Elizabeth Gillies has come a long way from her former role as the antagonist of Victorious on Nickelodeon. In the latest musical comedy Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, she takes on the task of playing Gigi, a precocious, sharp-tongued and street-smart girl. She perfectly complements actor/writer Denis Leary’s character, Johnny. He is a washed up singer who has squandered away his fame and fortune but dreams of getting it all back. And Gigi, his new-found daughter, might be his ticket. “I was sent the script, along with a long list of songs. As I like challenges, I picked the toughest song. But what really sealed the deal was the chemistry with Denis. It was a lot of improv,” explains Gillies, adding that their dynamic relationship translates on to the screen and brings to the fore the essence of the show — family. “While there is plenty of the musician’s lifestyle, at the centre, it is about a father and daughter. It has all the elements of that kind of emotion, plus the narcissism, ego and other cr*p which comes with being in a band,” she tells us.
Speaking about the show, Gillies says it is great fun because you get to see this really determined rockstar dad who wants to get back his fame, but has to do it through his daughter. “I find that Gigi and I are very similar. It almost freaked me out. We’re both walled up but strong,” the actor says, adding that they are all very involved in the development of the characters.
Speaking of her transition from Nickelodeon to FX (the production house for the show), she says it was a liberating experience. “While I loved that character, this one is different. It was a platform for me to be myself. Being on a Nick show was restricting and I had certain boundaries. I’m 22 and free on Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll,” she signs off.
Starts July 22, every Wednesday at 11.30 pm,
on Star World Premiere.