A Talk with Jennette McCurdy
Jennette McCurdy (left) with costar Miranda Cosgrove (right). Jennette plays Sam on the hit show iCarly. (Lisa Rose/Nickelodeon)
Q: What made you want to act?
Jennette: Well, I had gone to the theater to see Star Wars: Episode 1 and after it was over, I turned to my Mom and said, “Mom, I want to be in the movies.” I was really shy, so she kept telling me that I couldn’t do it. She said that an actor was the kind of person who can just get out there and put shyness aside and do whatever you need to do. I said, “No, I’ll do it if I need to do it. I won’t be shy.” I bugged her for over a year, asking, “Whatever happened with that agent? Did you get me an agent yet?” And, finally, I got one.
Q: What is special about acting for you?
Jennette: Just that you get to put yourself into so many different situations. I’ve had so many cool, not cool, and sad moments in my life and it’s great to put them into a character and become someone that you might never be.
Q: And what was your first professional job?
Jennette: My first was for MAD TV. It was on my first audition, so it was even more exciting.
Q: Do you want to continue acting as an adult?
Jennette: Definitely. And I’d love to go behind the scenes too. I’d love to direct, write, and produce.
Q: What’s your best subject in school?
Jennette: English is definitely my best subject. I love any form of writing. I’m constantly writing. I can entertain myself for hours with a notepad and a pen.
Q: Do you want to pursue that?
Jennette: Yeah! I actually wrote my first screenplay. It needs a lot of editing now, though. I was 10 when I wrote it.
Q: In your spare time, what do you like to do?
Jennette: I skate as often as I can. I also do karate and I dance. I do hip-hop, tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical.
Q: Who would you like to work with if you could pick anyone?
Jennette: I would love to work with Johnny Depp. I think he’s the coolest. He’s awesome. And Meryl Streep is absolutely amazing. Doing a movie with her would be the best. I’d freak out.
Q: Tell us about iCarly.
Jennette: iCarly is about a girl, Carly, who has this really cool web show iCarly with her best friend, Sam, and their technical producer is this boy named Freddy. Carly’s older brother Spencer even helps out here and there too. It’s a fun show that I think kids will love.
Q: Tell us about your character, Sam.
Jennette: Sam’s fun. She’s really fun to play. She’s tough and funny. She really has a biting wit. She can think of the coolest comebacks. Sometimes they can be a little nasty, but she’s really nice and she really cares for her friends.
Q: Do you think Sam would be a friend of yours in real life?
Jennette: Oh, definitely. I’m a lot like Sam. She’s more exaggerated than I am, but she’s pretty cool.
Q: What do you like most about being on the set of iCarly?
Jennette: I really think it’s cool how each week the shows are so different and there’s so much to offer. We have a great time with Nathan and Miranda on set. We have a ton of fun. We have these little handshakes that we think of and we’ll sing songs and make music videos for the songs that we like and we have a great time in school. It’s just such a great experience.
Q: Do you remember what your favorite book was when you were a little kid?
Jennette: When I was really little, I loved the Dr. Seuss books. I also loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I think I liked it so much because it’s such a happy book with such a positive message too and because Willy Wonka is such an awesome character.
Q: What about now? Do you have an all-time favorite book?
Jennette: I love the Harry Potter series. I love Beowulf, which I recently read for school. I thought it was an awesome book.
Q: If you could create a flavor of ice cream, what would be in it and what would you call it?
Jennette: My Mom makes these delicious butterscotch oatmeal cookies and it’s delicious. So I would have vanilla ice cream with butterscotch chips and oatmeal cookie bits and I would call it Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie.