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Katy Perry says "good people" help handle fame

Katy Perry poses for a portrait in New York
Katy Perry poses for a portrait in New York

By Tara Cleary and Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Katy Perry believes keeping "good people around" helps her deal with the pressures of being one of the world's biggest pop stars, which currently has her on a global concert tour and taking part in her first movie.

As the music world mourns the death of British singer Amy Winehouse, Perry told Reuters she is not tempted by the hedonistic lifestyle that has helped fuel the demise of talented performers before her.

Perry, whose hits include "Teenage Dream" and "Firework," said she is able to stay away from the wild, party life with the help of honest, supportive people around her, such as her British actor/comedian husband Russell Brand, himself a recovering drug addict who is now clean and sober.

"I like to keep good people around me, people that aren't always 'yes' people, people that sometimes it's difficult to be around because they're not 'yes' people," she told Reuters.

"My husband is definitely one of those, he keeps me accountable and, you know, he's not a fan, even though he is a fan...he supports me and loves me but he doesn't bullshit me, which is really important."

The 26-year-old California native, who is one year younger than Winehouse, tweeted on Saturday when Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment, "RIP Amy Winehouse. May she finally find peace".

Brand said on his website that his old friend Winehouse was a "genius" and recalled sharing with her the "disease of addiction," referring to both their public battles with drinking and drug use.

Perry told Reuters she currently is focused on keeping her life centered as her career has ballooned from singer to chart-topping star and now a role voicing a Smurfette in the upcoming animated movie, "The Smurfs"

"In the very beginning there was a lot of, 'Oh let's go celebrate,' always champagne and parties and, that was something that was taking energy from me that I needed to give to my career in that moment," she said when asked about the difficulties of balancing the pressures of a showbiz career.

SMURFETTE ROLE, WORLD TOUR

The singer transformed herself from what music critics thought might be a one hit wonder with the single "I Kissed a Girl" in 2008 to currently one of the world's biggest pop stars. Her album last year "Teenage Dream" garnered both chart hits, popular music videos and critical acclaim.

Now she is the sassy voice of Smurfette in the animated 3-D film, "The Smurfs," which she said she was drawn to because her evangelical Christian parents forbade her from watching "The Smurfs" TV series and other animated cartoons programs growing up.

"Maybe my rebellious side was, 'Oh you weren't allowed to watch 'Smurfs' growing up, so you've got the opportunity to be a Smurf in the feature film, go for it.' So I did that," Perry said.

Calling her acting career "early days yet" she hinted that, like her husband, she may branch further into Hollywood movies, including another role in upcoming "The Muppets" movie, but time commitments, she allowed, were a factor in balancing the music and film worlds.

"I have to keep that in mind when I actually decide to jump over to that world (films) but I think, when I do, I hope to do stuff that is very smart. With everything I do, there is a lot of thought that goes into it and a lot of hard work," she said.

In Her current "California Dreams Tour 2011," which began in February and runs until December, Perry plays up her carefully cultivated bubblegum pop image with sex appeal. But her sunshine image can have its drawbacks. She joked that she wished she didn't have to act so happy all the time.

"I've created this 'candy girl' who is so happy-go-lucky all the time. I wish she had just like a day where she was a little bit more flat-lined," said Perry.

Her image has recently undergone another transformation with new blond hair.

Perry recently earned a leading nine nominations for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. "Firework" was nominated for both video of the year and best female video, while "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)" got a best pop video mention.

"For me, I think that the sexiness and sassiness is a part of my cards, but I think over time people have started to see, 'Oh there's more to that, it's quite interesting and very layered and dimensional and, yeah, 'she's not hard on the eyes'," said Perry.

(Reporting by Tara Cleary, writing by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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