“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.”
Jennette McCurdy may have been beloved for her performance as Sam Puckett in “iCarly” and later opposite Ariana Grande in “Sam & Cat,” but the actress herself does not remember it nearly as fondly.
In fact, she dashed any hopes fans had of a return for the upcoming revival of the Nickelodeon series by basically laying waste to her entire acting career on the latest episode of her podcast “Empty Inside.”
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“My experience with acting is, I’m so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past,” she said, as detailed by E! News. “I resent my career in a lot of ways.”
McCurdy went on to explain that she’s since transitioned into writing and directing, of which she said, “It’s going great.”
In fact, her latest — and perhaps last — foray into acting came as a result of her desire to perform a one-woman show she’d written. But even then, she said nerves plagued her and made it an unpleasant experience for her, “because of feeling like I don’t want to f—— 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.”
As it turns out, McCurdy has never been comfortable with her work as an actress. When she wasn’t dealing with crippling nerves, which she said impacted auditions, she had the problem that she was already embarrassed by her body of work.
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“I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing,” she said. “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,” she continued. “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.”
It turns out there was another huge factor in her decision to step away from acting, and it’s the same huge factor that got her into it in the first place. In fact, McCurdy said that she was against the idea of her acting career from the start.
“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,” she shared. “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.”
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That’s a lot of weight to put on a child, which certainly could have helped fuel the anxiety that led to her audition struggles, as well as issues with anorexia and bulimia at age 11 and ultimately alcoholism by 2016.
Everything changed for McCurdy with her mother’s death in 2013 after a long battle with cancer. “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.”
McCurdy’s mother died after a 17-year battle with cancer, taking place throughout most of her daughter’s life and through her entire career.
It was unpacking all of this, and its impact on her life and her ultimate decision to walk away from acting that became the subject of the aforementioned one-woman play, which McCurdy entitled, “I’m Glad My Mom Died” and began performing in February 2020 until Covid forced a production shutdown.
For now, McCurdy’s acting career is in an uncertain hiatus. While she still remains friends with her “iCarly” co-stars, Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathen Kress, they are well into work on the Paramount+ revival and it seems pretty unlikely she’ll be making an appearance there … at least on-screen.
As a writer and director, perhaps McCurdy could be persuaded to get involved with her past in that capacity. Or maybe she’ll just cheer her friends on from the sidelines. If that proves to be the case, fans can always hope for an appearance in a behind-the-scenes photo or video.
Paramount+ has not yet announced a release date for the revival.
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