Anyone familiar with Victorious knows that it helped launch Ariana Grande into superstardom. But what about fellow cast members? The musical sitcom, which ran on Nickelodeon from 2010 to 2013, starred a number of performers who have also gone on to have successful careers.
The list includes actor and musician Matt Bennett. Find out who he was on the show and what he’s up to today. (You may be surprised to learn that a Matt Bennett and Ariana Grande connection still remains.)
Who Is Matt Bennett?
Matt Bennett was born on November 13, 1991, in Massapequa Park, New York. Unlike fellow Nickelodeon child stars, he didn’t officially begin his acting career until he was 18. Bennett’s very first TV role was in the 2009 pilot for Adult Swim’s Totally for Teens. His film debut took place the following year in the Adam McKay and Will Ferrell production The Virginity Hit.
His most notable role to date was on Victorious. The actor played Robbie Shapiro from the show’s 2010 inception to its sudden 2013 finale.
Bennett is also a musician with more than a decade of guitar playing experience. In 2016, he released his debut studio album Terminal Cases. The EP Previously on Matt Bennett came out the following year. Speaking to Northern Transmissions he said:
In a perfect world, [my] album will create a bridge between TV actor me and ‘serious artist’ me that doesn’t stray too far, but adds a lot of new elements to the Matt Bennett people already know.
Matt Bennett Played Robbie Shapiro On ‘Victorious’
On Victorious, Bennet played Robbie Shapiro, an awkward Hollywood Arts High School student who is rarely seen without his ventriloquist dummy Rex.
Shapiro was a likable nerd, but it’s safe to say that the show’s female characters drew way more attention. Victorious was modeled after Disney’s Hannah Montana; therefore all eyes were on the lead actress Victoria Justice, who played Tori Vega.
Although Justice hasn’t quite reached the same level of fame as Miley Cyrus, she’s done plenty of work to earn her time in the spotlight. In 2015, she starred in the MTV thriller Eye Candy, and in 2016 she played Janet Weiss in the TV remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
More recently, Justice hosted Nickelodeon’s 2020 Kids’ Choice Awards. And in December she released “Treat Myself,” her first single in seven years.
And of course, we can’t discuss Victorious without making mention of Ariana Grande. She served as a co-star throughout the entire series and later starred in the show’s spin-off Sam & Cat. All the while, Grande hired a vocal coach and made small steps towards building a singing career.
In 2013, she released her debut studio album Yours Truly. Eight years and five mote albums later, Grande boasts a Grammy Award, 22 Billboard Music Award nominations, three American Music Awards, and nine MTV Video Music Awards.
Grande plays the ditzy (but lovable) student Cat Valentine on Victorious. She once confessed to Seventeen that things weren’t exactly a blast behind the scenes. “I worked with someone who told me they’d never like me,” Grande revealed. “But for some reason, I just felt like I needed her approval. So I started changing myself to please her. It made me stop being social and friendly. I was so unhappy.”
At least we know her nemesis wasn’t Bennett. In fact, he had the good fortune of giving her a peck on the lips during one Victorious scene. Unfortunately, he was too preoccupied with his own insecurities to enjoy the moment. Watch him joke about it during a Nick Rewind interview:
Matt Bennett Is Still Friends With Ariana Grande Today
Ariana Grande may have a long history of boyfriends, but Matt Bennett is proof that a solid friendship always beats out a flavor of the month.
In February 2015, he appeared in her music video for “One Last Time.” And in 2018, you could see him in her vid for “Thank U, Next.”
They’ve also reunited for live shows. In 2019, during an Atlanta stop on her Sweetener tour, Grande brought Bennett to the stage to perform “I Think You’re Swell”—a ballad his character Robbie sang for Cat on Victorious. Check out his performance below:
What Is Matt Bennett Doing Now?
Bennett continues to juggle acting with making music. Since the end of Victorious, he’s had parts on shows like The Big Bang Theory, Shameless, and Grey’s Anatomy.
He also recorded an entire album of Ariana covers as part of a birthday gift to his gal pal titled Thank Me, Next. Take a listen to the emo version of “7 Rings“:
Whether or not it’s your cup of tea, Ariana loved it. She told her buddy and Twitter followers it “out every-thinged the original. Truly the best, most insane surprise ever. Love u so much!”