From Hollywood, Florida to Hollywood, California—a rising star emerged with a hunger for showbiz that not many 15 year olds possess. Just three short years ago, a family’s decision to vacation on the west coast for a summer ended in a relocation that proved to be a strong start for Victoria Justice’s career. She started with some guest spots on a few tv shows; which in turn led to indie films and finally Zoey 101, which catapulted the young starlet’s career to a whole new level. This Puerto Rican princess is no stranger to the spotlight and we will certainly be seeing so much more of her on our screens very soon!
How supportive has your family been in the pursuit of your dream? How have they been affected?
Not many families would drop everything they have to support a child following their dreams to move to LA because you never know what can happen in this business. So I’m extremely lucky to have a family that will do that for me. My family has definitely become a lot closer. We talk about everything. I tell my mom everything; we have a really close relationship. I don’t think there have been any negatives. My little sister loves the fact that her older sister is on tv.
Your career took off pretty fast! Three weeks in LA and you landed a role in Gilmore Girls. How did you handle the pace?
My family. They are so supportive. They definitely keep me grounded. I also think it’s because I love it so much that it’s not really considered work to me. I love acting and meeting new people. I like being busy too. I don’t know what I would do if I was just sitting around. I am a normal kid and I like doing normal things, but I love what I do.
You’re a triple threat. What do you enjoy the most?
I want to do everything. I love to sing, dance and model. I just want to be able to do everything. I started out modeling, but then got into acting through modeling. Acting is my main passion. But, I have been singing my entire life. I was in a musical theatre program in middle school, so I had singing, dancing and acting everyday. I just did a movie for Nickelodeon called Spectacular, and that’s where I have my singing debut.
What are some challenges that you have faced as a young star?
When you’re in the business at such a young age—I was 11/12 when I moved out to LA— it’s different because I was going to regular school and I had a bunch of friends and there’s time when someone would be having a party, or friend would be having a sleepover and I couldn’t do that. I had to get up early for work the next morning. I really don’t think I have missed out on my childhood though because I have tons of friends that support me and make time. Whenever I can hang out with them, I do. When you go to public school, there are kids that are like, ‘oh, you think you’re so cool because you’re on tv.” My circle of friends would always protect me and my family was there, so I got through that.
You’ve accomplished a lot at such a young age. What is your biggest triumph?
I think singing in Spectacular was an amazing experience for me. I never thought that I’d be able to sing and dance was a dream come true for me.
What are you most excited about as far as your future is concerned?
I am excited to work with people that I’ve wanted to work with; and meet other people and travel to new places. I’m just excited to be working in this business. I’m excited to keep going and hopefully I’ll be around for a while.
How do you give back?
My favorite charity is Operation Smile. It’s [repairing childhood facial deformities] such an easy procedure to get done, it’s just people don’t have the money to get it done. I go to Ronald McDonald every year. Whenever I have the opportunity to help other people, I take it. Whenever I see homeless people on the street, I always give them money because I feel so bad. There are so many unfortunate people.
Is there someone that you haven’t worked with already that you would love to work with?
I would love to work with Johnny Depp. We kind of have the same look. Dark eyes, dark hair. I think I could play his daughter. Lucille Ball is another one. I know that she is no longer with us, but her degree of physical comedy is something I’d love do with her.
What advice would you give for someone following in your footsteps?
Take acting classes and try it out. See if this is really for you. Have some support behind you and make sure no matter what that you have fun. Also, make sure you love it. Some people consider being on tv as being an actor. But it’s not. You can be in a school play and be considered an actor.
What does being Latina mean to you?
I am really proud of being Puerto Rican and a Latina girl; it’s my background and my culture. I’ve gotten so much fan mail from young Latina girls and they are so glad that someone on Nickelodeon is Latina and they can relate to me. I’m really happy for that; that I can be someone that is looked up to and a successful Latina. I hope to be a good role model for young Latina women. I want to let them know they can be anything they want to be. This world is becoming so culturally diverse and definitely going into a positive direction.
What does the future hold for Ms. Justice?
I have a movie coming out called The Kings of Appletown and also Spectacular, which has music in it and I am so excited about! It’s the first time I ever sang in front of anyone. The soundtrack for Spectacular is awesome!