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Child Star Actor, Jennette McCurdy, Announces She is Done Acting

By David T. Valentin


Back in December when the iCarly reboot was announced—one of Nickelodeon’s most successful shows from its first season in 2007 to its last in 2012—there was an uproar in excitement as people wondered which members of the cast were returning to reprise their roles. When Miranda Cosgrove posted a picture on her Instagram of her with Nathan Kress and Jerry Trainor, fans were quick to notice Jennette McCurdy missing from the post. But after two months of fans hoping McCurdy would make her grand announcement of her return to the show, just this week McCurdy has announced that she will not be returning to reprise her role as Sam Puckett.


On McCurdy’s February 24th’s episode of her podcast Empty Inside the actress opened up to guest speaker Anna Farris about her former acting roles and feeling “unfulfilled.” Her podcast, Empty Inside, is hosted by McCurdy herself and typically features a guest. The podcast is a deep dive into hard topics such as mental health stigmas, the feeling of being unfulfilled, and her own mother’s death.


“My experience with acting is, I’m so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past. I resent my career in a lot of ways,” McCurdy said to Farris. “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. 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.”


Originally McCurdy went into the industry, not because she wanted to, but because it was the only way out of a bad money situation for her family.


“I quit a few years ago because I initially didn’t want to do it. My mom [Debra McCurdy] put me in it when I was six 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.”


To McCurdy, acting had always been a difficult thing. As she says it was always the “nerves.” When she had finally started to gain traction, finally getting her nerves under control, McCurdy’s mother passed away, in 2013.


“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 did try to get back into the industry with directing and writing, even going so far as to write a one-woman show titled, I’m Glad my Mom Died last February. However, the show never reignited McCurdy’s interest.


“I wrote this one-woman show, and I performed that, and I really did not want to because of the nerves,” McCurdy said. “Because of feeling like I don’t want to fucking 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.”


Despite McCurdy not returning for the iCarly reboot, you can support her by listening to her podcast, I’m Glad My Mom Died. It is a deep dive into some uncomfortable topics, but her graceful and comedic approach to every topic allows for a release and a path towards healing that a lot of people might need now in these times of intense grief.