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Jennette McCurdy Reveals Why She Quit Acting: ‘I Resent My Career’

Jennette McCurdy
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Jennette McCurdy revealed on the Season 2 premiere of her podcast, “Empty Inside,” why she’s done with acting.

“I resent my career in a lot of ways,” she said. “I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most just cheesy, embarrassing… I imagine there’s a very different experience to be had with acting if you’re proud of your roles.”

The former Nickelodeon star opened up on the Feb. 24 episode of “Empty Inside,” which featured guest Anna Faris. Their discussion spanned the inauthenticity of talk shows, rejection and early acting gigs.

Faris reflected on industry difficulties, but eventually concluded she was starting to feel the acting “itch” again. She asked if McCurdy has ever felt rewarded by a character she played.

“I’m so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past,” McCurdy said. “I get that this answer is super unlikable.”

Now 28, McCurdy is best known for her role as Sam Puckett on Nickelodeon’s “iCarly,” who was the best friend of Miranda Cosgrove’s titular Carly. She later played Sam in an “iCarly”-“Victorious” spinoff called “Sam & Cat” alongside Ariana Grande, but the show only lasted one season.

In sharing their early career stories, McCurdy recalled a memory from when she was 10 years old. Her mom was yelling at her agent because the agent didn’t get McCurdy an audition for 2005’s “Because of Winn-Dixie.” The agent was on speaker phone, so McCurdy heard them say she didn’t get the audition because she was “homely” and not an “ethereal beauty.”

“I quit a few years ago because I initially didn’t want to do it,” McCurdy explained. “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.”

Acting was always difficult for McCurdy and by the time she got her nerves under control and started to gain traction in her career, her mom died.

“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.”

She considers her one-woman, self-written show from last February, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” a one-time occurrence, indicating she will likely not join the “iCarly” revival in the works at Paramount Plus.

“If it were a director I really admired or someone whose work I really admired, then I would be so excited,” McCurdy said. “But just because of my past and the auditions that would come across my eyes, I was like OK well this is what the industry sees me as and I don’t want to do that.”