Victoria Justice Feels Like A Winner, Thanks To ‘Victorious’

Victoria Justice on "Victorious." (Nickelodeon)

Ask anyone who knows Victoria Justice and odds are, they’ll tell you they always knew she’d grow up to have her own TV show.  “I’ve always loved being the funny girl,” says the 19-year-old star of Nickelodeon’s “Victorious.” “Even in elementary school, I was the girl not afraid to be goofy and do weird dances and accept dares if someone asked me. By the time I was 15, I’d be in a Gap at the mall and tell my friend, ‘Let’s stand in front of the glass and pretend we’re mannequins.’ Or when I’d be in a long line at Kinko’s with my mom, I’d make up these weird dances in front of everyone. It’s just fun for me.”

The posing and the prancing paid off, with Justice now one of Nick’s biggest stars. She talked with about everything from this weekend’s new episode of “Victorious” ( Saturday, 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT) to her recent encounter with Mick Jagger.

So “Victorious” is back with the “Tori Goes Platinum” episode. What’s it about?

It’s a really exciting one for us, and a big episode for me and my character. There’s this big awards show called the Platinum Music Awards and it’s run by the big producer guy, a Simon Cowell type. They hold a nationwide audition to find someone to sing the opening number at the show. My character sends in an audition tape and gets selected. But as soon as I do, they want to change my image into this rock star diva because they figure that will make people more interested in watching the opening number. I have to decide if it’s worth it to sacrifice my friends and who I am for the fame and all I ever wanted.

Have you ever had a similar experience, where people tried to change you?

Not really. I’ve always been surrounded by people who really care about me. My mom, who is with me all the time, helps me out with a lot of stuff. I don’t pretend to be a person I’m not, and recognize there’s always going to be negativity out there. That’s just the way this business works.
So what does your character end up doing in the episode?

I’ll just say that she has a lot of really funny moments. There’s also a moment between her and another character – a series regular – that’s a little bit of a romantic thing. Peple will think we’re getting closer n a way, but there are lots of twists and turns.

Do you get to sing much this time?

The most exciting part of the whole show is this big performance number, “Make It In America.” I came up with the concept for the song on my own, and we wrote and recorded it in one day. And I have to urge everyone to stay tuned right after the special because the music video for the song is going to premiere then.

Are you going to release the song as a single too?

It’s available on iTunes, and we’re putting it on the new soundtrack for the show. That’s coming out June 5 and is called “Victorious 2.0.” It’s all original music from our third season, with some great duets and some solo songs I get to sing. The cast and I are also getting together to do a mini-concert in Orlando next month.

How often do you guys perform together like that?

Almost never. And A lot of hard work that goes into doing a performance like that. It’s not easy, especially since we’re also filming the show right now and I’m in every scene. So there’s not a lot of free time to get ready. I need to work on my cardio to build up my stamina to sing multiple songs in one show. I better start eating my proteins, and working out when I can. If you see me doing lunges in the grocery store checkout line, you’ll know why.

Has anyone ever actually come up to you at the grocery store, or anywhere else?

Honestly, I don’t go out that much because I work a lot. I had maybe six days off last year. When I do go out, I do get recognized a lot more, especially when I get out of Los Angeles. I filmed a movie in Ohio recently and was recognized a lot.

What do people want to talk about?

Actually, a lot of people mistake me for the actress Nina Dobrev and want to ask about “Vampire Diaries.” I guess people think we look alike and that can sometimes be a really awkward thing. They’ll say, “Hey, Nina! Can we get a picture?” And I just say yes. She and I have met and apparently, people mistake her for me too. I guess we need to play sisters in a movie sometime.

Have you had any other bushes with fame?

I was at this incredible event at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York recently, and every celebrity on the planet was there. It was so cool to be included. And I don’t get too star struck ordinarily. This is just a job, and people are just people. But I was at an after party with a small group of friends, and I looked to my left and saw this guy who resembled the lead singer of the Rolling Stones. I thought, “Is that Mick Jagger?” Then I realized, “That is freakin’ Mick Jagger!”

What did you do?

I freaked out! I couldn’t believe he was three feet away from me. So without hesitation, I went up to him. I just went into the private area where he was hanging out and said, “Hey, Mick! So nice to meet you. My name’s Victoria. Would I be the most annoying girl in the room if I asked for a picture?” He was essentially, like, “Yeah. You would be.” So I said okay, and told him I liked his suit. Not getting a picture was fine. I figure our paths will cross again.

XfinityTV has several “Victorious” episodes available. What do you remember about “Andre’s Horrible Girl”?

I recall that the actress who was this horrible character was really nice in real life. This was also a big episode because my character and Andre (Leon Thomas III) sang a song together, “Countdown,” which is one of my favorite duets. We choreographed it ourselves.

Click the image below to watch this full episode:












 “Car, Rain & Fire”

This had the most random moment of any episode we’ve done. We were doing a scene where we’re all in this convertible with the top down, and we pull into a gas station all soaking wet while trying to figure out how to get the top up. And we run into a creepy guy in a clown costume carrying a crowbar and asking if we can give him a ride. The guy was so funny, and did some improv with us after we finished the scene. He was so funny I could barely contain myself as we were doing the scene.

Click the image below to watch this full episode:












“WiFi In the Sky”

There were a bunch of visual effects in this one. Also, there’s a scene where I’m on a plane trying to finish a script and Perez Hilton, who was a guest star, randomly gets into a fight with my sister. He plugged the show in his column, which was nice.

Click the image below to watch this full episode:












“Tori and Jade’s Play Date”

 This is one of my favorites. My character and Jade (Elizabeth Gillies) got to do our first duet, the song “Take A Hint.” I also got to dress up as a boy in this one. I love to dress up in drag! Jade and Tori were forced to play husband and wife in a play together.  They don’t like each other but their acting teacherforces them to hang out together so they can bond, and that’ll translate into their acting. That doesn’t happen, until they get hit on by a couple of obnoxious guys and get to sing the song so the guys will, well, take a hint.

Click the image below to watch this full episode:

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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