ENTERTAINMENT

Jennette McCurdy Confirms She Quit Acting: 'I’m So Ashamed Of The Parts I’ve Done'

The former "iCarly" star opened up about why she left acting after her mother died and feeling "unfulfilled by the roles that I played."
Jennette McCurdy arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Passengers" on Dec. 14, 2016.
Jennette McCurdy arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Passengers" on Dec. 14, 2016.

Jennette McCurdy has confirmed that she’s done with acting and opened up about the complicated feelings she has about her past career.

The former “iCarly” star, who hosts “Empty Inside,” recently talked with actor Anna Faris on the podcast. Among other topics, McCurdy discussed why she quit acting “a few years ago to try my hand at writing and directing.”

“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, I guess, 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,” she explained.

The 28-year-old went on to say that her nerves had made acting “difficult,” but that getting them “under control was when I started to actually get some traction.” She also shared that it was only after her mom passed away in 2013 that she “ultimately quit” acting because “a lot of her ideas for my life” died with her “and that was its own journey, and a difficult one for sure.”

McCurdy, who fans have been hoping would participate in a revival of “iCarly,” revealed that she’s “so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past.”

“I resent my career in a lot of ways. I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing. I did the shows that I was on from like 13 to 21, and by 15, I was already embarrassed. My friends at 15, they’re not like, ‘Oh, cool, you’re on this Nickelodeon show.’ It was embarrassing. And 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,” she said.

Despite her desire to leave acting behind, McCurdy didn’t rule out the possibility of returning to the screen at some point in the future. She said that she’d be open to it if the opportunity to work with a director she “really admired” arose.

“I feel like I have a point of view and I have a vision. We’ll see where things are in a few years,” she said.

McCurdy has been very open with fans about the various struggles she’s faced in the limelight, particularly her battle with disordered eating. In an essay for HuffPost in 2019, she wrote: “My disordered eating started when I was 11. As a child actress working in Hollywood, I quickly learned that remaining physically small for my age meant I had a better chance of booking more roles.”

In that piece, she talked about grappling with anorexia and bulimia and later the process of recovery. “Identifying my eating disorder voice was the most pivotal aspect of my recovery. I had to learn to understand this thing in and out,” she wrote.

McCurdy concluded the essay with a note of hope: “I still get eating disorder urges, compulsions and occasional fantasies. I still hear that old eating disorder voice, but luckily I hear it less and less often. And when I do hear it, I now have the tools to muffle it.”