I have been a fan of Victoria Justice since her Zoey 101 days, and so when I was given the opportunity to go to Melbourne and interview the teen star of the moment on her first ever Australian trip, I was beyond excited.
Victoria is here to promote the third season of her hit show, “Victorious”, her new film “Fun Size” which hits Australian cinemas on the 29th of November, and her new album “Victorious 2.0” which features the single “Make It In America” and which was released yesterday.
I met Victoria in a lovely hotel where she asked me the correct etiquette on tim tam eating, told me that she loved my dress, and was nice enough to write my brother an autograph. But when it got down to business, here’s what we discussed:
Frangipani Princess (FP): How do you think the character of Tori has developed over the three seasons?
Victoria Justice (VJ): I think staring off with the pilot, obviously my character was not very confident when it came to performing, and that’s the first time you kind of see her let go, when she sings Make It Shine for the first time. And then I think as the season progresses, she becomes much more passionate and comfortable in her own skin as far as creatively and also just being a teenager, she kind of comes into her own. Yeah, I would say that’s the biggest thing.
FP: Do you feel there’s a message you want your fans to get from watching the show?
VJ: I think, going back to the pilot, I think that’s a really big moment, like just to kind of conquer your fears. Whether you are a singer and you have a fear of performing, you got to push through, and if you love it, you’ve got to make it happen. And I think Victorious is about just expressing yourself freely and you know, I think Hollywood Arts sets up an environment where it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be yourself. For example, Robbie who carries around, like a puppet all the time, that’s pretty abnormal, but at the end of the day, his friends love him for who he is, even though they kind of rag on him sometimes about the whole puppet thing, but you know, it’s okay to be different.
FP: Do you have a favourite moment from season three?
VJ: God, there are a lot of really good moments coming up. I’m really looking forward to…I actually wrote songs for the show. I’ve written three songs in total for the show, but these next few coming up in season three are called “Make It In America” and “Faster Than Boys” which hasn’t aired yet, in the US or in Australia, but I think I really like the “Make It In America” moment, because that song is just really special to me and I think it has like a really special meaning and I think it was just a really powerful moment for my character Tori. I feel like it’s a song that can inspire lots of people.
There’s also in season three, I think it might be the final episode actually, I’m not sure yet though, there’s a song called “Here’s To Us” which I think is a song with a really great message, it’s kind of like a song for misfits in a lot of ways. Like there’s a lyric in there that says, “Here’s to crying on your birthday, here’s to every single heartbreak” and I feel like that’s, it’s a really powerful song, it’s a fun song, and it’s a great moment in the show that brings all the characters together. So I like that one as well.
FP: On Victorious you play a sixteen year old, so if you could give your sixteen-year-old self any advice, what would it be?
VJ: God, I’m trying to think, what was I doing when I was sixteen? That’s when I filmed the pilot of my show, I was in tenth grade, huh. Honestly, my life is such a blur because I’ve been so busy and I’ve been doing so much throughout like, my adolescent years. When I was sixteen, what advice would I give to myself? I think I would say…It’s okay to not have your license *laughs *. To this day I still don’t have my license. And people are constantly like, they ask me like, “what sort of car do you drive?” and I’m always like trying to avoid the question. I’m like “oh, you know, I don’t really drive…at all.” And then like, so my friends poke fun at me, and even on Victorious, the creator of Victorious, Dan Schneider, who also like writes a lot of the episodes, he is so astounded by the fact I don’t have my license that he thought it would be a great idea to write an episode…I forgot what the episode’s called…but it’s where everyone’s making fun of Tori for not having her license and she has to drive to school with all the different characters. It’s actually a really funny episode. I think that’s what I’d tell my sixteen-year-old self. Don’t worry about it. Take your time. Don’t be affected by the peer pressure.
FP: And what about advice for your sixteen year old fans, or just your teenage fans in general?
VJ: Advice to them…I think, just to let them know that it’s okay to not have everything figured out. You know what I mean? And it’s okay to not feel 100% comfortable in your own skin yet because I think that takes time and experience and…um…don’t put too much pressure on yourself in high school. Because I feel like there is so much pressure, on girls especially, to be popular, to look a certain way to fit in, and I want to tell them: be the person that’s different. Don’t be afraid to break the mould. You don’t have to look like everyone else. You don’t have to act like everyone else. Be an individual. Be unique. Be yourself. I think that’s the most important thing that you can do.
FP: If you could play another character on Victorious, who would it be and why?
VJ: (In background: “Say the puppet”) OMG no! I would never want to play Rex! You know, I think it would be fun to play Jade. Because she’s totally opposite, totally different from Tori, and I think that would be fun.
FP: Your latest single, “Make It In America” has just been released here. How is it different to other songs you’ve released?
VJ: I think “Make It In America” is like, a little bit more mature than the other Victorious songs. I think it’s something like, everyone can relate to. I love the songs from the show, like I think there’s a lot of great songs, but BFB for example, which is Best Friend’s Brother, which is a song that I wrote, it kind of only (for teenagers)…well I guess that’s not true. Adults can have a crush on their best friend’s brother as well. Hopefully not if they’re married though! But yeah, “Make It In America” is such like, a universal theme. Because I feel like, if you do make it in America, you can kind of make it anywhere. It has like, more of an acoustic feel than some of the other songs.
FP: From all the seasons of Victorious, what song has been your favourite and why?
VJ: I mean I probably sound biased because I wrote them, but I’m gonna have to say the songs…I mean, I love Best Friend’s Brother. I love performing that song. I think it’s just quirky and fun. I love Make It In America because it’s really like empowering and inspiring, and it’s like my personal story in a lot of ways. So I have a connection to all of these songs because of that. And “Faster Than Boys”, the new song that I wrote, I think it’s like, my song to all the guys who are like players, and think they’re so cool, and think they have it going on, so it’s nice to give them a bit of a reality check. But I mean like, songs like “Make It Shine” will always be special to me, “Freak The Freak Out” I think is a lot of fun, and “Take A Hint” I think is a really fun song as well.
FP: If you could sing a duet with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
VJ: I think it would be amazing to sing a duet with John Lennon. I’d love to write a song with him because he’s such a genius song writer and is a brilliant man. I think that would be…that would have been an amazing collaboration.
FP: What direction do you see your music heading in the future?
VJ: I think my music, as Victoria Justice, and separate from Nickelodeon, has to be that, has to be separate. It can’t sound like everything else from the show. I’m nineteen now. I’m going to be twenty in February, so it’s going to be like a little bit more mature.
FP: Do you have plans to release albums as Victoria Justice, rather than with Victorious?
VJ: Yeah, I do! I’m releasing my first single next year, and hopefully the entire album.
FP: Fun size is your first major movie role, what did you enjoy most about filming it?
VJ: I just loved the cast and crew. I really bonded with my cast mates, from Jane Levy, to Thomas Mann, Osric Chou, Thomas McDonnell, we were all around the same age too, so it was great to work with people who kind of like, get you. Fun Size is just a really fun story. Like, there’s some action in it, there’s lots of comedy, but there’s also a lot of heartfelt, more poignant moments. I just love the story of Fun Size.
FP: What do you think your fans will love most about the movie?
VJ: I don’t know. I think, like I said, there’s a lot of funny moments they’ll probably relate to, like the romantic chemistry and the romantic storyline between Wren and Aaron Riley, and Roosevelt, it’s kind of, I think they’ll like that aspect of it. And what else? I don’t know. The whole family aspect is really funny too. Her and her friends gallivanting around the town on this one crazy night, it’s a funny scenario.
FP: Fun Size is set at Halloween, if you could only pick one costume to wear every Halloween for the rest of your life, what would it be?
VJ: I was just Abraham Lincoln, this past Halloween, that was a fun costume. But I don’t know if I would do it again, because the beard… I didn’t have the glue remover. And I put like a lot of glue paste on my beard, and it lasted the whole night which was great, but then I couldn’t find the remover so I just had to kind of rip it off my face and it left like, I woke up the next day and for the entire day I had like a red ring around my chin from the beard. So I don’t think I’d be doing that again. It was a little painful. Ummm I don’t know what costume I would do every year…it’s a really hard question. The whole fun part about Halloween is like mixing it up, you know?
FP: In the future do you see yourself starring in more feature films?
VJ: Hopefully, yeah, I think so. I mean, I love making movies. I want to play a bunch of different types of characters and work with different directors and other great actors, and just really be able to explore that world. You know, I’ve been in the Nickelodeon TV world for such a long time, so it’s really exciting for me to like kind of try new things now.
FP: With Victorious ending relatively soon, where do you see yourself heading? What are your future plans?
VJ: I’d love to do music and movies. Cos those are the two things that I’m really passionate about. Writing more of my own music, touring, doing some shows in Australia hopefully! I think also being creatively involved in that process. Maybe one day creating who knows, maybe my own show, or writing a screen play, or producing a film, you know, to get more involved behind the scenes is something I’m interested in as well.
FP: You’re releasing a clothing line, so what do you think your fans will love most about that?
VJ: Well, it’s the Victorious clothing line, but I think it’s really fun, I think a lot of the clothes are super cute and adorable, and I think that if you’re a fan of the show, then I think you’ll like it.
FP: What are you most looking forward to in Australia, cos this is your first time here?
VJ: I’m excited to try these tim tams. I’m excited to try vegemite for the first time, I’m actually freaked out about vegemite, I’m not gonna lie. It’s not like, the most appealing food, or spread. I’m really looking forward to going to different places in Australia. I go to Sydney next, so I can’t wait to check out like the beaches there, and then I go to Hamilton Island, and I’m going to do some fun activities there like see Heart Reef from a helicopter, and hold a koala bear, hopefully get to go to the zoo or something. So yeah, there are so many fun things you can do here. It’s such a beautiful place.
Victoria was so lovely and laid back. Talking to her has got me super excited for everything that’s coming up, and I can’t wait to hear what her solo album will sound like next year.
- Watch “Fun Size” at your local cinema from the 29th of November
- Buy “Victorious 2.0” from iTunes or your local CD retailer
- Watch “Victorious” on Nickelodeon. This Tuesday (13th November), Nickelodeon will play a special “Totally Tori Tuesday” from 4pm featuring all the best Victorious episodes with Tori songs, with their film clips played immediately afterwards. If you tune in around 4.30pm, you’ll also be able to catch the premier of the film clip for “Make It In America”
- If you’re in Sydney tomorrow, head to Westpoint Blacktown before 2.30 for a meet and greet with Victoria! But a reminder: the Meet and Greet can only last an hour, so make sure you get there super early so you’re not disappointed.
frangipani princess xoxo