Check out the mysteriously sexy Avan Jogia in this exclusive photo from the latest edition of the Just Jared Spotlight of the Week series.
The 21-year-old actor stars in the ABC Family series Twisted, which was a big summer hit and will be returning for the second half of its first season on February 11.
Avan chatted with us about what to expect on the show, his love for music, his celeb pals like Josh Hutcherson and Ariana Grande, and also his girlfriend Zoey Deutch, who stars in the upcoming film Vampire Academy.
Just Jared: You’re in the middle of filming Twisted, correct?
Avan Jogia: Yes, I am.
JJ: Which episode?
AJ: We are filming episode 15.
JJ: Out of?
AJ: Out of… it would be 19, 20, something like that. Eight more episodes left.
JJ: Do you know how the whole thing ends?
AJ: I know a little bit about it. I don’t know a whole sh-t ton. I try to stay in the dark as much as possible. It’s nice, but I like to know what happened previously, back story stuff. But beyond that, I don’t even know what’s happening.
JJ: Do you make up your own back story or is there already one?
AJ: Bits and pieces. I make up most of the stuff that happened in juvie, and they helped me know what happened with my aunt and other things like that.
JJ: Are there any teasers you can give us?
AJ: There’s some stuff from juvie coming back, to haunt my character. The first two episodes are really insane, they’re insane episodes.
JJ: A lot of stunts, or…?
AJ: A lot of stunts, a lot of working night shoots in the forest, crazy. Some people come back. It will be very, very exciting.
JJ: What’s your favorite on set memory?
AJ: Just recently, I shot nights. Shooting in the forest and doing a bunch of these hi-tech stunts with ropes and harnesses attached to me. It was kind of fun. There’s some blue screen stuff so it was acting to nothing. It was kind of cool, it was like weird, weirder stuff that I’ve never done before so that was kind of cool.
JJ: Is there a difference between blue screen or green screen, or is that the same?
AJ: I have no idea. I think it’s the same idea. Well I don’t know why we stopped using green screen. But then we do use green screen for when it’s full, and the whole thing is green. But if it’s just a plate, like an insert, we use blue. I don’t know, man. Dude, it’s crazy. I’ve no idea.
JJ: Just go with the flow?
AJ: It’s not my area.
JJ: Could you describe your style? Who do you look up to for fashion?
AJ: I think I’ve always like musicians. I’ve always liked Iggy Pop and older musicians. Iggy Pop, the Rolling Stones, stuff like that. There was a point in my life where I would’ve liked to be a musician.
JJ: Do you have any musical talent?
AJ: I play guitar, piano, and accordion. So yeah, a little bit.
JJ: All self-taught or did you have lessons?
AJ: Self-taught, yeah. I mean, my parents got me lessons when I was like ten. And they got me a guitar and everything, me and my brother, they got us a guitar and a piano. We both alternated learning, and we just had no patience for it. We were just running around, jumping, not wanting to listen. Then a couple years later, the guitar was lying around and so I just picked it up and started learning myself because by fourteen, thirteen, that was cool. So it was cool to pick up a guitar and learn to play. I got a band in high school.
AJ: The band was called Sister Fister.
JJ: Who was the fister?
AJ: It was a punk band. It’s exactly what you think it is.
JJ: You’ve had long hair pretty much, what your whole life?
JJ: Have you ever cut it? What was the shortest it’s ever been?
AJ: The shortest it’s ever been, I was fourteen years old. It was kind of like a fauxhawk kind of thing. And ever since then, I’ve just been growing it, ’cause I like it. It keeps me warm. It’s such a polarizing subject. People are like, “You’ve gotta cut your hair.” They get so upset. They’re like “cut your hair, cut your hair.” And then all the people who defend me, they’re like, “Do what you want, man. He’s his own person.” I’m like, this is a lot of conversation about hair. This is too much, too much passion.
JJ: Would you ever shave it all off?
AJ: Oh yeah. I like my hair, but I’m not attached to it. [I WOULD FUCKING KILL HIM] If I was doing a movie or something, and I thought it made sense to do that, I’d cut it off. I think I’d just do it for me, but not until there’s a role where I feel it would be inappropriate to have long hair, then I’ll do it.
JJ: How long were you acting before you came to LA?
AJ: I started acting when I was fifteen.
JJ: Doing what?
AJ: I did commercials in Vancouver. I did a couple Lifetime movies. With Mercedes Ruehl and Agnieszka Holland. Then I was doing acting and going back to school, and when I was at school, I was really attending so I kind of dropped out around sixteen. My principal was like, “Look, what are you doing? Go do something else.” And then my parents, who are the best people in the world, were like, “Okay, so if you’re not going to go to school, go to acting school.” So I went to acting school for a little bit. And they’re like, “Okay, if you want to do this properly, go down to LA for six months. If you get a job, that’s great, that’s what you’re doing now, you’re an actor. If you don’t get a job, you have to come back to high school, and at least get your high school diploma.” So, I was like, well I’m going to LA, there’s no way I’m risking that, and I’m like I have to get a job. So then I booked Victorious, and I was like I’m taking this, because I’m not going back to high school.
JJ: So you’re a high school drop out?
AJ: Yeah, a little bit. A little bit.
JJ: Would you ever finish your degree?
AJ: Um, I would…. I’m going to take some courses at UCLA and stuff. I like learning, I just hated high school.
JJ: Speaking of Victorious, you’ve known Ariana [Grande] since then, what was she like then, and what do you think of her music now?
AJ: She was great then. It was such a family, that show. All of us were very, very, very close. Then the show stopped, and we all stayed very close. I kind of always thought she was going to be a big deal. She has a great voice and she’s dedicated. She’s who she wants to [be]… she wanted it. It’s always nice to see somebody who wants their dreams, and then their dreams are realized. She always wanted to do this so it’s kind of a good thing. She’s kind of excited about that.
JJ: How did you and Josh Hutcherson meet?
AJ: We met at a Variety Power of Youth event when I first got out here, when I was 17, 16 years old. We met then and we just kind of hit it off. We’ve been friends ever since. He’s a great friend. It’s one of those things where you like, we see each other maybe once every couple months, because we’re both so busy. I’m shooting, and he’s shooting, but when we get back, it’s like old friends. It’s nice to have friends who have known you for a really long time. For me almost like five or six years.
JJ: What’s your favorite memory of him?
AJ: The Oakwood Apartments. I don’t know if you know what those are but that’s like a place where all the actor kids go to live, and he was living there. I wasn’t living there. I was living in a trailer behind someone’s house. When I first moved out here, I was living in a trailer behind this old guy’s house. And I used to hang out at his place, we used to drive around the Oakwood Apartments, and we thought we were
very cool driving around the Oakwood Apartments, being like, “Yeah. We can drive.” And just being dicks. Yeah, that’s like my fondest memories.
JJ: Did you ever watch The Hollywood Complex, the documentary about the Oakwood Apartments? It’s really good.
AJ: No. Is it really good? It’s scary in there. It’s terrifying. I guess it’s the place where people have to live because, you know, where else are you going to go? It’s a place where everyone does live but it’s like, it’s too creepy in there.
JJ: Do you speak more than one language?
AJ: I speak a little bit of French and a little bit of Gujarati.
JJ: What’s Gujarati?
AJ: Gujarati is an Indian language. My father speaks that. So yeah. I speak French because of school. So I speak restaurant French, I can order glasses of wine, that kind of thing. And Gujarati, I speak mostly food related things as well ’cause my grandparents are like, “food?” and I’m like “yeah I know what you’re saying.” And then I speak English pretty poorly actually.
JJ: Would you want to learn other languages?
AJ: Yeah. I want to become fluent in French. And that’s maybe one of the courses I’ll take at UCLA or something like that. But the problem is, to me, you really have to be immersed in the culture to learn the language. And I’m filming in Los Angeles. But I feel like I’m not going to live here for my whole life, I don’t think.
JJ: Random questions. What’s your favorite kind of tea?
AJ: PG Tips.
JJ: Black tea?
AJ: Black tea, milk and sugar, English. Proper tea. Like my father and my mother made. I grew up on them. I used to actually do a couple cups of tea a day. It was like, it’s a big deal.
JJ: For the caffeine jolt?
AJ: For the caffeine jolt and also it’s just like, it’s comforting. I don’t know, a cup of tea is just like, it’s lovely. Something good about a cup of tea.
JJ: What is your dream home, and does it happen to be a giant English manor?
AJ: It does happen to be a giant English manor. That’s some information.
JJ: How coincidental.
AJ: It’s coincidental that you know that. I wonder why. Yes. A giant English manor with greyhounds and horses. I would sit around in a big dining hall and just, I don’t know.
AJ: Just live like, but opulence in the very old, the old sense of opulence. I think it’s pretty funny.
JJ: What is your “Wolf Religion” and WTF does that mean?
AJ: My wolf religion is, wow, good. I just, I do a lot of research with wolves. I just think wolves are really cool and I think their pack mentality is very interesting. We kind of deny our animal instinct as humans. I just think it’s like, “We don’t have those, I have an iPhone. What are you talking about, I’m not an animal.” But it’s interesting to look at that. Basically I want to live with some wolves, but that’s never gonna, I mean, I probably shouldn’t do that. It’s probably not healthy. I think wolves are incredibly interesting.
JJ: Can you tell us about your middle school experience?
AJ: I was homeschooled in middle school. My parents were nice enough to remove me from middle school, because that’s where all the evil is. All you learn in middle school is to just be evil. Right? (laughs) That’s the worst time. So my parents were like, “Let’s just not even do this.” So I got out of middle school and instead hung out and learned the guitar, and learned. I did a lot of research on Rome. I just explored stuff that I was interested in, which was fun.
JJ: What qualities about your father do you like the most?
AJ: He’s just a really reliable, loving, caring guy. I’m very lucky to have such a good father. He was just so good to me and taught me what being a man is.
It’s good to have somebody that you know, it’s a good point of reference for me.
JJ: How many kids of your own would you want?
AJ: Lots. I want a brood. I want like…
JJ: A pack? (laughs)
AJ: Yeah, I want a wolf pack of kids. Eight or nine, I don’t know. I think reasonably, three or four. But if I was with somebody who wanted to have some extra kids, I wouldn’t be against it. And eventually they start raising themselves. I mean, you only have to get the first two right and then they start like.. that’s that pack mentality, that’s what I think.
JJ: Do you enjoy your girlfriend [Zoey Deutch]‘s cooking?
AJ: I do. Her cooking is good. I feel like these questions come from her, no?
JJ: How many meals a week does she cook?
AJ: Hmm… a lot actually. We’re at her house a lot so she, she’s like a wizard with the pasta. And she makes her own tomato sauce, which is crazy to me, because I’m just not a cook. It’s not my thing. I’m like, “How did you make the sauce?? Sauces come in jars, what are you talking about?” And she’s told me frequently that they don’t come in jars, in fact. You can cut up tomatoes and put your own base. I didn’t even know what a base was. I don’t know. I’ve learned a lot.
JJ: How much chocolate do you consume a week, on average?
AJ: A good amount. I have proper English chocolate though. I’ll have a flake or Cadburys. And I probably have it three times a week.
JJ: Do you consider yourself romantic?
AJ: Yes, very. I think in all aspects, not just in romance. I’m romantic when it comes to washing my car. I just like to do things, in a way that makes me happy. What makes me happy is like doing an ornate or complicated way of doing it. And especially when it comes to dating or going on dates, I like to do a big deal. And also you do a big deal because you care about the person you’re going on a date with. So I’ll do crazy sh-t.
JJ: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done?
AJ: I got a Mariachi band once, just to follow my girlfriend around, at her house. I did that.
JJ: Were you home for that?
AJ: No, I was out of town. I was in New York actually. I was in New York in Sandy. I was pretty impressed with myself. I was in Sandy so we had sh-tty reception and I got a Mariachi band to her house for her birthday.
JJ: Did she open up the door and let these strangers in?
AJ: Yeah, I don’t know why she did that. Now that I’m thinking about it, I just asked four guys to come to her house on her birthday. That’s not exactly a birthday present, but yeah.
JJ: Soft or crispy bacon?
AJ: Oh soft bacon, soft bacon. It’s so crispy and then it breaks apart in your mouth. I just feel like it tastes burnt to me.
JJ: What’s the most frustrating thing about working on a television show without any creative control?
AJ: You have to balance what you want to do as an actor to honor the character, and with knowing where you are or what the medium is. And you’re shooting seven days a week and everyone is trying to do the best job that they can and come up with the story lines. I think the most thing you can do is try to collaborate with people and try to cope as much as you can. And I think that as an actor, you just have to come up with your own answers for things, even if you’re not going to get an answer. You have to come up with your own answers so you don’t do a disservice to the character. Basically all I got into this job to do is never disserve the character, always just tell the story and tell the character’s story and do the best job you’ve got. It becomes hard when there’s so many people involved in that. But you just do the best you can and come up with the excuses for yourself.
JJ: And now you’re going to be having your own control and you’re producing your own stuff.
AJ: Yeah, I started producing. I think in this world, actors… If you really like what you do, and I love making movies and telling stories, you have to take the reigns yourself a little bit, especially in this world where studios are falling apart. Big institutions of the last 75 years are having trouble making movies. So I think it’s kind of like the wild west. You’ve got to take the reigns and find something that works for you.
JJ: One last question. Do you like being late to things?
AJ: No. I hate being late to things. It makes me anxious. I’m a real asshole if I’m late. And anyone who’s around me, like with me, if I need to go somewhere, I become irritable.
JJ: Do you get irritable when other people are late?
AJ: No. Actually funnily enough, I don’t. I just don’t. I mean it’s fine, they’re late, whatever. But when I’m late, I feel like, I just see them all waiting around for me and it just drives me insane. (laughs)