Katy Perry may have closed the book on Teenage Dream with her new “Wide Awake” video , but next month, she’ll wrap that book up (and put a tidy little bow on top) with “Part of Me,” the 3-D documentary that not only captures her meteoric 2011, but her unheralded early days as well.
“The movie is all of last year; I had these two guys from London come out [to film], and I said, ’Will you just capture everything that goes on?’ ” Perry told MTV News’ Sway Calloway during the “MTV First” premiere of the “Wide Awake” video. “Because I felt 2011 would be an important year for me; you could feel it, like tremors of an earthquake. I didn’t know what I was going to catch, but I was going on this extreme tour, playing venues I never dreamed I’d play … I was either going to go bankrupt, have a breakdown or have the greatest success of my life; and I’m sure I did a lot of those things. But we caught all of it and put it together in a film.”
Perry wrote “Wide Awake” specifically for the film — the video ends with her triumphantly ascending to the stage during her California Dreams Tour — so it’s little wonder that the clip also features plenty of nods to her past . “Part of Me” also tells the story of how she rose from an unknown to one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, and watching it now, Katy can’t help but be amazed at how eerily prescient she was in her younger days.
“There’s some backstory of how I got here, because a lot of people have heard about where I come from, but there’s actual footage … the movie, when it opens up, it’s me at 18 talking about how I want all these things, like, all the things I have now and achieving my dreams,” she said. “But then I’m kind of biting my lip going, ’But then there’s all this responsibility.’ And then it cuts to me at the arena with thousands of people, essentially being a boss of sorts, a CEO, having to give out orders; it’s pretty crazy.”
And unlike many other high-profile docs, this one is delightfully unpolished. There are moments where Perry appears unguarded and unfiltered — which, to her, is one of the most important aspects of the film. It not only documents her rise to fame, but her acceptance of herself too. It’s called “Part of Me” for a reason, after all.
“There’s some scenes that I know people will screenshot and be like, ’Oh, she looks like a fat cow with zits.’ But I put those in there because that’s a part of me, that’s reality, and I’m OK with that now,” she explained. “It’s been a process of learning it’s OK, and I’m accepting of my own skin, but I think it’s important for young kids to see that you don’t have to be perfect in order to achieve your dreams, because I think that the world has this strange, skewed perception of successful people, that they’re just so perfectly made up, and they have all these possessions that make them who they are, and that’s not at all how I got here; I came from nothing, I didn’t have anything.
“I just had a dream, and I worked very hard at achieving that dream,” she continued. “And that’s exactly what it takes; it takes a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of focus, and hopefully that will open the door for you. But it’s not about being perfect.”
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