GETTING over a broken heart is a difficult time for most people, but spare a thought for Katy Perry.
Rather than taking time away from the spotlight following the breakdown of her marriage to comedian Russell Brand, the American singer decided to capture the entire experience on cameras for the big screen.
The footage can be seen in Katy Perry: Part Of Me - a warts-and-all 3D documentary film following the songstress as she embarks on her year-long California Dreams world tour.
The movie, directed by film-makers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, begins just a few months after Brand and Perry tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in India. But while her music career was on the up, her off-stage romance with Brand was slowly unravelling.
The couple, who started dating after meeting on the set of Brand’s film Get Him To The Greek, soon became inseparable, and column inches were filled with the latest news on their high-profile romance.
She became a supporter of West Ham United, while the famed lothario, a self-confessed former sex addict, insisted he was a changed man. But Brand filed for divorce in December 2011, citing irreconcilable differences, and their parting is set to be made official this month.
In one moving scene, Perry is seen crying uncontrollably before a concert as she realises her 14-month marriage is over. She later put on a brave face to continue the show.
“Being in love is the dream, but the reality of making it work is not like the movies,” she admits. “I did everything it took, but it still failed.”
Another scene shows the singer sobbing when she admits she misses Brand.
Perry, who is wearing a peach-coloured dress, says: “Oh my God, I have tear ducts! Crazy! I am human! I had to smack myself across the face and say, ‘These problems are my problems, they are not my audience’s problems, learn to separate that’.”
The 27-year-old, who was born Katheryn Hudson, insists she had no problems with including those heart-rending scenes in the film.
“I think it was important because if you had seen this movie and I had completely avoided it, you would have been like, ‘Well, what’s she trying to hide?’” she explains.
“And honestly, I’m not trying to hide anything and hopefully people can see from what I went through that they can get through it as well. I had complete control, I could have taken it all out but I left it all in.”
She adds: “Dan and Jane caught me in my most human, most normal form. It was important for me to leave some of the more difficult things in the film so that it wasn’t just a narcissistic fanfare about how great I am.”
It was the singer who came up with the idea of doing a film. “I could instinctively feel that something important was about to happen that year - it felt like this big wave was coming. So I reached out to two film-makers and said, ‘Guys, I’d like you to come on the road and document the ride’.”
That ride was the year-long tour around the world, playing 124 sold-out arena shows across the US, Europe, South America and the Far East.
While Brand reportedly wanted footage of their relationship edited out of the film, Perry had no qualms about including her former spouse. He drops in to wish her well on the opening night of her tour, but his later involvement is mostly via text messages.
“I wanted to show everybody that I’m not just Dorothy and the red ruby slippers but I might be the Oz as well,” she jokes.
“No, I definitely wanted to show people what’s behind the curtain and give them the access to see what it takes to put this type of huge event on and to get them to feel like they’re closer to me and to get to know me better and my perspective.”
She didn’t mind being constantly followed by cameras. “There was nothing difficult about it because I asked for it myself. Also, the guys behind the camera were really good at just being flies on the wall and so they were never invasive.”
Although the directors were in charge, Perry insisted on being hands-on as well. “I am so highly involved in everything, which can be exhausting because I have to either see it, create it or hear it. It has to go past me before it goes anywhere, and that can be tedious,” she says.
The film also features rare and frank interviews with Perry’s family, including her pastor parents Keith and Mary, and ‘Team Perry’.
“You get a better understanding of me. Also, it was nice to show off where I got my humour from: from my grandmother who’s 91, God bless her,” says Perry.
Born in Santa Barbara, California, Perry has had an eventful rise to fame. The former church singer was discovered by Glen Ballard of Island Def Jam, but was dropped by the record label before her debut album took off.
She later signed with Columbia Records, and then it was third time lucky when she joined Virgin Records. Debut single I Kissed A Girl became an instant chart hit, followed by Hot N Cold, California Gurls (with Snoop Dogg), Teenage Dream and Firework.
She credits her fans for their strong and loyal support throughout.
“They’ve always helped me through. They’ve always been the ones that are telling the most truth. Whenever the record label said, ‘I don’t think that song’s going to fly’ or ‘Your weirdness is kind of strange and not sellable’, my audience said it was the right thing.”
• Katy Perry: Part Of Me opens in cinemas today