She’s just 19, but actress Liz Gillies understands the importance of giving back. The “Victorious” star reveals one of the great perks of being a celebrity is being able to pay it forward.
She’s lending her talents to an upcoming charity event in the Hamptons to raise money for women’s cancer research. Liz will perform and meet and greet her young fans at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Family Day, which typically raises $350,000.
“It’s a really excellent organization. When they reached out and asked me to be a part of it, I immediately said yes. The event, Family Day, raises money to fund breakthrough studies targeting women’s health and cancers. Having witnessed so many of my close friends’ mothers go through cancer, it’s a cause that’s very close to my heart. I’m fortunate to get to be involved,” reveals Liz to Healthy Hollywood.
Plus, taking charitable action is simply good for your health – both physically and mentally. Study after study shows that being charitable will increase happiness, lessen stress, and even make our hearts healthier.
Liz is also teaching others about healthy eating. She’s a vegan, not by choice but because she’s allergic to gluten.
“In the beginning it was hard, now I’m pretty used to it. I still constantly crave burgers, cheese and all the foods I can’t have, but I’ve learned to live without them,” adds Liz.
And, for others thinking going vegan, Liz has this advice, “Don’t cut everything out at once. Gradually eliminate foods out of your diet, and see how you feel. Make sure to find ways to balance out your diet so that you’re getting all the nutrients you need.”
For more information on the 23rd Annual Einstein Hampton Family Day, which is happening on August 5th, click here.
Liz will be on the panel of tonight's Figure It Out episode, along with Mikey Reid, Gracie Dzienny, and Noah Munck! Figure It Out is a game show featuring everyday kids with extraordinary -- and sometimes completely bizarre -- talents and abilities. A panel of Nickelodeon stars and special celebrity guests attempt to decipher the contestant's special talent through three rounds of guessing. It's always fun to watch!
So make sure to to tune in to Nick at 7/6c! If you missed Liz's last apperance on Figure It Out, you can buy the episode on iTunes.
Also, by the looks of it, Liz will be in another episode on August 8!
Huffington Post just posted an interview with Liz they recently did:
What's it like playing Jade on Victorious?
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.
The song Liz recorded for Winx Club, We Are Believix, is now available for download! You can buy it on iTunes or Amazon. I think it sounds awesome!
Also, the music video for We Are Believix will premiere tomorrow at around 12/11c during the Winx Club season finale on Nick, so make sure to tune in!
BOP & Tiger Beat recently got the chance to sit down with Liz for a Q&A:
BOP&TB: So what are your favorite songs that are out this summer, like the ones that are really stuck in your head?
Liz Gillies: The one that’s stuck in my head- oh what is it… uh… the (sings a tune) “Lights”? Is that what it’s called? I think it’s Ellie Goulding. I don’t know it’s like, “You’re still calling….” It’s on the radio every 5 seconds…I think it’s “Lights”…They’re a band. It is Ellie Goulding! “Lights.”
BOP&TB: Do you have any plans for your summer hiatus?
Liz Gillies: I’m going to have a couple little performances I think I’m going to be doing but I’m just going to be writing a lot of music. That’s what I’m going to be focused on this hiatus.
BOP&TB: Do you think you’ll ever see any of your songs make it onto the show? Is that something you’d be interested in or is not really in the Victorious vibe?
Liz Gillies: I can’t really talk about it, but let’s just say yes, maybe.
BOP&TB: So what about on the acting front? Are you focusing totally on music during your hiatus or do you have any interest in doing movies?
Liz Gillies: I’m auditioning a lot but I’m putting my focus on doing movies. I’m very good at dividing my attention to cater to both of my little passions.
The song will be available for purchase on Amazon.com on July 28th!
Of course Elizabeth-Gillies.net hosted a birthday project again this year, and you can now check it out here:
This is the biggest project so far, as I received over 200 messages to pass on to Liz! I'm glad that so many of you took the time to participate and I hope you like the outcome!