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Where Is Robbie From Victorious Now?

Of the group of Hollywood Arts High School students who made up the main cast in "Victorious," Robbie Shapiro is by far the most awkward. He's a ventriloquist who often carries around a scary-looking puppet, Rex, who is somehow suaver than Robbie could hope for. He has trouble interacting with girls, occasionally shows off some tech skills, has major ham boning skills, and can get carried away sometimes with his selfish actions. 

Fans may remember that time he drank more than his share of water when the gang was trapped in an RV on a hot day ("Survival of the Hottest"), or when he put embarrassing videos of his friends on his blog ("Robarazzi"). He's a nerd who gets made fun of, even by his friends — on a "Throw Back with Nickelodeon" segment, Bennett called Robbie "the punching bag of the show" and "borderline Screech from 'Saved by the Bell.'" But he's also generally a nice guy and a bit of a love interest for Cat Valentine (Ariana Grande).

Robbie was played in the 2010-2013 Nickelodeon series by actor Matt Bennett. In the nine years since the series' last episode aired (it didn't really have a conclusion), some of the show's stars have gotten more famous than others. Grande, for example, is a huge pop star, while Elizabeth Gillies has had her own successes on shows like The CW's "Dynasty." So what happened to Bennett? 

He started acting at the age of 13 and continues to this day

Matt Bennett, who according to IMDb was born in Massapequa, New York in 1991, started acting at around age 13 and had his first on-screen credits in 2009. His first major project was a movie called "The Virginity Hit," produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, among others. "Victorious" really put him on the map, though. He has said, about his similarities to Robbie (per Northern Transmissions), "We're tender-hearted guys with a penchant for strumming the guitar and falling in love with girls out of our league." 

He and Robbie actually grew more similar over time. "When we started 'Victorious' the characters were less fleshed out, and as we progressed the writers learned our strengths and weaknesses and would write to those," he said in 2016. "Robbie really got to evolve with me over the duration of the show and vice versa. By the end, we weren't too dissimilar. I guess my current difference would be four years of life experience and a new pair of glasses."

He says "Victorious" changed everything for him. Although his TV and movie credits aren't extensive, he's played some interesting roles. He returned as Robbie in "Sam and Cat" in 2014, and had roles in the movies "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" and "The Stanford Prison Experiment" in 2015. He has had high-profile guest appearances on TV, including "Fresh Off the Boat," "Grey's Anatomy," "Shameless" and "The Big Bang Theory." On the latter show, he played Howard Wolowitz's (Simon Helberg) previously unknown half-brother Josh.

He has also focused on music and appeared in friends' music videos

Although Matt Bennett hasn't been prolific on the acting front, that doesn't mean he's been absent from the entertainment industry, as he has also focused on music. In 2016, he released the EP "Terminal Cases," which was inspired by the films of Robin Williams and included the single '"Fisher King." He also spent some time in Japan exploring Japanese music, telling Moshi Moshi Nippon in 2016 that he had visited the country three times starting in 2012. He also said on "The Zach Sang Show" that living there was "the next step." 

He's even been in a couple of music videos, but not his own. In 2015, he appeared in Poppy's "Lowlife" as a fan; he's reportedly a friend of the singer. That year, he also appeared in another friend's video: Ariana Grande's "One Last Time." He plays her boyfriend, whose point of view is the one viewers see as she tries to get a better look at a comet striking the earth. It was a fun little Easter egg for "Victorious" fans, but the recent release of "Don't Look Up," in which Grande plays a singer in a similar situation, has been giving the video new life.

In 2018, Bennett appeared in Grande's video for "thank u, next," a video chock-full of Easter eggs. He appeared in a scene meant to imitate the flirtatious toothbrush scene between Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Bradford in "Bring It On." In 2019, he also showed up at one of Grande's concerts to play "I Think You're Swell," which he originally wrote for "Victorious."

He's on social media, where his image has changed from his nerdy teen roots

Matt Bennett showcases his sense of humor and personality on social media. In the past, he's been a YouTuber, but lately, he's appeared more often on Twitch (username MottBonnott). In a stream from May 2021 in which he and actor Matthew Scott Montgomery watch and react to Lindsay Lohan's "The Parent Trap," he tells stories about a taxidermied rat on "Victorious" and his dating app experiences, and sings. He also reacts to "Victorious" episodes and plays video games like "Fortnite," "Halo," and "Minecraft." He's on TikTok doing things like forging Grande's signature for a fan, making interesting song mashups, and playing DJ at clubs. 

Although he may not have put out another album yet as he said he hoped to do, Bennett is clearly very much present. And he's not above leveraging his past fame to help make his future. In his Nickelodeon interview, he spoke about how his turn in "thank u, next," actually helped improve his image with fans. "They hadn't realized who I was or what I was capable of, they always saw me as Robby, and all of a sudden, I mean it was just a little tiny thing but I think it helped them see me in a new light," he said, adding that his appearance also reinvigorated him. "These people, they like me, they really like my character from 'Victorious,' they want to see me continue and to succeed; it just felt like a really good boost out of nowhere." Perhaps there are still some major leading man roles in Bennett's future.