We interviewed actress Ariana Grande who stars as Cat Valentine on one of our favorite Nickelodeon TV shows “Victorious” while she was visiting Planet Hollywood recently.
What state do you live in and where did you grow up? And do you have any brothers and sisters and are they proud of you?
I have a brother and he’s 27. And he’s extremely proud of me. I love him, and he’s very supportive of me. And I love him so much. I grew up in Boca Raton in Florida. And right now I go back and forth in LA, New York and Florida. It’s fun.
How does it feel to be famous?
I don’t really consider myself famous. I'm just excited that a lot of people are seeing the show and -- excited that a lot of people are finally seeing the show and appreciate all of our hard work. It’s exciting.
What was the hardest part in playing Cat in “Victorious”?
The hardest part - you know when she’s angry one second and the happy the next. She has to have her mood swings, but at the same time there has to be reasoning behind it. The hardest part about playing her was incorporating all of her emotions and what she’s like feeling in her head like into those transitions. Because it could just be like happy/sad, but I like try to put a lot of thought behind it. I try to put that into the -- There’s a reason why she’s crazy.
How would you feel if you saw your picture with the cast of “Victorious” in a magazine?
It’s exciting. I almost had a heart attack when I saw it. I just like looking through a magazine and I saw me and my friends. I was like that’s ridiculous. It’s crazy. I’m really thankful. It’s cool.
Have you ever Googled yourself?
I’m not going to lie. I did. I actually wanted to see what was out there.
Were you in any other shows?
“Victorious” was my first TV show, but I was in “13 the Musical” on Broadway and that was my first really exciting professional job. And that was the only show I did and it was very exciting.
How does it feel to see yourself on TV?
I know there’s a lot of actors who don’t like watching themselves on TV, but I have to say I think it’s really cool. You can just learn from . . . I think it’s really awesome because we’ve worked so hard. Why wouldn’t you want to see it? If anything you can learn from it, oh I could have done that. It’s fun to learn from it.
Do you like to mix acting and singing in one role?
Yeah, of course. It’s so much fun. That’s part of the reason “Victorious” is so much fun. It’s a musical. I love that.
Which character are you most like on the show?
I’m most like Cat. Definitely because she’s very friendly. She loves to make friends and if she was in an elevator with an 80-year-old man, and he was wearing glasses and a cane, I have a feeling that Cat would be like “Hi, I’m Cat.” I see a lot of similarities between me and Cat.
What is the toughest part about acting and what do you love about it?
The sad, more serious scenes. Because we’re 16 and we’re suppose to have fun. So when we have to be sad it’s a little bit more of a challenge. The most fun part about it is definitely being on Nickelodeon show. Because that’s like the most fun acting that you can do.
How old were you when you started acting and what inspired you to become an actress?
When I started acting I was 8 years old. My brother actually was doing high school plays at that point. So I was pretty much inspired by him. And my nonna (grandmother in Italian), she was the one who found out about the auditions, like my community theater at home. That’s how I started acting. Family theater and stuff.
Are you close with any of the cast members?
I’m close with all of them. We get along really, really well. You would think it would be a bad idea putting them on TV together in the same room every single day especially at our age. We’re all completely different people. Nobody’s competing to be the same thing so I think we genuinely appreciate each other. We get along really well. We always play Wii and watch movies.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Five years? I don’t know. I never really thought about this. I’m so excited about what’s happening right now, but in five years I’m hopefully doing something very similar to what I’m doing now. I want to definitely continue doing TV and Broadway. And I also do want to make albums. I want to be a recording artist as well.
Did you play any sports?
I play Wii sports. Wii Resort if that counts.
Who is your favorite actor or actress and why?
My favorite actress is Jennifer Garner and it’s a tie between her and Angelina Jolie. I feel like they’re so believable. Jennifer Garner in all of her chick flick movies is like so sweet and adorable. I just love her and I look up to her. If I have trouble with a line, I think what would Jennifer Garner do. I kind of like channel her. As far as Angelina Jolie, she’s like a crazy artist. She’s amazing and I just so inspired by her. I love her.
What is your favorite episode in “Victorious”?
I don’t know they’re all so good. They just keep getting better and better as the season goes on. One of my favorites is called “Tori the Zombie.” That’s one of my top picks. I love that episode. But they’re all so amazing.
Is there something that you’ve never done and would like to do?
I always wanted to go skydiving and I’ve never done it.
What do you like more acting on TV or Broadway?
I will never be able to answer this question because they’re both so exciting for completely different reasons. Broadway’s exciting because it’s a very intimate audience, like one audience per show. It’s a small amount of people . . . And on TV you have the intimacy of working with your cast, and with Dan Schneider, the cameramen, it’s all the same people every single day. But then you know that the whole world is going to see it and that’s even more exciting. I could never compare the two, because they’re completely different things. I love them both.