’s cover story:

WHEN IT CAME TO HER RELATIONSHIP WITH RUSSELL BRAND, PERRY STRUGGLED WITH HOW TO PRESENT THE DEMISE OF THEIR MARRIAGE ON THE BIG SCREEN

Class and truth were Perry’s thoughts when it came to her depiction of a whirlwind romance gone wrong. “Like how I write my songs, honesty has always worked for me,” she says. “So if it ain’t broke, why f---ing fix it?“ As for the incessant invasiveness of blogs and the celebrity press, Perry adds that, like Kim Kardashian’s ill-fated 72-day marriage to NBA up-and-comer Kris Humphries, “Nobody knows what really happened except the two people who are in it.”

STORY: Katy Perry Ties Michael Jackson's Historic Hot 100 Record

THE PRESS “TRIED TO DESTROY MY PARENTS”

Responding to the media firestorm over alleged anti-semitic comments Perry’s father Keith Hudson made to an Ohio church congregation, the former Christian music artist insists the remarks “were taken completely out of context.” As for how Perry is fighting back? “There’s not a whole lot you can do,” she says. “You hope that it passes, which it always does, but they have to be careful. They didn’t necessarily sign up for this.”

PERRY SPENT MILLIONS OF HER OWN MONEY TO FINANCE PART OF ME

“Trust me, I have a vision.” That’s been Katy Perry’s creative mantra since the beginning, but in the case of a theatrically-released film, she had to bet on herself with cold hard cash: $2 million to be exact, with the rest of the movie’s budget loaned to Perry by production partners AEG Live (the company counts Staples Center as one of their flagship venues). “My frugal business manager, God bless him, was sweating,” she says. Good thing Perry earned some $44 million last year, according to one report.

STORY: Florence Welch, Katy Perry Made the Loudest Style Statements at Coachella

LIKE JUSTIN BIEBER’S BLOCKBUSTER NEVER SAY NEVER, PARAMOUNT IS BETTING ON A BELIEBER-SIZED TURNOUT FOR PART OF ME

Magical Elves executive producer and Part of Me co-director Jane Lipsitz expects Perry to top Bieber’s $30 million opening because the singer “has a larger international following.” Perry also has those many millions of awestruck girl fans, age four and up, who hang on her every word, even when they’re not old enough to understand them.

NEXT ON PERRY’S TO-DO LIST: HER OWN RECORD LABEL

Perhaps in an effort to pay back (metaphorically speaking) whose who extended a hand to a struggling artist like her former self, Perry will soon undertake another venture: label-head. The as-yet-unnamed imprint is in the works, she reveals. Says Perry: “When it does come to fruition, I’m going to try and avoid the things that take away any fighting chance for an artist to have financial success.” No doubt she would know.

Read the full THR cover story here >>