Katy Perry normally comes across as an intelligent, witty pop star but her reaction when Ellen ‘forgot’ the fact she’d been married to Russell Brand suggested she’s not quite regained her sense of humour as far as her ex is concerned.
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Speaking his name in a virtual whisper in the kind of hushed tone that Harry Potter uses name-checking arch-enemy Voldemort, Katie’s body language responses suggest high levels of discomfort and anxiety during that section of the interview.
You can see the mood changing slightly when Ellen announces her ‘Will You Perry Me?’ quiz.
The word ‘marriage’ seems to flip Katy’s body language state and in between her jokes we see her suddenly fiddle with her dress to hide her face and then rub both hands on the arms of her chair as though bracing herself for trouble. Her blink rate increases slightly along with her breathing, suggesting a burst of adrenalin that could be caused by anxiety.
Katy drinks from her mug, which can be another face-concealment technique and then performs an odd, over-congruent tragic face with fake tears. She re-boots her self-control by doing what looks like a sassy Mae West impression but the pit-baring control gesture as she pats her hair turns into a far more anxious-looking self-comfort fiddle with the back of her hair.
In a stall for time she pretends not to hear Ellen when she asks who she was married to and then we get the low, ventriloquist-style prompt of Russell’s name, complete with two acts of miming ‘cut’ to suggests this section should be cut from the show.
With the subject over Katy suddenly showboats again but she becomes pseudo-infantile, rolling her eyes and shrieking in a baby voice. This is clearly partly to get laughs but the rebellious child act could also be a direct response to any awkwardness caused when her ex’s name came up.