iCarly star Jennette McCurdy reflects on her experience playing food-obsessed Sam while silently suffering from an eating disorder.
iCarly Star Jennette McCurdy reflects on playing the food-obsessed Sam while battling an eating disorder. The Nickelodeon show premiered in 2007, starring Miranda Cosgrove as Carly Shay alongside McCurdy as Sam Puckett. Sam is a clumsy tomboy with an obsession with food, especially fried chicken. With the help of their tech-savvy friend Freddie (Nathan Kress), the pair develop an online web series featuring pranks, talent showcases, and of course random dances. The initial show ran for six seasons, with a revival series airing on Paramount+ in June 2021.
In his new memoirs I’m glad my mother died, McCurdy recounts the pressure she felt from her mother to pursue an acting career at an early age. She recounts the abuse she suffered throughout her time in Hollywood and how growing up in the spotlight affected her self-esteem. McCurdy remembers first feeling discomfort with her body when she entered puberty at age 11. Concerned about aging from younger roles, she turned to her mother for advice on maintaining a boyish physique. McCurdy’s mother encouraged her to start restricting calories which later turned into anorexia.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McCurdy reveals what it was like to play food-obsessed Sam while suffering from an eating disorder. McCurdy explains that at the time of iCarly, it was hard to be associated with a character known for frying and overeating. Now she’s able to see the humor in the juxtaposition between her character and her real-life experiences – stating that it’s comedy gold that something so tragic managed to be polished. Read McCurdy’s full quote below:
“At the time, I struggled with my character being so focused on food, given that I suffered from life-threatening eating disorders. But now I see it as the true gift of the comic gold that it is. That kind of juxtaposition is just absolutely my sense of humor, where there’s something really tragic that’s underlined by something really polished. It’s hilarious.”
McCurdy’s candid description of her history with eating disorders resonated with readers. Fans of both iCarly and her memoir expressed concerns about how damaging this role must have been for her. Throughout her memoir, an abusive figure known as “The Creator” is accused of fostering an inappropriate environment on set. Fans wondered if Sam’s obsession with food was a character detail meant to hurt McCurdy. While she doesn’t confirm or deny this theory, it’s a relief to hear that with some distance, McCurdy is able to find the humor in her pain.
I’m glad my mother died caught the public eye, selling bookstores in its first week. Few celebrity memoirs resonate strongly, a testament to McCurdy’s honesty and skill as a writer. The entertainment industry is under closer scrutiny than ever, especially when it comes to its treatment of women and children. McCurdy’s memoir highlights the immense pressure Hollywood puts on child actors. McCurdy currently considers himself retired and has no plans to return as Sam on Paramount+ iCarly to restart.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter