iCarly actress Jennette McCurdy revealed she has quit acting on a recent episode of her podcast Empty Inside. In a candid conversation with fellow actress Anna Faris, McCurdy shared that she quit acting a few years ago and is not very happy with her past work. “My experience with acting is I am so ashamed with the parts I’ve done in the past,” said McCurdy.
The actress will also not be joining the much-anticipated iCarly reboot to reprise her role as Sam Puckett. McCurdy shared that the intense anxiety she suffered from during the auditions made acting that much more of a challenge. “Always, always, always, acting was difficult for me,” she said.
Actress Jennette McCurdy On Being A Child Star
On the February 24th episode of her podcast, McCurdy talked to Anna Faris about how she got into the industry—and what made her leave. The iCarly actress said she started acting at the age of six to support her family. “My mom put me in it when I was 6 and by 10 or 11 I was the main financial support for my family,” she said. Although, McCurdy added that looking back the family pressure ultimately helped her to be more successful.
The anxiety McCurdy struggled with before auditions made acting even more of a challenge for the young star. The actress described getting so nervous her heart would pound, and her hands would get clammy. McCurdy found ways to manage the anxiety, and said that’s when she started to “gain traction” as an actress.
Faris, who also began acting at as a child, said acting was an escape for her. However, for McCurdy, getting into character often meant pushing her own feelings aside. “Acting felt like I had my own emotions on the back burner. It was really detrimental to my own emotional wellbeing,” shared McCurdy.
Jennette’s Battle With An Eating Disorder
McCurdy struggled with anorexia from the age of 11. The actress opened up about her disordered eating in a Huffpost essay in 2019, two years into recovery. “As a child actress working in Hollywood, I quickly learned that remaining physically small for my age meant I had a better chance of booking more roles,” she wrote. McCurdy revealed that her mom also struggled with disordered eating and enabled her anorexia. She compared her daughter’s weight to other girls and portioned out McCurdy’s meals. However, McCurdy does not blame her mother. “I don’t think she could help it,” she wrote.
In her conversation with Faris, McCurdy remembered a phone call she overheard as a child. When she was 10, McCurdy heard her mom “screaming on the phone” with an agent about not getting an audition for Because of Winn-Dixie, which later starred AnnaSophia Robb. “My agent, I literally hear her on speaker phone go ‘They want an ethereal beauty. Jenette is not an ethereal beauty. She reads homely,'” the actress recalled. “I’m like ok, I guess I read homely,” McCurdy told Faris with a laugh.
Will Jennette Return To Acting?
Ultimately, McCurdy shared she quit acting because she felt it was never her dream in the first place. “I ultimately quit after my mom passed away because with her death died a lot of her ideas for my life,” said the star. McCurdy’s mom died in 2013 after a 17-year battle with breast cancer.
McCurdy said she “resents” her career and felt really unfulfilled by the roles she played. “I 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,'” said the actress. “It was embarrassing.”
Faris wondered if McCurdy would have a different experience with acting as an adult and asked the iCarly actress if she misses it. McCurdy replied that she would be “so excited” if she got the opportunity to work with someone she really admired. But the star also added that because of her past and the type of roles she got, it is just not something she wants to do.
What The Future Holds For The iCarly Actress
But just because McCurdy quit acting, does not mean she is done with the industry. In her time away from acting, McCurdy wrote and directed several short films. Her 2019 short film Strong Independent Women was recognized by thirteen film festivals. The film is about a mother helping her young daughter overcome an eating disorder. McCurdy even directed a short loosely based on her own childhood, called The McCurdys. The film features a Mormon family with a mother who is battling cancer, and a daughter who is a child actress.
The actress also wrote a one-woman show titled I’m Glad My Mom Died. The dark comedy is about how her mom’s death went from being the worst thing that happened to her, to the best. “I think the one-woman show would be the most of it,” McCurdy told Faris when asked if she will return to acting.
However difficult the past was for the iCarly actress, the future is looking up. “Truthfully, I feel like I have a point of view and I have a vision and I feel confident in that and we’ll see where things are in a few years,” McCurdy said of her future.
Who knows, maybe we will see McCurdy back in front of the camera some day. But for now, we wish her well on her new journey!