Page 4 - MidWeek Kauai - June 16, 2021
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  4 KAUA‘I MIDWEEK JUNE 16, 2021
               The future is exciting for 15-year-old Meili Caputo, the Hilo native who co-stars alongside Katy Perry (and Pikachu) in the pop superstar’s latest music video, ‘Electric.’
      The bright young star who plays a teenage Katy Perry in the video for her latest sin- gle, Electric, gets a noticeable charge when thinking of the pop princess.
and blue eyes that could play the gui- tar,” recalls the Hilo native.
hairstylist to get those golden tresses to match Perry’s.
The video, which commemo- rates Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, features Perry and Pikachu going back in time to nudge the younger Perry (played by Caputo) toward her future musical success. Young- er Perry is busking at a farmers market — she’s singing along with the lyrics to Electric — with Pichu (a pre-evolved form of Pi- kachu) by her side.
       “Katy, she gives good hugs,” says Meili Caputo.
Just one — or three — problems: she is a brunette; she has green eyes; and she can’t play the guitar.
Filming took two 12-hour days, with just occasional breaks for lunch and hair and makeup touch-ups.
  It’s a statement that demonstrates the type of person Meili is. She’s grounded enough to see through the glamour to the person beneath the persona, yet, the fact that she’s received a hug from Perry indicates that she’s accomplished something out of the ordinary.
However, one thing you learn about Caputo after chatting with her is that she is as driven and pro- fessional as she is charming. The problems could be dealt with — a hair color change, contacts and some guitar lessons from dad Mike.
“On set, it was a very fun envi- ronment. It was nice to spend time with everyone. I got to know the cast really well. They were all college students (and) they told me about the jobs they’d done,” Meili recalls.
The empowering message in the song is similar to the wisdom Perry shared with the 15-year-old.
      Extraordinary experiences seem par for the course for the rising Waiākea High School junior. The latest — her co-starring role in Per- ry’s music video — just happens to be the most high-profile. Indeed, at last check, the video had 23.6 million views on YouTube.
“We sent ahead and submitted what we needed to submit, then they called me and said, ‘Your daughter’s the front-runner,” says mom Astania.
Everything about the video, which was filmed at Kualoa’s Mo- li‘i pond (Perry also filmed scenes at Diamond Head Lighthouse), was a tightly held secret; Meili still had no idea what the song would be, as it hadn’t been released.
“Hanging out with Katy Per- ry was really nice,” notes Meili. “She told me about the industry and asked my mom about her job. She said that the industry’s
 They knew it was a music vid- eo, and later came the news that it would be for one of popular music’s biggest stars.
“I actually had to learn the song in an hour,” she explains. “I was in hair and makeup on the second day and they walked up to me, asked if I had headphones. I said ‘no,’ so they brought me headphones and they said, ‘Can you learn this song in an hour?’ I was iffy at first, but I got it.”
  “My mom got a call from her friend on O‘ahu saying they were looking for a girl with blonde hair
“Six days from finding out, we were on set,” Astania adds.
Meili and her mom, Astania, were part of a “fun environment” during the taping of Electric, Katy Perry’s newest music video.
“When I found out it was Katy Perry, I was shocked,” Meili says.
Once on O‘ahu, Meili’s days were filled with fittings and a trip to the

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