Victoria Dawn Justice (born February 19, 1993) is an American actress, singer-songwriter, voice artist and dancer. She debuted as an actress at the age of 10 and has since appeared in several films and television series including the Nickelodeon series Zoey 101 and Victorious. She has made appearances in several theatrical releases, including Unknown as well as the 2006 thriller The Garden. She has appeared in several Nickelodeon series, including True Jackson, VP, The Troop, The Penguins of Madagascar and iCarly, as well as on the Nickelodeon game shows BrainSurge and Figure It Out as a contestant. In 2010, she starred in the Nickelodeon film The Boy Who Cried Werewolf.
Aside from acting, Justice is involved in her musical career. She has performed several songs for the soundtrack to the Nickelodeon musical Spectacular!, in which she starred. She has recorded a number of songs for the Victorious series. Justice has announced the release of her debut album, which is expected to be released sometime during 2013.
Victoria Justice was born on February 19, 1993, in Hollywood, Florida, to Serene and Zack Justice. She has a younger sister named Madison. Her father is of English, German, and Irish descent, and her mother is of Puerto Rican ancestry. Justice first developed an interest in acting when she was eight years old after watching a children’s commercial. She and her family relocated to Hollywood, California, in 2003. In 2005, she auditioned and was accepted into the musical theatre program at Los Angeles’ Millikan Performing Arts Academy. Justice has done commercials for companies such as Ralph Lauren, Gap and Guess. She appeared in national commercials for Mervyn’s, Peanut Butter Toast Crunch and Ovaltine.
2003–09: beginnings and Zoey 101
Justice began her acting career when she was 10 years old, when she made a guest appearance on the Gilmore Girls episode “The Hobbit, the Sofa and Digger Stiles”. Justice portrayed Jill No. 2 in a walk-on role. After her appearance in the series, her family moved to Los Angeles, when Justice stated she wanted a career in acting. The following year, Justice guest starred on the second episode of the Disney channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, in which she played a young pageant contestant named Rebecca. Later, Justice was awarded a role in the 2005 drama-thriller Mary. Justice portrayed the role of Stella, a young girl who begins seeing visions of Mary Magdalene. The film debuted at 2005 Venice Film Festival, before being showed at several other Festivals, including the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, Deauville Film Festival and the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
During the same year, Justice was awarded a main role in the Nickelodeon series Zoey 101 as Lola Martinez, a new student who is also an aspiring actress. When she found out she had earned the role, she said, “I was extremely happy; I was bouncing up and down and screaming. That was a really great moment.” The season 2 episode that introduced Justice’s character debuted on September 11, 2005. Justice also had roles in two other films that year. She had a cameo appearance in the R-rated film When Do We Eat?, as well as earning the role of Rose in the Hallmark television film Silver Bells, the following of which has become a Hallmark Hall of Fame film. In 2006, while filming episodes for Zoey 101, Justice made a guest appearance on an episode of the series Everwood, in the episode “Enjoy the Ride”. Justice made her theatrical film debut that year, when she was given a cameo role in the film Unknown. The film was a financial failure, and received mixed reviews from critics.
In 2006, Justice played the supporting role of Holly in the thriller film The Garden. The film was met with negative reviews from critics. 2007 and 2008 saw Justice focusing on the third and fourth seasons of Zoey 101, which was coming to a close. Justice released a promotional single midway through 2007, while she was still filming Zoey 101. The song was a cover of the Vanessa Carlton song, “A Thousand Miles”. May 2, 2008, saw the airing of the final episode of the series.
When being interviewed in 2010 about her musical career, Justice has stated “My family could always tell, ever since I was little, that [music is] something that’s always come natural to me and that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s something that’s just been in my blood. Ever since I was little, I was taking tap classes, jazz classes, hip-hop classes, acting classes. I just always wanted to cultivate that and do that more. But, the moment where I actually realized, “Woah, this is something that I can actually do for the rest of my life and maybe be successful at,” was actually the pilot of Victorious when I did the performance number for the first time. I just remember standing on stage and seeing all these people looking at me and I was nervous. And then, the music started and I started dancing around and really feeling it and having an amazing time, and that’s when it clicked for me that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
In 2009, she announced plans to guest star on an episode of Nickelodeon’s series The Naked Brothers Band. The TV special, titled Valentine Dream Date featured Justice portraying herself. Justice made no plans of going back into the recording studio until 2009, when she starred in the Nickelodeon musical, Spectacular!. Justice’s character performs three songs during the course of the film. Justice starred alongside Nolan Funk and Simon Curtis in the musical film, which aired on Nickelodeon on February 16, 2009. The film has become one of Nickelodeon’s most popular movies, attracting an audience 3.7 million viewers on its premiere night. The film received a generally positive review from several critics, holding a 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of 2011.
After the success of The Naked Brothers Band special in which Justice guest starred she appeared in another episode, “The Premiere”, on April 11, 2009. She later appeared episodes of iCarly, True Jackson, VP, and The Troop, and on the game show BrainSurge. Justice announced in 2009 that she would be working on a thriller film, set for theatrical release. It was later announced the film would feature Dylan Sprouse and Cole Sprouse. Unlike initial plans of a theatrical release, the film had a limited preview release on December 12, 2009, and was returned to post production. Despite this, the film’s worldwide release has been canceled.
2010–present: Victorious and debut album
Justice confirmed that she would be receiving her own musical show on Nickelodeon called Victorious, explaining the show’s genesis thus: “I was on Zoey 101. When I was 12, Dan Schneider cast me as a new character, Lola Martinez. From there, I worked with him for three years, on three seasons of Zoey 101. And, after that, Dan found out that I could also sing and dance as well as act, so he thought it would be really cool to create a show for me on Nickelodeon, called Victorious.” The pilot for the show, which was presented as a special for the series, debuted on March 27, 2010, and received 5.7 million views, making it the second-highest rated premiere for a live-action Nickelodeon series. The original broadcast of this episode was an extended cut, all subsequent airings had various scenes and lines were removed to conform to its time-slot.
Justice performing in 2011
Justice returned to the recording studio to record music for the series in 2010. She recorded the series first featured song, which also serves as the theme song, titled “Make It Shine”. Several other songs have been featured in the series, including “You’re the Reason”, “Beggin’ on Your Knees” and “Best Friend’s Brother”. Justice performed her third official single, “Freak the Freak Out”, during the Victorious special episode of the same name. Justice later guest-starred on the animated series The Penguins of Madagascar, voicing the character of Stacy in the episode “Badger Pride”. Justice starred in the 2010 Nickelodeon television movie The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, playing Jordan Sands, a girl who is transformed into a werewolf following her move to a creepy manor. The film was a major success for the network, drawing in 5.8 million viewers for the premiere. The film received generally positive reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 69% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes based on 24 reviews. In 2011, the cast of iCarly, along with the cast of Victorious starred in a crossover episode, titled iParty with Victorious. This marked the second time Justice has guest starred for iCarly, first as Shelby Marx. Victorious ended on February 2, 2013 due to reaching its 60-episode limit, therefore not having a proper ending.
In a 2010 interview with the Associated Press, she stated that she is recording an album but will take her time with the process, rather than rush it, and write the songs on the album. But, she is very excited waiting for it. In March 2011 The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Justice had landed the lead role in the coming of age comedy Fun Size (released on October 26, 2012). Justice played the part of Wren, and the movie will also feature stars such as Johnny Knoxville, Chelsea Handler and Josh Pence. She has recently released onto iTunes a song from Victorious called “Countdown,” released on February 18, 2012. It was co-recorded with her co-star Leon Thomas III. The latest single she has released was on Tuesday, February 28, 2012, with “Take a Hint” being released to iTunes on March 3, 2012. This was her first duet with Victorious co-star Elizabeth Gillies. In October 2012, she revealed she will release her debut album in 2013, stating “It’s going to be pop”.
Justice’s debut single, “Gold,” was released on June 18, 2013. The single also has a B-side titled “Shake.” Her debut album will be released late Fall 2013. On October 11, 2013, it was announced that Justice was cast as Lindy Sampson in MTV’s Eye Candy, a cyber thriller based on the novel by R. L. Stine. Other endeavors
Justice has taken part in several charity events. She has supported charities such as the United Nations Foundation, which benefits numerous causes such as AIDS, Children, Environment, Health, Human Rights and Peace. On September 30, 2010, Justice announced she would be joining the Charity Campaign Girl Up. When asked about joining, she stated “I’m so excited to become a Champion for Girl Up and to help make a difference for girls who aren’t given the same opportunities that most of us take for granted. I know that there are plenty of girls throughout the country who are just like me—ready and motivated to stand up for the rights and well-being of girls in the developing world. I am confident that, together, we will rise to the challenge.” Justice joined Girl Up on September 30, 2010, for the campaign’s official launch in New York City and will go on to support the “Unite for Girls” tour, which travels to cities across the U.S. to activate and engage teens from coast to coast. She will have the chance to visit Girl Up-supported programs in developing countries to observe first-hand the impact they can have on girls and communities. During an interview with Seventeen, Justice stated,
I’m a 17-year-old girl, and I have all of these opportunities, but there are other 17-year-old girls who have zero opportunities, which is why I’m working with Girl Up. I was looking into different charities and hearing these girls in Guatemala and Africa talk about having to walk miles for water and crying because they don’t have any money to go to school. It just really broke my heart, so I want to spread the word as much as I can and get other people working together. Before you know it we can actually make a difference.
Justice has also supported children’s hospitals. In June 2012, the “Music Makes It Better” campaign was launched by Children’s National Medical Center, featuring PSAs by Justice, Justin Bieber, and The Band Perry. The campaign aims to bring music, arts, and other programs to children while they’re in the hospital. It was recently known that on the numerous requests of fans on Twitter Victoria was registered in the Russian social network of VKontakte.