Jennette McCurdy says she still gets physically ‘triggered’ by association with iCarly

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy has shared that she feels “shame” when people associate her with her early project, iCarly.

The actor, who last year shocked the world with her critically acclaimed tell-all memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, has now started her own podcast, titled Hard Feelings.

In the first episode, McCurdy spoke about how she had hoped the book would distance her from the role of Sam Puckett, the character she played as a teenager on iCarly and spin-off Sam and Cat. However, this hasn’t been the case, she said.

McCurdy explained: “I literally feel like my body tightens just saying them... These show titles, my ears burn when I’m saying them. I have so much shame around having been a part of them. And anybody who has read my book I know understands.”

Writing in her book, the 31-year-old claimed that she was “exploited” as a young actor on Nickelodeon shows. The former child star said that there were “cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn’t know what they were doing”, but added that there were also cases when older people around her “knew exactly what they were doing”.

Releasing the book, McCurdy explained on the podcast, was particularly significant as it allowed her to feel seen by people beyond her young characters.

“It’s so meaningful to me in such a deep way because I felt like finally, I don’t have to carry that shame of my past,” she said. “Finally, I can be known for something that I do as an adult… It kind of washed away that shame, for me.”

McCurdy (right) with her ‘iCarly’ co-star Miranda Cosgrove in 2008 (Getty)
McCurdy (right) with her ‘iCarly’ co-star Miranda Cosgrove in 2008 (Getty)

However, the star explained that she had had to grapple with that feeling again when an audience member at a book event yelled out a reference to the character while she was on stage.

“I thought the success of the book would be enough. When is it gonna be enough for them to forget Sam? When is it gonna be enough for them to stop associating me with the f***ing shows I did when I was 13?” she said.

In the end, unpacking the “triggering” moment in therapy allowed her to realise that “the more popular that Sam got, the more I just felt unseen as Jennette and fundamentally, I think that was coming from not being able to see myself”.

McCurdy was first cast opposite Miranda Cosgrove in teen drama iCarly in 2007. She then went on to appear with Ariana Grande in spin-off show Sam and Cat, with Grande playing Cat Valentine.

McCurdy released her memoir last year (Getty Images)
McCurdy released her memoir last year (Getty Images)

In her memoir, McCurdy alleges she was “photographed in a bikini at a wardrobe fitting” while filming the show and was “encouraged to drink alcohol by an intimidating figure” she refers to as “the Creator”.

McCurdy said that her late mother Debra, who died in 2013, was present during these alleged moments. However, she didn’t get involved as she believed this was what happened in the acting industry.

After the show was cancelled, Nickelodeon allegedly offered McCurdy $300,000 (£248,000) to keep her alleged experiences to herself – but she says she turned the sum down.

Following the book’s release, Nickelodeon’s former president of content and production defended the company’s top producer and writer Dan Schneider, saying that he “cared about the kids on his shows, even when their own families did not”.

He added that “nothing went on [during the shows] without the company knowing”.