“iCarly” actress Jennette McCurdy is speaking further about her decision to quit acting.
The 28-year-old, who played Sam Puckett on the Nickelodeon show that ran from 2007 to 2012, says during the latest episode of her “Empty Inside” podcast: “I was a famous 19-year-old and making a bunch of money, and I felt like I had everything at my fingertips.
“But I was deeply unhappy, and I actually really resented my life because I didn’t like the projects that I was a part of,” E! News reports.
McCurdy, who previously admitted she was “embarrassed” by her roles, goes on, “It’s a difficult thing to say because the shows that I was on were so loved by so many people and so many kids, and I hear constantly, ‘You made my childhood.’
“And I think that’s great that they had that experience. But that just was not my experience, and I felt a lot of shame—that I wasn’t able to identify at the time—because I didn’t like waltzing onto an over-lit, cheesy set and shouting a line. It felt so pointless and shallow.”
McCurdy, who also reprised her Sam Puckett role on “Sam & Cat” opposite Ariana Grande, says she felt “very different from the character that I was playing,” causing her to be unsure of her own identity.
“To be known globally for this thing that’s not really me, it was just like, ‘What the f**k am I doing?’ How do I even find myself when I’m 19, and I’ve been famous for all the years that I would normally be stumbling through finding myself, yet I’m known as a thing that I’m not. It just was—’hellish’, I think, is not too intense of a word.”
The star, who lost her mom Debra to cancer in 2013, says she made the decision to quit after her loss. However, her representation team was reportedly not onboard.
McCurdy recalls how she made up her mind to “leave this career that my agents and my managers and everybody I know is telling me I’d be crazy to leave. ‘How can you walk away from this? Are you kidding, do you have any idea how many people want you have?’ But it didn’t matter because I didn’t want it—it just wasn’t true to me. And walking away was really difficult, but it was something that I needed to do for my mental health and for my overall peace. And it was difficult. I didn’t know what to do with myself when I didn’t have things that always dictated my identity around anymore.”
She adds that since she’s been exploring other pursuits, such as writing, directing, and podcasting, she is no longer “living this lie”: “I’m living a life that’s in accordance with who I am, and that feels a million times better.”
McCurdy’s name was not included on the list of returning cast members when plans of an “iCarly” reboot were announced in December.