(Lenny Gilmore / RedEye )
Victoria Justice recognized the demographic jump she’d be making from her hit Nickelodeon show “Victorious” to the PG-13 rated film “Fun Size.”
“I was like, ‘Don’t really know if this is going to fly,’” says Justice of wariness toward using the not-so-kid-friendly language her “Fun Size” character, Wren. “That was toned down a little bit. She’s definitely still a very relatable teenage girl, but she’s not quite as mouthy.”
The Friday release, written by “The Colbert Report” writer Max Werner and directed by Josh Schwartz of “The O.C.” and “Gossip Girl," focuses on Wren’s effort to attend a huge Halloween bash while not losing sight of the kid brother she’s assigned to babysit, still has reason to attract older viewers. Chelsea Handler plays Wren’s mom; “Project X” star Thomas Mann plays a kid with a crush on Wren; and “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville plays the villain.
At the Park Hyatt, the 19-year-old Justice, who’s currently working on her debut album and expects to release the first single early next year, talked about scary movies and Halloween costumes, transitioning into more adult fare and her considerable love of mustaches.
With Halloween approaching, what’s a movie that really scared you? Tell me what that experience was like.
I’m like a baby when it comes to scary movies. I thoroughly enjoy them and I love that thrill, but mentally they affect me so that when I get home I’m paranoid. As soon as I step into my house I like turn all the lights on and get freaked out about the dark. I think when I saw “The Exorcist” when I was little, I think that really freaked me out. “The Ring”—all those creepy movies.
Did you make it through the whole movie or turn it off and run?
Yeah, I make it through the whole movie. It’s like the psychological damage that it does to me [laughs] is not actually worth watching the movie.
Between your experience on “Gilmore Girls” and “Fun Size,” it seems like Halloween has been a big part of your career for a while. Tell me your favorite costume you’ve ever worn on Halloween.
[Laughs.] “Gilmore Girls,” that’s really bringing it back. That was my first job on TV when I got to L.A. I played a hobbit from “Lord of the Rings.” My favorite costume I’ve ever worn off-screen, I was a ketchup bottle one year. I really liked that costume just because it was something different. Not everyone goes as a ketchup bottle. [Laughs.]
Why did that appeal to you?
I don’t know. I’ve always been a quirky gal so it was just kind of up my alley. And then I dressed up as Sally Bowles from “Cabaret” last year. And that was kind of fun. I had a short black wig, and I did my makeup myself. I put these huge eyelashes on, a red feather boa and fishnets and hat. It was fun.
What is the secret to transitioning from more kid-friendly material? Is there anyone you look at who has done a good job of making that transition?
I think Justin Timberlake is a good example in a lot of ways. He started off doing the Disney Mouseketeer thing, which you can’t get more squeaky clean than that. And then he was in N’Sync which is like a boy band, and then he transitioned into having this really legitimate solo music career and now he’s doing films and he’s the leading man. So I think he’s doing a pretty good job.
What’s your favorite thing he’s ever done?
“Social Network” is one of my favorite movies. I think it’s incredibly well-written and well-done and absolutely brilliant. There are a few good JT solo songs. [Laughs.]
About living at home you’ve said, “I know I’m going to be moving out in a few years, but I’m not ready yet. I’m still 19, I have a lot to learn.” What’s something you feel like you still have to learn?
A lot of stuff. I’ve been working nonstop since I was little. When I started my show when I was 16, that’s when things got really crazy. So I’ve spent these past couple years being so busy and not being able to really hang out at home as much as I’d like to and spend quality time with my family. I want to be able to do more of that. And go on family vacations. I love that kind of stuff.
When was the last time you had time to do something like that?
I don’t know, a long time. Learn how to do my own laundry. [Laughs.]
Learn how to do your laundry?
Kind of. [Laughs.] I’m not domesticated yet. I haven’t had time to learn. I don’t drive. I got a ways to go.
Do you have an age by which you hope to have your license?
I mean, 19 I think is a good age to have it. So when I get a break I’m definitely [going to get it].