Jennette McCurdy of iCarly is done acting, found it ‘cheesy, embarrassing’

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Jennette McCurdy began acting at age six and rose to success on shows like iCarly with Miranda Cosgrove and Sam & Cat with Ariana Grande. The Sam on Sam & Cat was actually a reprisal of Jennette’s iCarly role, which speaks to her popularity. Jennette stepped back from acting a few years ago in favor of writing and directing and now she hosts her own podcast, Empty Inside. In December, it was announced that iCarly was getting rebooted with most of the original cast signing on for it, although Jenette’s name was notably absent. Fans were eager to know if Jenette would return and yesterday, we found out that Jenette will not return to the reboot because she’s done with acting. Not only does she not miss the craft of acting, she’s embarrassed by the roles she performed.

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.

“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.

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.”

[From E!]

Both iCarly and Sam & Cat fell into the time period of me being too old to watch and my kids too young, so I’ve never seen Jennette act. I know who she is in photos but that’s it. CB has seen her and says she has some chops to her. Normally I would say it’s a shame to lose a talent from the industry, but it sounds like acting is tied to a lot of trauma for Jennette. She mentioned her mom put her in acting at six, but in 2019, we learned that her mom did much more than that. She managed Jennette’s career and coached her on how to maintain a smaller frame so she could book more roles, which included her mother counting calories and portioning out her meals. This later became a very difficult struggle with anorexia and bulimia for Jennette. Later in the interview above, Jennette spoke about a time when her mom was speaking to Jennette’s agent on the speaker phone about why Jennette lost the role for Because of Winn-Dixie to AnnaSophia Robb. The agent said, on the speaker phone so 10-year old Jennette could hear, “They want an ethereal beauty. Jennette is not an ethereal beauty. She is homely. She reads homely.” I can see why Jennette is embarrassed by the characters she played. To us they were just silly fun but Jennette was told she couldn’t do any better. Walking away might be the healthiest thing Jenette could do.

Jennette did perform once last year, but that was in her own woman show, that she wrote and directed, called I’m Glad My Mom Died (her mom died of breast cancer in 2013). The show dealt with Jennette not having ever learned the tools necessary to deal with the death of a parent within her child star bubble. She also expressed dissatisfaction with the roles from her childhood and her experience with Nickelodeon. So she’s been on this journey with her past for a while. Performing her own work helped clarify her negative feelings about acting. Jenette told Elite Daily last year that the one thing she did take from Nickelodeon were her friendships with the cast and crew of iCarly. She said her life is better because of them. It’s good to know something positive came from that.

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Photo credit: Instagram

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23 Responses to “Jennette McCurdy of iCarly is done acting, found it ‘cheesy, embarrassing’”

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  1. Duchess of hazard says:

    I am glad for her sake that she was strong enough to walk away. For a child to be working for the entire family to live is not healthy.

  2. Willow says:

    Her mother does not sound like a nice woman. My father died in his 40s and it’s a sad thing to say, but it was a relief. Because I didn’t have to deal with him anymore.

  3. Merricat says:

    It’s my understanding that she was the victim of abuse by the iCarly showrunner. Allegedly, but it’s not the first time Dan Schneider was called out for creepy behavior with teenage girls, and he’s not longer employed by Nickelodeon.

    • LillyfromLillooet says:

      Yeah, I loved iCarly and Jennette was so so great on the show…and I heard that Dan Schneider was creeping on Jennette and I think Amanda Bynes and etc. Interesting that there’s no mention here.

      I don’t know if Jennette realizes how much ballast and grit she gave a beloved show that would have been so horrible without her. The character she created was tough, pragmatic, in pain, funny, resourceful, a great friend, lonely. I think a lot of people identified with her creation of Sam. I also remember Jane Lynch loved the show and Jennette’s work she wanted to do a guest spot as Sam’s mom.

      Obviously Jennette is strong and well and that’s everything, so no more iCarly for her. But I do admit that Sam is the character I’d most want to see again in a reboot. She had the most interesting future ahead of her.

      • McGee says:

        So agree, LILLYFROMLILLOOET.

        My kiddo watched that show, so …so did I, and truly the show hinged on her talent. She stood out to me in a huge way.

        But more important that her talent is her spirit — I wish her health and contentment and work she feels good about.

  4. MinxyMeow says:

    It’s ridiculous to refer to a child as homely, not to mention I remember her being a cutie. The whole element is so toxic and spits child actors out after they are traumatized. Good for her for walking away from it.

  5. runaway says:

    I have never watched her shows but I definitely know her face and could have told you she was on the shows, so I know of her. Her story breaks my heart and it would kill me if my daughter ever said that about me. My mom wants me to get my 5 y/o into acting, because she is such a ham and puts on shows for the family all the time. But stories like this and Framing Britney just reiterate what I already know, I want her to be a kid for as long as possible, and not have adult pressures thrust on her before she is ready.

  6. Lucy says:

    Wow. I found her so funny and charming in ICarly, her character was a bit of a rowdy tomboy. Now I feel bad. I’m so sorry she had to go through all of that but I’m glad she’s in the process of leaving it behind and hopefully healing from it. It’s great that she could rely on her costars and remains friends with them, at least she wasn’t completely on her own.

  7. Size Does Matter says:

    My older kids loved iCarly and Sam and Cat. The Sam character was completely obnoxious and mean spirited. Always cutting other characters with words, and always always eating something, which must have been total misery for Jeannette. It would not have been fun to be that character.

  8. mj says:

    I was a bit too old to watch but my little sisters were big iCarly fans. She was one of my favorites of that generation of Nick/Disney kids because she had a little more bite to her, was a little sharper edged than the others. It sounds like acting wasn’t positive in her life so I’m glad she’s leaving it behind, but it’ll be great to see her grow as a writer.

  9. Lunasf17 says:

    Ugh this is so sad! And it’s hard to believe so many of these kid show star are now in their late 20s. I hope she finds happiness. Her mom sounds toxic as well and I hope she finds some healing.

  10. Shim says:

    I’m pretty sure I recall her being shady to Arianna Grande for leaving Nickelodeon, when she started her music career, because it left JC without a show. Maybe hindsight is 20/20, but this is very different attitude than the one she had just a couple years ago.

    • Oy_Hey says:

      Really – I remember it much differently. Namely that someone leaked (reportedly faked) nudes of Jeanette without her consent and that Arianna and Nickelodeon blamed her. I recall that being a huge deal.

  11. aang says:

    My kids watched iCarly, they never watched Sam and Cat, and my husband and I would always mention that she seemed to be the most naturally talented actor on the show. She’s got great timing. I’m sad to know she was unhappy but happy to hear she is doing better.

  12. Michael says:

    There was a lot of drama when Sam & Cat aired and was canceled. The things I have learned about Jeanette’s struggles in the succeeding years have brought a lot of context to those issues.

  13. Miranda says:

    Forcing a small child to become a family’s sole breadwinner and then inducing an eating disorder so that she can continue in that role is nothing short of monstrous. I grew up taking gymnastics and ballet, and I knew many, many girls whose parents (especially mothers) put them in a similar position, basically trying to live through their daughters. Naturally, coaches, trainers, and teachers took advantage of the fact that the girls were already somewhat beaten down by their own parents, and abused them in various ways themselves (as the world has recently seen, this was/is especially rampant in gymnastics). This left CHILDREN with very few adults willing to stand up for them. It’s sad and disgusting.

    I hope Jennette is able to work through her trauma in her writing and directing. What she has to say about her experience is valuable to survivors, and she deserves to live her life the way SHE chooses now.

  14. Realistic says:

    In what world is she “homely”? Hollywood is weird

  15. nettie says:

    This is so sad to hear about the abuse she suffered professionally and at home. My stepson loved I-Carly and she was really good on it. She has no reason to ever be embarrassed by her roles. All the best to her…

  16. Kristen says:

    My heart hurts for her. Poor kid. She deserved better from all the adults in her life.

  17. Miasys says:

    It hurts my heart to read about her pain. Glad she is in a better place now. My daughter loved iCarly & Jennette’s role made it watching it bearable for us parents. We still joke about the Buttersock.

  18. tealily says:

    That’s so sad, but good for her for walking away. I hope she’s okay.