Victoria & MaddyLEFAIR
Victoria Justice was visiting her parents and half sister, Maddy Grace in a house covered in solar panels in the San Fernando Valley. Two white fluffy dogs and Mark greet me at the door warmly. Three-foot caricatured statues of all four of the Rolling Stones are also in the doorway, grinning. “Mark is my dad,” Maddy explained. “But he has raised meand Maddy since I was a baby,” Victoria chimed in. “Both of my dads are awesome,” Victoria continued. “I’m luckyto have two dads. Every Father’s Day, I wish them both a happy Father’s Day. All of my social media followers think I have gay dads.” Known for starring on Dan Schneider’s original Nickelodeon sitcom, Victorious, Victoria is grown up now and living lifein Los Angeles as a successful adult actress, recently starring in The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Janet Weiss. Just like her name implies, our cover star fights for peace, morality, and the respect for human beings. She devotes a great deal of her time to charitable causes.
Over the years, Justice has taken part in several charity events and has supported causes and organizations such as amfAR, (Foundation for Aids Research), Soar with Reading, a program from JetBlue that helps get books in the hands of children who need them, “Do Something,” and “Girl Up,” which are partnered with the United Nations Foundation that benefits numerous causes such as AIDS, Children, Environment, Health, Human Rights and Peace. “We’ve only got one planet. We should take care of itthe best we can,“ Vicitoria said. Serene, Victoria and Maddy’s mother, catches me up on their recent girls’ trip to New York Fashion Week as Victoria and Maddy open and close the refrigerator door and discuss their plan to practice yoga later on. “We’re going to make it a chill day today. I’m excited about that,” Victoria said. I sat on the balcony with the two best friends overlooking the pool.
MR: Did you two grow up in Los Angeles?
VJ: We have lived in the valley ever since I moved to LA when I was 11. We’ve moved all over Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, and Studio City. I went to Millikan Middle School for musical theatre.
MR: What is one of your favorite projects that you have worked on recently?
VJ: Working on the Rocky Horror Picture Show was amazing. There were so many inspiring people involved in the production. Christina Milian, as you know, is badass. I look at her Instagram and I’m like, Wow! Take me with you!” Laverne Cox is such a strong fierce woman and very hardworking. It was great working with her— super professional and really fun. She’s such a character. She made everyone laugh. She loves opera and we would be on set and out of nowhere, Laverne would just go out on operatic run.
It was so much fun. It was a dream come true for me honestly. When I heard they were remaking Rocky Horror, I told my agent I had to be a part of it. Of course, I had to audition and I really earned it on my own merit and I worked really hard. It was an incredible experience. Working with Kenny Ortego— he is so passionate and has so much energy. The whole cast got along so well. It was like one big family trying to make it the movie as best we could to honor the original. We were always keeping that in mind. Also getting to work with Tim Curry from the original was such an honor. I had no idea he was going to be there. At rehearsal I had a mini freak out inside and fan girled.
MR: So you were a fan of the original?
VJ: I was a HUGE fan of the original. I saw it for the first time in fifth grade. I loved it. I had never seen anything like it before. When I was 15 I went to my first midnight showing. Turns to Maddy* We have to do it.
MR: What’s in the works right now?
MG: I have been offered a contract with a top modeling agency.
VJ: I’m in a movie called “Bigger”, which will be filming in Atlanta very soon. I’m also working on developing my own show right now. It’s been really fun creating it from the ground up. I’m really enjoying the process. Right now I’m in the process of meeting with writers and honing in on exactly what I want it to be. I’ll be getting ready to pitch it soon. I can’t say very much about it.
MR: Is it a show geared towards families?
VJ: No, I want to create something that I would want to watch. It’s exciting that I get to create something I would want to be a part of and also watch on TV. It’s still in development, which doesn’t mean it will necessarily go into production. Either way, I’m learning a lot. We’ll see what happens. Fingers crossed. You never know.
MR: What kind of music are you listening to now?
VJ & MG: Amy Winehouse, ALWAYS.
MG: Melanie Martinez— her last album was amazing. Let me grab my phone. I’m going to look at my Spotify. I love all music except for country. I feel like everyone says that. I love T. Swift. She’s so big, she can basically just do anything at this point. She could say, “I want to do rap now,” and all of her fans would still be there. She could literally release a heavy metal album! I also love Julia Michaels and Frank Ocean. Frank Ocean has a single that just came out that’s really good. I also like Sam Smith’s new song.
VJ: My mom has always been a big musical influence on both of us. When I was in elementary school, I was listening to Barry Manilow, Cher, and Bette Midler. We listened to everything. Before we moved to LA, when we lived in Hollywood, Florida, one of our favorite things to do with my mom was just drive around, listen to music and sing. That was our thing, It’s crazy what happened to Florida recently. Luckily, the hurricane didn’t hit our family’s area as terribly as what happened in The Keys. It’s so sad.
MR: Two songs have premiered on the Victoria Justice YouTube channel, “Caught Up in You” and “Girl Up”.
VJ: Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. “Caught Up in You” is a song I wrote a while ago and it was leaked. It wasn’t supposed to go public. It was rough. I really don’t know how it happened. I have written so many songs that haven’t been released. “Girl Up” was written by Toby Gad and me for the Girl Up movement, which helps girls in developing countries. I was very involved with the Girl Up charity.
I am all about female empowerment. Toby Gad is an amazing producer. We have written a few songs together. We were in a session and I had the idea to write a song for Girl Up to try to encourage people to get involved and make a difference. We wrote a beautiful song together and I performed it on tour. On that tour, we had Girl Up booths where people could learn about the cause and donate.
I am definitely planning on getting back into the studio soon I have a good amount of music that I want to finish and put out there. Music is a part of my soul. I’ll never stop doing it and I’ll never stop loving it.
MR: You two seem very close. It must be nice to have a sister you get along with so well.
MG: We’ve been close since the day I was born.
VJ: Fun fact: when Maddy was born, I was so upset that I couldn’t be in the hospital room that I had a meltdown. I started crying hysterically. My great grandma had to take me home. She got so discombobulated that she lost her way home and I threw up. But it’s okay because we’re together now!
MG: I was her baby doll she was two and a half when I was born. When I look at pictures, I’m just this fresh, bald baby.
VJ: Maddy was the cutest baby. She had the biggest dimples.
MG: Everyone thought I was a boy…One time we were at Target and this lady walked by me, my mom, and my sister and she said, “What a cute little boy!” and Victoria said, “That’s my sister!” Victoria’s always been a good sister.
VJ: Maddy’s crib was in my room and every morning I would wake up and get in and spoon her. We’ve had separate rooms but we always ended up sharing a room. It’s great having a sister. You always feel like you have a best friend and partner in crime. We are the best of friends.
MR: Do you ever collaborate on projects together?
VJ: Actually, Maddy has a really nice singing voice. We went on tour once and we performed a song together. Cheer me up was the song. It was something I sang on Victorious. Maddy is reallyincredible. She had never performed in her life. I was performing in front of thousands of people and Maddy hadn’t had any training or anything but she had the confidence of someone who had been performing forever!
MG: I get it from you!
MR: Now that you’re older and you live in Los Angeles, do you go out together a lot?
VS: I’m not really an introvert but I don’t like to party that much. The club scene is not my thing. I’d rather stay home or go see a movie, a live show— music, improv, anything other than being at a club.
MR: Do you travel together? Where do you like to go?
VJ: We have traveled together a lot and we love it. Maddy is the queen of traveling. Recently, we have been to Tulum and New York City together. Sometimes we stay at The London Hotel in New York City. We love it there, but this time we stayed at the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca. The Roxy has a very vintage feel. They have a jazz club a vinyl record player and a movie theatre.
MG: Oh my God, that view you had!
VJ: Tulum is nice and low key. Not too many tourists know about it yet. We like that. We stayed at Suenos. The water in Tulum is so gorgeous.
MG: I’ve traveled all over Europe this summer— Barcelona, France… I love Saint Tropez. Victoria and I are going to go somewhere soon, maybe Greece. Mikonos maybe! Until then, I think we should take a little stay-cation. I love a good stay-cation. Maybe we’ll go to Laguna or something! – I want to go to Azulik in Tulum. Everyone goes there and I’ve heard it’s really great. There’s no electricity and you stay in a big tree house.
MR: Do you have advice for young women who want to work in entertainment?
MG: Believe in yourself and don’t listen to the hate. People will always hate. Don’t worry about being judged. Put comments aside and surround yourself with people who support you.
VJ: If it’s something you really want to pursue, do it. Study the industry as much as you can and work as hard as you can. It’s a very competitive field and a lot of people want to be a part of it. You have to stay focused if you want to be successful. Believe in yourself. Don’t let yourself get in your way and don’t let people’s comments get in your way. With social media and YouTube, you can really create your own content. That’s an amazing way to build a following. There are so many things you can put yourself out there on your own. That’s a great way to start.