Q&A with Victoria Justice

Victoria Justice has come a long way from her days getting into zany situations on Nickelodeon's Victorious. There, she played a student at a performing arts high school. We talked with Victoria about her show Eye Candy, music, scary movies, and more.

--Adam Downer

GGM: I read a piece in Teen Vogue where you described Eye Candy as “Like nothing else on TV.” Why do you think that is?

VJ: I think Eye Candy is like nothing else on TV because I don’t know if there’s a show that involves young adults and is so relevant to social media and technology right now. That’s what our show centers on. I play a computer hacker, and the writers are writing things that could happen and have happened in real life. For example, in an episode, I’m in a car that gets hacked and I have no control. Also, hospitals, and any place where technology is prevalent, they can be vulnerable nowadays. I also think the show is different because the show is a really cool, suspenseful, sexy thriller. The fact that there’s a serial killer on the loose and people I love are getting killed off, all that stuff combined makes it something cool and different.

GGM: When you were reading the Eye Candy script, can you recall the moment that made you go “yes, this is the project for me”?

VJ: I think a bunch of different things made me want to be a part of this project. Definitely the script. I loved that I would be doing something different, that it was a drama, that it was a thriller, that it was sexy, definitely more mature. That really drew me in. I felt as I was reading it, I didn’t know what would happen next, so that was really exciting to me. I was also really excited that Blumhouse is producing it because I think they are brilliant and really know what they’re doing so far as horror/thrillers go. I was really excited to be working with Jason Blum, and also Christian Taylor who I think is a great writer. He’s really smart, and he worked on Teen Wolf. He was a writer on Lost. And of course, another huge reason is that I was really stoked by the idea of being able to be on MTV. I grew up watching MTV and I felt like that was the perfect next step for me. It’s cool, edgy and their live action programming is interesting and new. I think they get it! They get what young adults like.

GGM: What are some of the challenges of evolving from a Nickelodeon/child star to coming into your own as an adult star?

VJ: Honestly, I haven’t really come across any huge challenges so far! It’s been a pretty easy transition. I just turned 22 and my show on Nickelodeon ended when I was 20. The fans that grew up with me were ready to see me in a more mature role. They’ve aged with me. Everything that’s happened on the show, you know, sexier scenes, love scenes, its age appropriate and I think it’d be weird if I was playing someone much younger. It’s been really cool, and fans have been really supportive.

GGM: How is your album coming along?

VJ: I was working for an album for a while, and I signed to Columbia Records. I released two songs, “Gold” and “Shake.” The thing is, I was really excited about releasing an album, but Columbia wasn’t the right home for me. It wasn’t the right fit, and creatively we weren’t on the same page. I asked to be let out of my deal, and after that, I’ve been focusing on acting projects. Music is still a huge part of my life, but I need to find the right time and situation to release my music on my own terms.

GGM: I also read a quote you saying you love scary, suspenseful movies, but they can make you all paranoid and scared of the dark. What was the last movie that did that for you?

VJ: I saw an Australian movie called The Babadook that scared the bejeezus out of me! It’s one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a while. It was so different, and creepy, and the acting was amazing! The mom and the kid were so believable and so real. I loved it!

GGM: What TV do you watch when you have some downtime?

VJ: Recently, a show I’ve gotten into is Transparent. I really love that show. I like that it’s unique and quirky but it also talks about a subject matter that’s important and relevant and hasn’t been very openly discussed. The actors are also really phenomenal. Jeffery Tambor is like a god! He’s amazing! And Gabby Hoffman! I’m obsessed with her. I would love to work with her one day.

GGM: What music are you jamming right now?

VJ: Yeah, tons of stuff! “Get It” by Matt and Kim is really cool. Childish Gambino! I think he’s really cool. I like his lyrics and his music videos are really creative. I love Phoenix. There’s a song called "Mean Streets" by Tennis that I think is really cool. My taste in music is very eclectic. I like a lot of random indie music and also some mainstream music and oldies. Everything. And a song called “Fantasy” by Alina Baraz is such a cool song!

GGM: What’s a favorite book you’ve read? A book that really inspired you?

VJ: I have so many books on my reading list. I just finished The Alchemist recently, and I thought that was really cool. Really inspiring. I’m also reading The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I’m really into self help and motivational books. I have Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please, on my shelf.

GGM: What’s an accessory that you absolutely love?

VJ: I have a pair of thigh-high DKNY boots that I like to wear that can edge up any look. But otherwise I wear a ton of different designers!

GGM: I read that when you love “the artsy vibe” of Williamsburg. I recently moved to Williamsburg—can you tell me a restaurant to try out?

VJ: Have you been to Nitehawk? I love it! You should definitely go there because it’s the coolest theater ever. They serve food and show old movies. It’s super cool and really quirky.

GGM: What’s your favorite behind the scenes moment of Eye Candy?

VJ: Just hanging out with the cast! It’s hard to remember a specific moment, but I just feel really lucky because we genuinely get along so well. I’m so glad I was put together with a group of people who are really down to earth and just nice, genuine people! And of course, really talented! Just hanging out with everyone on set is really fun! Harvey, who plays George, does amazing impersonations that crack us up, like Marilyn Monroe, and tons of people. He’s so funny! Those little moments. We live tweet for the show every Monday, play Cards Against Humanity, and get pizza!

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