Last year, I got to attend a press day with the stars of Nickelodeon’s Victorious to promote their new season and tie-in soundtrack. I sat down with a few of the stars, but I didn’t get a chance to speak with star Victoria Justice. However, I did catch a glimpse of her, and I was surprised by how she simultaneously appeared so tiny yet so poised. She’s one of those young talents that Nickelodeon fostered from a young age and then sprung on the world when Victorious premiered in 2010. She acts understated, yet you can tell that she wields some influence.
Now, in addition to starring on the show as Hollywood hopeful Tori Vega, Victoria Justice is also moving into the film realm. Or rather, she’s being recognized; her initial foray into movies, pre-Victorious, mostly flew under the radar. This year she stars in a series of indies all about high school first love and adventures. Her new movie Fun Size is like a modern Adventures in Babysitting, where her mother (Chelsea Handler) tasks her with taking care of her little brother on Halloween, but she wants to go to the party that her dream guy invited her to instead.
Perhaps Fun Size is your first introduction to Victoria, or maybe you’ve been a fan all along. Either way, here are five facts to know about this 19-year-old actress, singer-songwriter, and dancer!
1. Before she got her own show, Victoria was all over Nickelodeon! The first time I heard of her was when she played Jamie Lynn Spears‘ kooky roommate Lola Martinez on Zoey 101. As an aspiring actress, her character would regularly dress goth and talk to the dead, speak in British accents, and try and fool other students into thinking she was a boy. I imagine this made for a pretty good audition for whether she could carry her own series. It helps that she also popped up on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (OK, that was Disney), The Troop, and True Jackson, VP.
When asked earlier this year if she still kept in touch with Jamie Lynn, Victoria responded, ”Jamie changed her number a million times because people kept on getting it and bugging her and so we’ve kinda lost contact.”
2. Last year, Victoria made headlines for dating 27-year-old Ryan Rottman, who’s eight years her senior. The couple was spotted biking together, at awards shows, and when Victoria cheered him on at his basketball game, yet they still kept pretty low-key. Of course, it must have made things difficult when Ryan was arrested for a DUI in July 2011. It would seem that sometime in the past year or so they broke up, because she’s been linked to Nick Jonas and her Victorious co-star Leon Thomas.
3. In interviews, Victoria comes across as pragmatic and down-to-earth. Like when she was asked if there were any rivalries with her Disney peers like Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato:
“There’s really not. The thing is, I think we’re all so busy, there would be no time for a feud. But even besides that, I think we’re all just doing our own thing and finding our own paths and I think we just work really hard. I don’t personally know some of the Disney girls as well as I know some of the Nickelodeon girls, but I have run into them and talked to them and they’re all really cool and I respect them and what they do and I’m just trying to do my own thing.”
4. Victoria took Teen.com along with her on her Fun Size press junket, documenting interviews, visits to Texas, and goofing off with her castmates. She also talked about the commercial she watched as an eight-year-old that made her first want to go into acting herself.
5. She seems to have almost as much command over her fans on Twitter as Miley Cyrus. Consider her latest twitpic, of a pair of scissors and scraps of her hair. She explained that she felt like going for a shorter cut for tonight’s premiere, using the hashtags #NewDo and #Spontaneity. Her fans are currently freaking out and waiting for photos, with one tweeting, “BUT, DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR LONG HAIR? Lol”
Fun Size is out today!
Photo: Brian To/WENN.com