It’s official: Jennette McCurdy will definitely not be returning for the iCarly reboot on Paramount+. The revival was confirmed in Dec. 2020, with Miranda Cosgrove, Nathan Kress and Jerry Trainor all slated to return. During an interview with Anna Faris, Jennette explained why she is sticking to her decision not to return to acting, and will not be reprising her role of Sam Puckett.
“I quit a few years ago [in 2017] because I initially didn’t want to do it,” Jennette admitted. “My mom 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.”
Jennette explained that her mother’s death from cancer in 2013 contributed to her decision to leave the industry (although she had various roles after losing her mom). “With her death kind of died a lot of her ideas for my life,” Jennette admitted. “And that was its own journey — a difficult one for sure.”
The 28-year-old wrote a one-woman show about her mom’s battle with cancer, and performed it in Feb. 2020, but after that one-off, acting is off her radar. “I really did not want to [perform that] because of the nerves,” she told Anna. “Because of feeling like I don’t want to f***ing act anymore. I’m done.”
She also added that working on Nickelodeon shows like iCarly and the spinoff Sam & Cat made her have a difficult relationship with acting. “I’m so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past,” Jennette admitted. “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 I was on from, like, 13 to 21, and by 15 I was already embarrassed. My friends at 15 weren’t 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 you feel fulfilled by them.”
Jennette concluded by saying that she could see herself returning to the screen if a director she “really admired” wanted to collaborate. “I feel like I have a point of view and I have a vision,” she said. “We’ll see where things are in a few years.”