‘iCarly’ Star Jennette McCurdy Calls Her Past Acting Roles "Embarrassing"

·3 min read
Jennette McCurdy
Jennette McCurdy

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic, getty Images

Anyone who found themselves tuning into Nickelodeon between 2007 and 2014 knows of Jennette McCurdy. The iCarly star—who played Sam Puckett, a funny teen and web show co-host on the Nick series— said after acting since she was 6 and being the family breadwinner by age 10, she officially quit the craft a few years ago and never plans on going back. McCurdy, now 28 years old, is opening up about the detrimental toll acting can take on a child's mental health and why she always felt "unfilled'' by her past roles.

"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 [Sam] emotions was the priority," McCurdy revealed to fellow child actress Anna Faris, in a recent episode of her podcast Empty Inside.

From a very young age, McCurdy felt like she had no choice but to be successful and that oftentimes the pressure would fall on her to support the family financially. At age 6, McCurdy's mom made the decision to enroll her in acting and by the time she was a pre-teen, she was bringing home enough money to help them get by.

"This was the way out, which I actually think was helpful in driving me to some degree of success because I don't think I would have been as ambitious if I didn't know that it was for my family," she confessed. "I had to fucking do good and hit my mark and nail my thing."

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It was this continuous grind and pressure to be successful that increased her anxiety.

The actress recalled how anxious and profusely clammy she would get upon arriving at auditions, which led to an onset of anxiety. When she did land the gig at Nickelodeon (one of the most prestigious networks for teenage television at the time), she grew to resent the role even though to the outside world and to her friends at school, she was a megastar.

"I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing [thing]," she continued, adding, "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."

However, it was ultimately her mom's passing that led her to saying goodbye to acting.

McCurdy said the death of her mother, who was always a big supporter of her acting career, was the final straw. "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."

Now, McCurdy shares she's excited to dive deeper into the podcast world and try her hand in directing. She's closed the door on acting, which also means she has no interest in the upcoming iCarly revival. We just hope her new career ventures are something she can be proud of.