Source: Netflix

Matt Bennett Took Ventriloquism Classes to Prepare for 'Victorious'



It had been a while since we last thought of Victorious, Nickelodeon's early aughts sitcom that propelled the likes of Ariana Grande into the public eye. 

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The series, which ran from 2010 to 2013, centered on aspiring singer Tori Vega (Victoria Justice) as she struggled to fit in with her talented cohort at Hollywood Arts High and attracted millions of fans.

And now that the three season-series is available to binge-watch thanks to Netflix, many fans are wondering whether the actor who plays Robbie is really a ventriloquist on Victorious. Plus, where is Matt Bennett now? Keep reading to find out!

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Source: Netflix

Is Robbie really a ventriloquist? Well, yes. But is actor Matt Bennett?

On Victorious, Robbie never goes anywhere without his trusted companion and sidekick, Rex. Rex is a puppet, but for Robbie, who finds the term "puppet" offensive, he's more of a best friend.

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"Rex is my wants and desires put into physical form," actor Matt Bennett revealed back in 2010 during the first season of filming this show. "He talks for me, he does everything Robbie wants, and says what Rob is feeling because Rob himself is very insecure and he really helps him get through hard times."

Source: Netflix
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Indeed, while Robbie is shy and measured, Rex has no filter. He always says what's on his mind, hits on almost every girl at Hollywood Arts and is one of the eight main characters of the cast of Victorious. Rarely do we ever see Robbie without Rex, or vice versa.

But is Matt actually ventriloquizing for his dummy? It turns out that no, he's not, and that the voice of Rex, which is so distinctly different from Matt's own, was added in post-production in an effort to keep the character's voices markedly distinct. Rex's voice belongs to Jake Farrow, a writer who's worked on many other Nickelodeon shows, including Drake & Josh and iCarly.

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However, Matt did take some ventriloquism lessons to prepare for his role as Robbie in Victorious. At 19, he worked closely with ventriloquism coach Jay Johnson, who might be best known as the ventriloquist behind Bob in the late '70s sitcom, Soap. With Jay's help, Matt was able to construct the character of his puppet, Rex.

Source: Instagram
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Where is Matt Bennett today?

We could never have guessed it when it was on the air, but several of the teen and tween actors who got their start on Victorious have gone on to become household names today.

These days, 27-year-old Matt is BFFs with former co-star Ariana Grande, and even appeared in her "Thank U, Next" music video during the recreation of the iconic Bring It On bathroom scene. That wasn't the first time since Victorious that he appeared alongside Ariana — back in 2015, he also featured in the video of "One Last Time."

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A singer in his own right, Matt released an album called Terminal Cases in 2016. With regards to acting, he has guest-starred on Shameless, The Big Bang Theory and Grey's Anatomy, and is also a recurring character on American Vandal.

He also had a TBS show called Bar Mitzvah'd, which was about getting Groundhog Day-ed on one's bar mitzvah. Follow Matt on Instagram to see what other projects he's cooking up.

Victorious is now streaming all three seasons on Netflix.

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