Liz Gillies may play mean girl Jade West on Victorious, but in real life, the 19-year-old is sweet as can be. Offscreen, she's besties with her cast-mates (did you know she co-starred in the Broadway musical 13 alongside Ariana Grande?) and she loves to hang out on YouTube with her fans, where she frequently posts covers of her favorite songs. Liz gave me the scoop on how she deals with real-life mean girls, her upcoming album and which celeb's closet she'd love to raid.
HuffPost: What's it like playing Jade on Victorious?
LG: It's wonderful. I love playing Jade. I always say she's not so much the "mean" girl, but the "bad" girl in so many ways. She has a lot of human qualities to her -- she's not just completely sociopathic. She's sweet with her boyfriend. It's nice to play a character with some depth.
How do you deal with mean girls in your own life?
If someone's being less than courteous to you, I don't think you need to pay any attention to them.
Jade may be the bad girl on-screen, but off-screen, you've shown support for the anti-bullying movement and attended the premiere of Bully. What makes this an important issue for you?
I had a group of girlfriends who were mean girls and thought bullying would make them popular. I don't like when people say that we can put an end to it -- I don't think it's ever going to stop. I don't think that's a healthy way to look at it. I think it's more important to teach kids how to deal with it by finding extra-curricular activities or something artistic so they can express themselves and find a creative outlet for their anger.
On a lighter note, you sing covers on YouTube and you've sung on the Victorious soundtrack. Do you have any plans to put out an original album?
Yeah, I do. I'm working on it now. It's alternative rock. I love a lot of older rock music, so this is kind of an incorporation of that with some more modern elements. It's fun -- I can't wait for people to see it when it comes out.
In the past, you've covered Adele, Lady Gaga and the Rolling Stones. Who would your ultimate dream duet be with?
Maybe... I don't know, that's a hard one! Probably the Beatles. I love the Beatles. But I've recently been listening to Fleet Foxes and they're really cool, so maybe I'd do something with them. Or Steven Tyler, because I know he's still doing his thing and he's amazing.
You have an such a cool sense of style. Who are your fashion and beauty icons?
I dress in a lot of black! I love mesh, which sounds really weird, but I love wearing it on the show. I've always loved Angelina Jolie's way of dressing because it's always so sexy and so simple.
Next month, you'll be performing in the Hamptons to raise money for women's health and cancer research. Why is this an important cause for you?
I really like to do things with families and with children, so I was really excited to get to do this. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine [is hosting the event and] it's benefitting research for women's cancers, which is a cause that is close to my heart. So many of my friends' mothers have dealt with cancer. It's a wonderful event; it usually draws an average of a thousand people, who raise approximately $350,000 annually. It'll be great!
You turned 19 on July 26 - happy birthday! What's your favorite thing about being a teenager?
I love being a teen because you don't have all the responsibilities of an adult yet. I felt so much older when I turned 18 and I really do feel like an adult now. I like growing up; I feel like I have an old soul. I like the age to match as much as it can.
Looking back on your teen years, what advice would you give yourself as a younger teen?
This is corny, but I would tell myself to follow my path and persevere. If you're passionate about something and stick with it, even if your friends aren't doing it, it'll pay off. It can be really rewarding to stick to your guns.