On her 16th birthday, Victoria Justice landed her own Nickelodeon show, the musical sitcom Victorious, in which she starred as high schooler Tori Vega, an energetic and bubbly singer. The role transformed Justice into a bona fide celebrity, with legions of social media followers, but after the show ended in 2013, edgier, adult fare proved challenging to come by.
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Until, that is, Justice abandoned her former good-girl self to star as preppy, peppy Janet Weiss in Fox’s remake of the 1975 glam-rock musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which she was first introduced to as a teenager, when she attended a midnight showing decked out in fishnets and a feather boa. Laverne Cox, of Orange Is the New Black, plays Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the transgender mad scientist from Transsexual, Transylvania, who seduces Weiss. “In one of the sex scenes, Laverne pulls me right into her cleavage,” says Justice. “I was like, ‘We’re getting very familiar! This is a really bonding experience!’"
Reprising the iconic role (it was originally played by Susan Sarandon) was a daunting task, so Justice tried to make it her own. The singing in songs like Janet’s big number, “Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me,” she says, has less of a Joni Mitchell tone and features more “beltier, soulful moments.” While the 23-year-old hasn’t completely shed her Nickelodeon skin—she co-hosted the 2016 Teen Choice Awards—she relishes taking on more mature subject matter. Recently she inked a development deal with Fox, and the network is tailoring further roles for her. “Though this is definitely the most overtly sexual and sexy thing I’ve done, I’m ready for it,” says Justice. “I was also coming from a place of being an actor and thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’d love to sink my teeth into this part.’”
Scroll through the gallery for a glimpse at some of Justice's best looks.