You might recognize Victoria Justice from Zoey 101, but starting March 27th, she’s not just Lola anymore. Now, she’s Victorious. In her new show, Victorious, which premieres right after the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, Victoria plays Torie, the new girl at a performing arts high school in the Hollywood Hills. Check out the video trailer.
I could talk more about the show, but nothing I say would be as good as what Victoria can tell you about her show. And it’s just you’re luck that Scholastic’s own Marie Morreale got an interview with Victoria all about her new show, her favorite books, and a certain famous werewolf. . .
Q: What do you think kids are going to like best about Victorious?
Victoria: My favorite part of the show is the original songs we have and the performances we get to do because it just makes it so much fun and so exciting. The performances are so awesome they make you just want to get up and dance and they make you smile. It’s just a really great show. It also has a really great message for kids: always don’t be afraid to express yourself. If you have a talent and something you love then just go for it and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
Q: How did you find out about your new show Victorious?
Victoria: It was a long process. I think what happened is Dan Schnyder, who created Zoey 101 and some of the Nickelodeon executives said that they saw something in me. I was doing one scene in Zoey where some sort of goo was being poured on my head and they tell me that they looked at each other and said, “This girl has to have her own show.” And so from there we just had a bunch of meetings where I would talk to Dan and you were just trying to figure the whole thing out and eventually we were just trying to come up with a concept that my character would go to a performing arts high school and it’s kind of lightly based off my real life, because I went to a performing arts middle school and that’s why I learned how to really sing and all proper techniques and stuff. But yeah. I mean as soon as I finally realized that I was going to have my own show and that this wasn’t just some kind of dream or fantasy, I was kind of freaking out inside. It was a pretty big deal to me.
Q: When did you learn that you wanted to entertain?
Victoria: I don’t know. I started modeling when I was eight and I’ve always liked being in front of the camera. It was always a way for me to let loose and have fun and I just always enjoyed it. I was never shy about it or anything. And then I started doing commercials too, which I loved doing. I think I’ve always had a passion since I was little for the arts in general. I’ve always, since I was really little, been taking tap classes, ballet classes, singing classes, acting classes. It’s just always something that’s come naturally to me and if I had the option to go hang out with friends or go to a dance class or something or do anything like that, I mean obviously I’d want to hang out with my friends too, but it would be an easy option for me to be like, “Yeah, I want to go to dance classes instead.” So yeah, it’s just something I’ve always loved doing and it’s just something I really started taking seriously when me and my family moved out to L.A. when I was like twelve years old and I started going out on auditions. And one of my first roles was on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. That’s when I realized this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I couldn’t picture me doing anything else. I love it to death and I still feel the exact same way.
Q: If you weren’t acting and singing and dancing, what do you think you would do?
Victoria: That’s the thing. It’s so hard for me when people ask me that question, because I literally don’t know what I would do. I would obviously be focusing on my education — I think would be a top priority — even though my education’s still a top priority for me now. I mean I would be just heavy duty focusing on that and going to a really good college. But I don’t know. I’d like to be a talk show host or something. I’d still be in the business. I don’t think I could ever do something that wasn’t in the business. It’s what I love to do. I love everything about it.
Q: Describe Victoria for me. How much of you is in her and what’s different?
Victoria: My character Torie, in the beginning of the pilot, she’s more shy and in the background because she has this older sister Trina that always has to be the center of attention. But she finally gets accepted into this performing arts high school by accident and that’s when she finally breaks free and starts coming into her own. And I think I’m similar to her because I think I’ve had that thing where I’ve had to break free and come into my own too. I’m sixteen and I’m still breaking free and still figuring out who I am. But she’s really relatable in a lot of ways because she still has to go to a brand new school and make brand new friends and she’s trying to fit in and she’s trying to discover herself. So I think I can relate to all of that and I think a lot of girls can relate to that.
Q: Her name is Torie. Do your friends call you Torie or Vicky?
Victoria: When I was younger, people in Florida, my friends, would call me Vickie, but I think I’ve definitely grown out of that. I do not see myself as a Vickie any more. Now people call me Vick which I think is definitely more me than Torie.
Q: What is your favorite subject in school?
Victoria: My favorite subject in school is definitely English, because I loved writing and I loved spelling and I loved reading.
Q: Do you have an all-time favorite book?
Victoria: I don’t know. I personally really love Twilight (for ages 12 and up). I thought Twilight was a great book. When I was younger I loved this book called Esperanza Rising (Pam Munoz Ryan) and right now I’m reading this book called Catcher in the Rye. Obviously not “this book”, it’s like a classic. And I really really like it.
Q: What book would Torie recommend?
Victoria: I don’t know. She’s a really smart girl so I feel like she would recommend one of the classics. I feel like she would like Catcher in the Rye too. It’s kind of a sarcastic book and she can be sarcastic sometimes too so I can definitely see her recommending that.
Q: Is there a literary character that you would love to play in a movie?
Victoria: I don’t know. I can’t think of one off the top of my head. I’d love to have a role in Twilight.
Q: So you’ve established you’re a Twilight fan. Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Victoria: I don’t know. I hate this question! It’s so hard. I’m friends with Taylor Lautner in real life. So I’m gonna have to say Team Jacob. But I love Edward. I have such a love for Edward, you have no idea.
Q: How did you meet Taylor?
Victoria: We met at an audition for this movie called Shark Boy and Lava Girl. And we stayed in touch after that. Me and this girl Taylor Dooley who got the part we became really good friends and Taylor, we became like a threesome and we’d always hang out and stuff. I’ve known him since I was little.
Q: And now the all important question. What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Victoria: I’ve recently gotten into veggie pizza. It’s really good and I would never think that I would be the person to say that I love vegetable pizza, but I do. And it’s healthier so I like it.