Wednesday, March 03, 2021

'iCarly' Star Jennette McCurdy Confirms She's Quit Acting and Reveals That She's 'Embarrassed' by Her Roles

During her latest podcast episode, iCarly alum Jennette McCurdy said she doesn't foresee ever acting again and shared, "I resent my career in a lot of ways."

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Although iCarly fans continue holding out hope that Jennette McCurdy will change her mind and return for the show's upcoming revival, they'd be well-advised not to hold their breath.

Jennette, who now hosts the podcast Empty Inside, played Sam Puckett for six seasons on the beloved Nickelodeon show that signed off in 2012, and she later reprised the role on Sam & Cat opposite Ariana Grande. During her recent podcast interview with Anna Faris, Jennette confirmed she considers herself done with acting, and revealed she is not particularly proud of her previous shows. 

"I quit a few years ago to try my hand and writing and directing—it's going great," she said with a self-deprecating laugh. "I quit a few years ago because I initially didn't want to do it. My mom put me in it when I was 6 and by sort of age, I guess, 10 or 11, I was the main financial support for my family. My family didn't have a lot of money, and this was the way out, which I actually think was helpful in driving me to some degree of success."

Jennette, 28, explained that "always, always, always, acting was difficult for me," as she had a tough time dealing with nerves during auditions.

Nickelodeon Network/Schneider's Bakery/Kobal/Shutterstock

"Once I started to get the nerves under control was when I started to actually get some traction, but I ultimately quit after my mom passed away because with her death kind of died a lot of her ideas for my life, and that was its own journey, and a difficult one for sure," she shared.

Anna asked if she would ever return to acting, and indeed, many fans hoped Jennette would reunite with Miranda Cosgrove and other iCarly cast members on the upcoming revival. Jennette responded that she returned as a thespian for her one-woman show I'm Glad My Mom Died, which debuted in Los Angeles in February 2020 and explored her mom's 2013 death from cancer, but that she considers it a one-off. 

"I wrote this one-woman show, and I performed that, and I really did not want to because of the nerves,'" she recalled. "Because of feeling like I don't want to f--king act anymore, 'I'm done.' So I did it just for that show, but I think that one-woman show would be the most of it."

Jennette later went into detail about the embarrassment she felt regarding the type of projects she landed.

"My experience with acting is, I'm so ashamed of the parts I've done in the past," she said. "I resent my career in a lot of ways. I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing. I did the shows that I was on from like 13 to 21, and by 15, I was already embarrassed. My friends at 15, they're not like, 'Oh, cool, you're on this Nickelodeon show.' It was embarrassing. And I imagine there's a very different experience to be had with acting if you're proud of your roles, and if you feel fulfilled by them."

She also recounted a painful moment from age 10 when her mom was giving Jennette's agent a hard time after the then child-star didn't book a role in the 2005 film Because of Winn-Dixie that ended up starring AnnaSophia Robb. 

"My agent, I literally hear her on speaker phone go, 'They want an ethereal beauty. Jennette is not an ethereal beauty. She is homely. She reads homely,'" the star said. "And I was like, OK, guess I read homely."

As for whether she could ever imagine returning to acting, Jennette said it may depend on getting an opportunity to collaborate with a director she "really admired." She continued, "I feel like I have a point of view, and I have a vision. We'll see where things are in a few years."

“But just because of my past and the auditions that would come across my eyes, I was like OK well this is what the industry sees me as and I don’t want to do that.”

McCurdy also questioned Faris about her own entrance into acting, and the former Mom star explained that her interest began at an early age when her mother enrolled her in "imagination" classes. From there, Faris took up acting in community theater.

"I loved acting, but it wasn't quite that clear in any way. I don't remember saying 'This is what I want to do,'" Faris explained.

The House Bunny actor furthered that acting became "my identity outside of school," and considered herself fortunate that she was able to decide on her own to quit college. "By that point, my parents had been out of my career for quite a long time. I can't imagine though, that must have been really difficult," she said of McCurdy's personal experience. "That's a whole different journey than I was on."

Ultimately, McCurdy said she believes acting during her transformative years stunted her ability to develop her own emotions at the time.

"For me, I kind of had my own emotions on the back burner as a kid. I think it was really detrimental to my own emotional wellbeing because this character's emotions was the priority. Also I was always playing the sad, crying thing," she said.

Faris reflected on industry difficulties, but eventually concluded she was starting to feel the acting “itch” again. She asked if McCurdy has ever felt rewarded by a character she played.

“I’m so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past,” McCurdy said. “I get that this answer is super unlikable.”

McCurdy has previously spoken about her struggle with anorexia and bulimia, which began at just 11 years old and persisted for 13 years. Insiders have also speculated that her time on set may have been troubled.

The history of McCurdy’s statements on her time at the kid-friendly network indicate the young actor was not valued in the same way as some of her close costars, namely the “7 Rings” singer who was first discovered at Nickelodeon. In 2014, McCurdy boycott the Kid’s Choice Awards, hinting that a salary dispute with Sam & Cat producers was the reason.

Announced in December 2020, Paramount+, the new streaming service from ViacomCBS, is reviving iCarly for an older audience. Set to premiere later this year, it'll feature Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathan Kress reprising their respective roles of Carly, Spencer, and Freddie, and introduce new characters.

Classic episodes of iCarly are available to stream on Paramount+ and Netflix today, and the revival is expected to premiere later this year on Paramount+!

Originally published: Tuesday, March 02, 2021 at 16:33 GMT.

Original source: E! News; Additional sources: Fox News, New York Post, Variety.

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