Why Jennette McCurdy Isn’t Returning as Sam in the iCarly Reboot

Jeanette opened up about her experience as a young actress in Hollywood.
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Mar 3, 2021
Image: INSTAGRAM/JENNETTEMCCURDY
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OG Nickelodeon stans would know by now that a reboot of the teen sitcom iCarly is happening! In December 2020, news of Paramount's streaming service CBS All Access picking up the show came out and shook the Internet. The show's OG stars, Miranda Cosgrove who played Carly, Nathan Kress who played Carly's friend and next-door neighbor Freddie, and Jerry Trainor who played Carly's older brother Spencer, are all slated to return to play their roles in the reboot. One notable name from the old cast, however, seems to be missing in the confirmed list of stars: Jennette McCurdy, who played Carly's best friend Sam.

The character Sam played by Jennette got another spinoff crossover series in the form of Sam and Cat, which also featured Cat Valentine from Victorious, another Nickelodeon show, but it wasn't clear if this is connected to Sam's fate in the reboot.

On a recent episode of her podcast Empty Inside featuring guest Anna Faris, Jennette cleared the air and gave hints about why she may not be reprising her role in the upcoming reboot. In the podcast, Jennette opened up about her experience starting out at a young age and eventually going on an acting hiatus. She also shared that she felt "embarrassed" and "unfulfilled" by her past roles.

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"I'm so ashamed of the parts I've done in the past... I resent my career in a lot of ways," she shares. "I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I've played and I felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing. My friends at fifteen weren't like watching this and they're not like, 'Oh cool, you're on this Nickelodeon show.' It was embarrassing."

Jennette also quit on acting a few years ago because it wasn't really her idea to even start doing it in the first place, but her late mother's. "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."

While many viewers enjoyed and admired Jennette's protrayal of her many roles (she's also starred in Law & Order, Will & Grace, and Minor Details, to name a few) acting at a young age for her also felt very limiting and conflicting when it came to distinguishing between her roles and her true self. "I think it [acting] was really detrimental to my own emotional well-being because this character's emotions were the priority," Jennette says. "Like I don't know what I'm actually feeling but I guess I'm the child prostitute this week so I guess I'm sad now."

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While she's taking a break from acting at the moment, Jennette isn't entirely closing herself off from the showbiz industry and might come back to the small and big screens some time in the future. 

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Mylene Mendoza
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