The entertainment industry is arguably one of the toughest sectors for an aspiring artist to break into. Actress Victoria Justice can attest to that, as she had to work incredibly hard for success during her teenage years. Following these earlier achievements however, the now 25-year-old’s career then took an unfortunate turn.
Born in February 1993 Justice grew up in Hollywood in Florida. She had aspirations of becoming an actress from an early age, initially sparked after seeing a kids’ commercial on television. Following her tenth birthday, her and her family moved to the other Hollywood in California.
After appearing in a number of adverts, Justice got her big break on the small screen in 2003 with a part in Gilmore Girls. In 2005 the youngster briefly featured in the Disney Channel comedy The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, as well as studying at a performance arts school. However, her life changed forever a few months later.
Justice earned a part in the popular Nickelodeon series Zoey 101, joining the show ahead of its second season. Taking on the role of Lola Martinez, the actress appeared in almost 50 episodes of the children’s comedy. The show ended after four seasons in 2008.
Despite the show having ended, however, Justice continued to showcase her versatile talents, recording a cover version of the Vanessa Carlton song “A Thousand Miles”. The track proved a big hit with her teenage fans, inspiring her to become a singer. However, not even she could’ve predicted what happened next.
Noting her musical ambitions, former Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider conceived of a new show for Justice in 2010 named Victorious. The actress took on the lead role of Tori Vega, starring in over 50 episodes during the program’s four seasons. It proved massively successful, with Victorious even winning Favorite TV Show at the Kids’ Choice Awards in 2012 and 2013.
During this period, Justice also featured heavily on the show’s soundtracks, looking to further establish herself as a singer. However, prior to Victorious’ final season in 2013 there were already some worrying signs for the actress, as she tried to branch off into movies.
Justice starred in the Nickelodeon theatrical release Fun Size, which opened in cinemas in October 2012. Unfortunately for her, the film flopped badly, earning just over $11 million from an approximate budget of $14 million. However, the problems didn’t end there.
With Victorious now wrapped, Justice released a new solo track named “Gold” ahead of her planned debut album. Much like Fun Size though, the song didn’t mirror her previous success, selling just 30,000 copies. With that in mind, Justice pulled the plug on her album and parted ways with her record label.
The actress eventually earned another high-profile role, appearing in the MTV drama Eye Candy in 2015. Adapted from the R.L. Stine novel, Justice starred as the show’s lead character, Lindy Sampson. Unfortunately, her bad luck continued, and following the conclusion of the first season, Eye Candy was canceled.
With her career stuttering, Justice also had to contend with another issue hanging over her head. During her time on Victorious, the actress worked with a number of different castmates, including future music superstar Ariana Grande. In 2015 though, rumors started to circulate that the pair were engaged in a bitter feud.
Stories were cropping up about the pair’s bad blood, even years after their work together had ended. The suggestion seemed to be that Justice had bullied Grande throughout the show’s run. However, the former tried to put the rumors to bed with a January 2015 appearance on The Meredith Vieira Show.
“I would love to set the record straight, because I feel like these rumors have been going on for way too long,” Justice responded when the subject came up. “So basically, there was an article in Seventeen magazine where [Grande] had said that she was bullied on set.”
“The magazine basically alluded to it being me,” Justice continued. “So before the article came out, [Grande] texted me privately and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. You know how the media like [to] twist words. I was not talking about you, I was talking about someone on Broadway that I worked with.’”
Despite Grande’s reassurances though, it was too late for Justice. “Once it got out there, everyone thought that I was this bully and that I was mean to her, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” she recalled. “Sure, we’ve had our differences, but at the end of the day everyone on the cast of Victorious was a family.”
However, some two years later, their relationship was brought into the limelight once again on social media. Someone had uncovered an old interview with the cast of Victorious talking about Grande’s singing on set. As the group continue to discuss her habits though, Justice interrupts. “I think we all sing,” she says.
From there, Justice’s retort became a new internet meme, with some suggesting that the video proved there was an issue between the pair. With that in mind, the actress eventually responded on Twitter, looking to put the rumors to bed once and for all. However, she did so with a smile.
After posting an altered screenshot from the video, with her face now comically scrunched up, Justice wrote an accompanying message. “I think we [all] have better things [to] do than dredging up seven year old non-existent drama,” she wrote. “That said, I’m kind of excited to finally be a meme!”
As for Justice’s acting career, things didn’t improve after the cancellation of Eye Candy, despite an exciting opportunity in 2016. The actress was cast in Fox’s remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, taking on the role of Janet Weiss. The TV movie aired ahead of Halloween later that year.
Unfortunately, the film was not well received, failing to capture the magic of the 1975 classic. Since then, Justice has featured in a number of other projects, including a brief role in the animated comedy series Robot Chicken. However, despite her best efforts, she hasn’t been able to replicate the success she enjoyed on Nickelodeon all those years ago.