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October 23, 2012
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SJP


Justice aims for long-term success
By Bruce Kirkland, QMI Agency


Victoria Justice (AFP photo)

The Nickelodeon star factory turned Victoria Justice into a teen queen. Now Justice wants to turns herself into a career actress and singer.

"I'm 19," the native of Hollywood, Florida, says while promoting her first big-screen starring role in Fun Size. "I'll be 20 in February. I'm growing up. Hopefully, I can take that audience (from Nickelodeon) with me and also be approachable to a new audience."

Justice played Tori Vega through 52 episodes of the TV sitcom Victorious. Before that, she played Lola Martinez on Zoey 101. Meanwhile, Justice sings, dances and writes her own performance material -- with an original CD of songs due in 2013. She may be young but Justice is a throwback to Hollywood's golden era when performers did everything.

In Fun Size, Justice plays a high schooler who babysits her eight-year-old bratty brother on Halloween. The movie opens Friday. Justice says shooting Fun Size on location in Cleveland was an interesting contrast to shooting Victorious and staging her first U.S. concert tour last summer.

"Filming the show was great but the schedule was really demanding," she says of what often became a seven-day grind on weeks featuring a music number. "It was a lot of responsibility and a lot to carry at a young age. But I think I learned a lot from the show and grew a lot. I definitely was able to hone my comedic skills there because there was a lot of physical comedy."


As for her music, "the tour was incredible," Justice says of the 17 dates. "I had to get in good cardiovascular shape. It's a totally different animal on stage and performing live. Anything can go wrong, but the energy you get from the crowd! For me, I just feel at home on stage and performing. I get totally lost in the music and I don't even think of anything else."

Shooting Fun Size in Cleveland was another change of pace. "It was actually kind of nice filming the movie because my life was so crazy back in L.A. doing the show and the music. It was a really great change of pace. It almost felt like down time. There is more waiting around on a movie, but more thinking time. Filming a movie, it's a more intimate experience than filming a sitcom."

Justice, who acknowledges her parents's good influence, also relates well to fans. Like Katy Perry, she does a meet-and-greet after every concert. When promoting her TV work or the new movie, she always says hi to fans and stops for chats.

"It is so interesting," she says of seeing young girls who know Victorious burst into tears. "It is a very naive (thing). They're so not jaded and I love that. For them, the young ones especially, when they're watching me on TV they don't even think I'm a real person. So, when they see me in person, I think it kind of freaks them out. They really don't know what to do or what to say. But it's very sweet and very endearing and it's one of the best parts of my job -- being able to meet the fans and see their reactions."

bruce.kirkland@sunmedia.ca

 

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