Growing up as the daughter of strict religious parents, Katy Perry wasn't allowed to watch The Smurfs -- she's not quite sure why -- so it's ironic that she ended up providing the voice for Smurfette in the new movie The Smurfs 2, in theaters on Wednesday.
"This movie, I think, is funnier, totally a lot-more action-packed, and it's a delight for the eyes, because it's shot in Paris," says Katy of the sequel to the 2011 animated hit, which she also was involved in. But another way that it's different from the first, Katy says, is that her character Smurfette goes on quite an emotional journey.
"Smurfette is super-vulnerable this time," Katy explains. "She's kinda like super-emotional; more than just cute. She's complex. She's coming into her own, you know, with her set of growing pains. So there's a lot more depth to her character and with that, you need a lot more depth in the voicing."
In fact, according to Katy, Smurfette's plotline, in which she's kidnapped by the evil Gargamel, who tries to turn her against the other Smurfs, provides much of the emotional impact of the film.
"The storyline is really heartfelt. It's like, everybody goes through these kind of coming-of-age growing pains, [where you're] questioning [your] existence," says Katy. "And I think Smurfette in some ways, she's almost, like, turning into a teenager. She's like, 'Why am I here? What am I doing?' and I think people can relate with that."
Of course, setting aside these deep existential issues, Katy says fans can just sit back and enjoy the ride, thanks to the movie's mixture of live action and animation.
"I think they're going to enjoy seeing all of Paris from a totally different perspective," Katy says, commenting on what fans can expect. "I think that they're going to enjoy the quality of the animation because it's an incredible quality. And it blends the live action and the 3D quality -- they really blend, so that it doesn't even seem like they're different worlds."
In addition to starring in the movie vocally, Katy can also be heard on the movie's soundtrack, a little. She sings backup on "Ooh La La," the Britney Spears track that's featured in the movie.
The Smurfs 2 also stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays, as well as the voices of Christina Ricci, Fred Armisen, John Oliver, Mario Lopez, Jimmy Kimmel, George Lopez, Hank Azaria and many more.
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