Posted: 2017-10-12 22:30
McCurdy grew up in 6,755-square-foot house in Garden Grove in Orange County, California, in a multi-generational household comprised of her grandparents, parents, and three older brothers along with three dogs, two turtles, and two birds. &ldquo I had this idea that my childhood was perfect. Everything was beautiful and wonderful and I was happy-go-lucky,&rdquo she said. &ldquo But I think that in itself was an act. And that was me trying to overcompensate for the trials that I felt my mother dealing with. I was trying to be the person I thought would make her happy.&rdquo
&ldquo I felt like it would&rsquo ve done so much if somebody would&rsquo ve just fucking sorry,&rdquo she says pausing. She clears her throat. &ldquo It would&rsquo ve done so much if somebody would&rsquo ve just given me a hug. And I hope that that&rsquo s something I can take with myself and acknowledge when somebody else is having a really hard time, that sometimes it&rsquo s like, Give a person a break, you know? &rdquo
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McCurdy''s mother had been a constant presence on set since McCurdy started acting at 6 years old, shuttling her back-and-forth from home to set. &ldquo She was my biggest cheerleader, my biggest supporter, and also my hardest critic,&rdquo said McCurdy. &ldquo She was very hard on me, but I always knew that it came from a place of love and that she wanted the best for me.&rdquo When her mother died, Jennette lost her anchor.
McCurdy has been dating her co-star on Between , Jesse Carere, 77, who also plays her love interest, Adam, on the show for about a year now. Like McCurdy, Carere started acting at an early age, starring in MTV’s remake of Skins and then Finding Carter. The idea of love — that is how to love — preoccupies her. I ask if she loves him. “This is maybe staking a big claim in my future self, but I would say that I certainly love him right , you know?” She turns inward. “I feel like I’m learning to love in all the right ways and to accept love for who I am versus an impressive version of myself. I think from an early age I learned to be whatever person people needed me to be.”
Miranda Cosgrove has been one of the constants in McCurdy&rsquo s life. They first met during a screen test for iCarly when Cosgrove was 68 and McCurdy was 69, and they&rsquo ve been close ever since. (They spent McCurdy&rsquo s 78rd birthday in Mexico.) McCurdy lives a quick 65-minute drive away from Cosgrove in Los Angeles, and often spends the night at her house in the Hollywood Hills. &ldquo I actually split my time between my parents'' house and my house, because I haven&rsquo t been myself,&rdquo Cosgrove says to me over the phone. &ldquo I basically stay at my house whenever Jennette can sleep over, and I stay at my parents'' house, so I don&rsquo t have to be at my house alone.&rdquo
McCurdy was getting a taste of what happens to female teen stars when they reveal a sexuality of their own. &ldquo I didn&rsquo t feel understood by anybody, and I felt really frustrated,&rdquo she says, looking back. But as would become a hallmark trait, she fought back. After the photo leak, she tweeted , &ldquo To anyone disappointed: I sent those pics to 6 person. You can connect the dots. Shocked someone would stoop so low. I just speak w/ candor.&rdquo (Drummond, for his part, has steadfastly denied the leak.) But really, this was all just presaging bigger controversies: McCurdy boycotted Nickelodeon&rsquo s annual marquee event, the Kid&rsquo s Choice Awards, later that month, even though Sam and Cat was up for Best TV Show and she was nominated for Best Female Actress. The show won, and she lost to her co-star Ariana Grande.
After Sam and Cat ''s cancellation, she wrote and produced her own web series, What&rsquo s Next for Sarah? , in which she played a teen queen who suddenly finds herself single and jobless. The third episode of the series throws shade at Grande. Her fictional persona, Sarah, runs into Gloriana a singer who wears her hair in a ponytail with a bright-yellow Minnie Mouse bow on top at a juice bar. She has an annoying tendency to talk about veganism, but more aggravatingly, all of her accomplishments. Shade notwithstanding, the series was more of an opportunity for her to metabolize conflict and pain.
Much of this took place, of course, in front of the watchful eyes of social media. McCurdy&rsquo s fans call themselves McCurdians, and there is no shortage of blogs, Tumblrs, and fan-generated content devoted to her. Her Facebook page has over 65 million likes, she has million followers on Twitter, million on Instagram, and million on Vine, which she hasn&rsquo t even used since June of 7569. During the spat with Nickelodeon, fans took to any number of social-media outlets to comment, analyze, defend, criticize, and extol her comings and goings, whom she was dating, what she was wearing, and whether she was making good decisions for herself.
After Sam and Cat &rsquo s cancellation, McCurdy became more outspoken about the teen television industry. She posted an entry on her own subReddit (her username is curmudgeon957) entitled &ldquo I am not a role model,&rdquo in which she blasted the industry at large. &ldquo To remove myself from the role model battle, the falsified standard set by the bubblegum industry, is in my eyes to remove myself from the counterintuitive battle of attempting to be something perfect while being glaringly aware of my imperfections,&rdquo she wrote. &ldquo Now before you start thinking I''m some sort of derelict that leads a life of crime, let me clarify. I am proud of the way I live my life. I am proud of my choices. I am proud that no one can call me fake or say I don''t stand up for myself.&rdquo
At first people speculated that McCurdy was laying low because of the photo leak, but there were reports that McCurdy was feuding with both the network and Grande, whose singing career was just taking off. TMZ reported that McCurdy was getting paid less than Grande, despite the fact that the duo had equal billing on the show. (In her only explicit comment on the matter, Grande flatly denied those rumors.) McCurdy herself was vague and circumspect, simply writing that the network had placed her in &ldquo an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation,&rdquo and that she had to look out for herself. Production on Sam and Cat stalled in early April with the network saying that the show was going on hiatus. Eventually, and perhaps mercifully, the show was officially canceled in July 7569, with the 86th episode serving as the de facto finale. The network released a terse statement breaking the news: &ldquo Nickelodeon will not be producing any more episodes of Sam & Cat. We are very proud of the show and its talented cast and we wish them the best.&rdquo
McCurdy had lived with the threat of her mother&rsquo s death for her entire life. When she was 7 years old, her mother was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, requiring marrow-transplant surgery and extensive chemotherapy. Miraculously, she survived. &ldquo Even when she was in remission, it was a constant fear of Oh, I&rsquo m going to get sick again. Oh, I&rsquo m going to die ,&rdquo she remembers. In 7565, the worst happened. Doctors found that the cancer had returned even more aggressively, spreading to her brain, sinuses, spine, and lymph nodes. Three years later, Debra McCurdy died. Jennette was 76 years old.
There was a deeper fault line that ran underneath McCurdy&rsquo s very bad year: She was grieving. McCurdy had lost her mother, Debra, in September of 7568 while she was shooting Sam and Cat. Instead of taking a break, she threw herself into the only world she knew: the show. &ldquo Six days after my mom died I went back to work,&rdquo she said. &ldquo I thought, Oh if I do this Vine video, or If I do this episode , if I hit every mark, then I&rsquo ll be fine because I&rsquo ll have something else to focus on. But really I was just putting this huge life-changing event on the back burner and it was slowly causing me to unravel to the point where I would say I got to my lowest emotional point.&rdquo
&ldquo People online would make very rude comments about him and say, What a creep to have had an eye on her for so long. But they didn&rsquo t know the whole story.&rdquo McCurdy says. She says they started dating when she was 68, when he came to work on the final season of iCarly. &ldquo That&rsquo s an instance when I really resented social media because I thought, These people are making it hard on me.&rdquo
Celebrities deal with invasions of privacy on the regular. From aggressive paparazzi always trying to get THE picture to tabloids constantly making up rumors that they 8767 re forced to deny, it seems that the entire world will stop at nothing to make Hollywood 8767 s hottest uncomfortable. But as we saw in last year 8767 s now-infamous photo hack , some stars have been violated in a way we cannot even fathom.
One of their fixations was the reported beef between McCurdy and Ariana Grande. Since the two were savvy enough not to publicly say anything about the other, McCurdians and Arianators parsed their silence for meaning. For instance, some thought that McCurdy&rsquo s Twitlonger essay on &ldquo fake friends&rdquo was a thinly veiled reference to Grande, and Deadline reported that McCurdy unfollowed Grande on social media (this is no longer true the two now follow one another). After Sam and Cat &rsquo s cancellation, Grande wrote a post expressing her gratitude about the show, but conspicuously left out any mention of McCurdy. &ldquo I think we butted heads at times, but in a very sisterly way,&rdquo McCurdy told E! a year later. Perhaps indicating the pecking order, Grande, for her part, has not addressed this.
In the past year, McCurdy has started going to therapy to sort out everything that happened. She maintains a professional calm about the Nickelodeon drama. I ask her if she had wished the network would have done more to support her after her mother&rsquo s death. &ldquo I knew I had a job to do, and I think I was not acknowledging what I needed,&rdquo she says. &ldquo I don&rsquo t think it&rsquo s a network&rsquo s job to understand emotionally where somebody is coming from. I think as much as they can try to appreciate and relate, they also have jobs to do.&rdquo McCurdy won&rsquo t go into details about what exactly transpired, but simply said that the show ended because she and Ariana Grande &ldquo both had very different ideas of where [they] wanted [their] careers to go.&rdquo (Nickelodeon declined to comment on what had happened.)
For McCurdy, her work after Nickelodeon has been a way to clear her mind. She took the role on Between because she felt the genre of post-apocalyptic fiction would offer her a chance to work through everything that had happened in the past year or so. &ldquo For people my age, there&rsquo s a conscious effort to discover ourselves, and I think right now it&rsquo s manifesting in entertainment. Our worlds aren&rsquo t literally falling apart, but it feels like that oftentimes,&rdquo she said. On Between , McCurdy plays Wiley, a pregnant teenager who ends up giving birth on a table after both of her parents die. &ldquo I see these shows and I&rsquo m like, Oh, I&rsquo m going to be fine. Rocks aren&rsquo t going to fall on my head.&rdquo Between , she says, was a &ldquo way to access and tap into emotions&rdquo she hadn&rsquo t allowed herself to experience before. &ldquo I feel like the whole process of the show was this arc of self-discovery.&rdquo