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Cosgrove eyes college, comedy in bright future

'iCarly' 100th Episode

Spending five formative teen years as the star of “iCarly,” Miranda Cosgrove has grown up in front of audiences worldwide. And sometimes, the parallels between her life and the adventures of Carly Shay have been striking.

For the 2008 episode “iSaw Him First,” Carly had her first onscreen kiss, and Cosgrove’s first off the set soon followed.

“In real life, I had my first kiss a week later,” she says. “It’s funny how I actually go through a lot of things my character goes through on the show.”

With nearly 2 million followers on Twitter, Cosgrove has become a teen favorite along with her hit Nick show. Already a successful actress and musician at age 19, she looks ahead to a future of college books and big comedies.

For her first major gig, the young thesp acted in the pilot for Dan Schneider’s “Drake & Josh.” After wrapping the episode, she flew to New York to shoot the movie that would draw her notice, the 2003 Jack Black-led “School of Rock.” Cosgrove played band manager and know-it-all Summer Hathaway.

“Working with Jack Black was the first time I ever really loved acting,” she says. “I feel like a lot of what we do on ‘iCarly,’ I learned from just watching him for the five months I did that movie.”

After the pic’s success, she largely focused on four seasons worth of the successful “Drake & Josh.” But at the tail of the series, Nickelodeon and Schneider approached Cosgrove about doing her own show, “iCarly.”

In the ensuing years, Cosgrove learned to drive and, more impressively, embarked on a successful music career. She hit it big with her show’s theme song “Leave It All to Me,” and her first album “Sparks Fly” debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard album chart.

Cosgrove sees dramatic differences between her acting and music performing careers, specifically going on tour.

“When we’re doing the show, we’re just in this little soundstage, and you don’t really get a good idea of how many people are watching,” she says. “Being on stage in front of thousands of people, it’s a whole different energy.”

In the fall, Cosgrove will study theater at USC. With counselors advising her on scheduling, she hopes to balance acting and schooling.

She noted the opportunity to accrue class credit for acting jobs. But more than anything, she is excited to hit the books alongside peers after being homeschooled since sixth grade.

“It’s going to be really cool to get to be around a bunch of people my age,” she says. “I just loved elementary school, and I love learning.”

Cosgrove also looks ahead to furthering her career in Hollywood. She’s willing to try new genres, but more than anything, she wants to pursue comedy. Thesp hopes to someday topline a great comedy, perhaps a project like a Judd Apatow production, and follow in the footsteps of Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey and Emma Stone.

“There are a lot of really cool girl comedians right now getting more attention,” she says. “If I could do anything, I’d really like to make people laugh.”

“iCarly” 100th Episode
‘iCarly’ has friends in far-flung places | Memorable moments for the ‘iCarly’ supporting cast | Schneider’s passion for TV is unyielding | Cosgrove eyes college, comedy in bright future |

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