Jennette McCurdy, who you probably know as the meat-loving, prank-pulling, hilarious tomboy Sam Puckett on Nickelodeon's iCarly, is a girl on a mission. She's partnering with Pinnacle Foods' "iCarly iCook with Birds Eye" program to show kids that veggies are cool. I caught up with Jennette to find out how she plans on convincing Gibby to eat a vegetable taco, how hard it was to say goodbye to her fellow cast members on iCarly, and why she would like to kidnap One Direction's Louis Tomlinson.
Sam Koppelman: You just turned 20. Looking back, do you have any piece of advice that you would give your teenage self?
Jennette McCurdy: Well, now, after being 20 for two weeks, I am in a rightful position to talk on this matter [laugh]. Something I wish I would have known as a teenager... hmmm. I still need to really, really, really work on this, but not sweating the small stuff. I get stressed out really easily. Sometimes I'll let little things get to me. Or I'll make a big deal out of little things. I'd work on that and wish I had worked on that sooner.
How would you describe your teenage self in one word?
In one word?
Salty. I think everything can use a little salt. I think salt is a mindset... Salt is an overall viewpoint and that would definitely be my teenage self.
You've been featured in Seventeen magazine. There was recently a big petition against airbrushing in that magazine. What do you think about magazines in general using Photoshop and airbrushing their models?
I personally have gone to photo shoots and see the pictures afterwards, and I don't look like me because I'm just so airbrushed and so, kind of, fake and almost plastic-looking, you know? I think it's misleading and it's not good representation of anybody in the magazines and it's not a good message to send to people reading the magazines because they might think people actually look like that... I wouldn't mind having a magazine that didn't use airbrushing. That would be cool. However, I do read Seventeen. Frequently. And I like it.
Last season on iCarly, you kidnapped Zayn from One Direction. If you could kidnap any one of the boys in that band in real life, who would it be?
Oh jeez. If I could kidnap someone from One Direction... I would kidnap Louis, because I love his suspenders and would like to borrow them in real life.
Since you love doing covers, are you planning on joining the likes of Cookie Monster, Jimmy Fallon and Colin Powell and performing a "Call Me Maybe" cover any time soon?
It's funny you should mention that. I'm not kidding you, the last song I was playing before you called was "Call Me Maybe." My other idea is "One Less Lonely Girl." Maybe we should do a poll on it.
One of your hit singles is entitled "Generation Love." What do you think makes us "Generation Love?" Why do you think we'll be remembered that way?
I think that our generation is a generation of smart young people who are attempting to do big things. I have so many friends who just have big dreams and they work their butts off every day to try to make these things happen and so long as we keep that mindset and remember others, I think we'll be good.
So, do you want to tell me a little about your project with Birds Eye and why it's important to you?
I have this new campaign encouraging kids to eat more vegetables. The goal of this whole campaign is telling kids that eating vegetables can be a cool thing. They don't have to be gross. You can do fun things with them -- make them tasty and learn to love them!
That's an awesome goal. What are your some of your favorite healthy snacks?
I am a huge fan of the apple. All types. I have usually one or two apples a day. I love mango slices. As for veggies, I love stuffing myself with everything. I love carrot sticks. I love any vegetable grilled. I think veggies are so yummy when they're grilled.
What's the number-one health tip you would give to our readers?
My number-one health tip would be to employ the 80-20 rule. If you're good 80 percent of the time, if you get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and for the most part you eat very healthy, then 20 percent of the time you can be more lenient and go easy on yourself.
I read that the fan of yours who submits the craziest veggie successor to the spaghetti taco will get a chance to come on iCarly (which, by the way, is pretty awesome incentive for eating veggies). But here's my question: How are you planning on getting Gibby to eat a vegetable taco?
[Laughs.] I think that, jeez, as Sam, I can do anything by threatening a good ole punch to the schnozz. I think she would say, "Eat your vegetables or I'll punch you." And he would eat them.
Good plan. So iCarly ends this fall. What are you going to miss most about the show? The cast? The crew? Your character?
All of the above. I will miss the cast so much. I plan on seeing all of them frequently. I've seen Miranda Cosgrove several times since we wrapped. I love them all and hopefully I'll hang out with them frequently, but just not seeing them all at the same place at the same time every day... It's like graduating high school or something, you know?