Victoria Justice was back in her old stomping grounds Thursday night at a party in her honor. As cover girl for this month’s issue of Fort Lauderdale-based Venice magazine, the Hollywood, Florida, native was being feted at Kuro Japanese restaurant at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, mere miles from where she was born and spent her childhood until age 11. The former Zoey 101 and Victorious star, 23, looked all grown up — breathtaking in a long royal blue dress with a huge slit up the front and sexy Grecian style boots.
We spoke to the singer-actress before the event.
Tell us about the magazine shoot.
I loved this photo shoot! John Russo was a great photographer to work with, and I’m really happy with the way the pictures turned out. We were at a really cool house in Los Angeles that used to be the atrium of one of the homes of the Hearst family. It definitely still had the atrium vibe with a lot of glass, so the lighting was beautiful and had a ’70s vibe. They gave me faux bangs, which I loved. It’s so fun to try on different looks. The fashion was great. There was this one jumpsuit by Topshop, that I definitely would’ve worn to Studio 54 if I were alive then [laughs] — kind of Michelle Pfeiffer from Scarface. It was really cool that John shot it in black and white. My other favorite outfits had a mod feel to them — a mini shift by ASOS that had big silver circle payettes on the front, and a Rebecca Minkoff maxi dress made of chiffon.
What else have you been up to lately?
I just returned from Toronto after two and a half months of working on The Rocky Horror Picture Show TV remake — or reimagining, as we call it. It was an amazing experience. The cast was so lovely and extremely talented. I made a lot of new friends. I really enjoyed working with our director, Kenny Ortega [High School Musical, Descendants], and our crew was just great. I especially enjoyed it because it brings me back to singing and music. I’ve really missed it, and that was such a huge attraction for me to sign on to this project. I studied musical theater in school and it’s always been one of my passions.
Since “Rocky Horror” came out before your time, how familiar were you with it?
I have always been a fan — that’s what made it so special for me. I saw it six times. My first time was when I was in middle school at a sleepover, and we rented it. My first full-on interactive experience was at a midnight showing when I was 15. I loved it! It was so campy and so much fun. When I heard that they were remaking it, I knew I wanted to audition for the role of Janet Weiss. I was so excited a few days later, when I heard that they were going to screen test me. I was working on a guest spot on Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life when I got the call that I got cast. It’s one of those calls that you’ll always remember how it went.
Did you talk to Susan Sarandon, who played Janet in the 1975 original?
No, I wish. Although I did meet her about a year ago at an event. I’ve always been a fan of hers, and I remember asking for a photo, which I don’t usually do. So at least I have that. I wish I would’ve known then that I would be reprising her role; there are so many questions I would’ve asked her. I wonder if she’ll be watching and, if she does, what she’ll be thinking of my performance. I believe we’ll have a premiere. How cool would it be if she came?
Any other projects in the pipeline?
I’m currently in Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List [available on Netflix and iTunes] and I’ll be in [high school comedy] The Outskirts, coming out this summer. I have a talent/development deal with Fox, which means that I’m hoping to find a new show for myself with something that they have in development or an idea that I have. I’m really excited about that, because I potentially can help create something from the very beginning to the final product.
When you’re back home in South Florida what are some of your top places to go?
Definitely Hollywood beach and the boardwalk. I’ll visit some of my favorite restaurants, and I will probably start with Padrino’s Cuban restaurant in Hallandale. I’ve been going there since I was a little girl.