'iCarly' Star Jennette McCurdy Is "Embarrassed" By Her Nickelodeon Career

by Ani Bundel
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Fans of iCarly have a major reason to get excited about Paramount+'s arrival. The streaming service, formerly known as CBS All Access, officially changes names on Thursday, March 4. The retitling isn't just for marketing; it marks the streamer's move from exclusively CBS-based programming to a more expansive repertoire that includes all of Viacom's holdings, including Nickelodeon. As part of the streamer's new lineup, the popular Nick show iCarly is coming back for a reboot. But not everyone in the cast will return. On a recent podcast episode, Jennette McCurdy revealed she quit acting, leaving fans with little hope that she'll return as Sam Puckett.

Samantha "Sam" Puckett was Carly Shay's BFF when the iCarly show begins and, as such, was the co-host of Carly's show-within-a-show. The character was so popular, McCurdy was even given a spinoff to headline with Ariana Grande (fresh off her Victorious run), Sam and Cat, which ran two seasons from 2013-2014.

With that sort of history, one would assume Sam is a significant part of the returning cast for the iCarly revival. Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor, and Nathan Kress have all announced their return so far. But McCurdy will not be joining them. On a recent episode of her podcast Empty Inside, she revealed she has no plans to return to acting.

"I quit a few years ago to try my hand and writing and directing," McCurdy said on the Feb. 24 episode of her podcast. "I quit a few years ago because I initially didn't want to do it. My mom put me in it when I was 6 and by sort of age ... 10 or 11, I was the main financial support for my family. 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."

The former child star also revealed she was never comfortable in front of the camera, nor was she fulfilled by the work she did. "My experience with acting is, I'm so ashamed of the parts I've done in the past," McCurdy said. "I resent my career in a lot of ways. I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played ... I did the shows that I was on from, like, 13 to 21, and by 15, I was already embarrassed ... I imagine there's a very different experience to be had with acting if you're proud of your roles and if you feel fulfilled by them."

Now that McCurdy is an adult, she's finding other career avenues to explore. "I quit a few years ago to try my hand and writing and directing—it's going great," she said on her podcast. But how the iCarly writers plan to handle her (and her character Sam's) absence from the reboot remains to be seen.