Between new storylines with familiar faces – including a Spencer cursing and a Freddie with a stepdaughter – there's a lot to expect when Jan. iCarly Restart premieres on Paramount +. Unfortunately, it doesn't include Carly's best friend and one of the original characters, Sam. According to two recent episodes of her podcast Empty insideHis actress Jennette McCurdy, who played Sam, will not be with the restart. McCurdy has retired from acting and has no interest in returning, least of all iCarly Universe.
In an open conversation with child actor Karan Brar, McCurdy revealed this iCarly Producer Dan Schneider created a “hell of a” work environment that damaged her mental health so badly that it was difficult to get on set. According to McCurdy, not only was he abusive to the young female actresses, he also had an undue obsession with their feet. McCurdy chose not to go into details beyond that, but shared, "I was a famous 19 year old and made a ton of money and I felt like I had everything on hand for my life."
McCurdy was in not just one but two of Schneider's shows – iCarly of course, and its spin-off and Victorious Crossover series Sam & Cat. Looking back on her decision, she wishes she'd gotten out much sooner. “I'm so ashamed of the roles I've played in the past. I get annoyed with my career in a lot of ways, ”she shared on another episode while talking to Anna Faris about her Nickelodeon career. When speaking of one iCarly When restarted, McCurdy decided to put her mental health first for once.
Schneider does not return as a producer for that iCarly Fresh start, McCurdy still doesn't want to relive her teenage memories from the show every time she leaves on set, nor does she want to return to acting in general. Miranda Cosgrove, who plays Carly, is now the show's producer, and their friendship is one of the few parts of their Nickelodeon experience that McCurdy fondly remembers, telling Brar. Given that Cosgrove and McCurdy are best friends and even neighbors to this day, it's safe to say that Cosgrove and the production team fully understand McCurdy's decision not to return. "Leaving was really difficult, but it was something I had to do for my mental health and general peace," McCurdy admitted to Faris on her podcast.
McCurdy may not have any plans to get back into acting, but she's hoping to start writing and directing instead, though it's a huge challenge for her given her mother's death. "When she died, a lot of her ideas for my life somehow died, and that was a journey of its own and a difficult one for sure," she explained on the episode with Faris. It might be disappointing for you iCarly Fans that Sam won't be returning to the show, but considering that McCurdy basically sacrificed her childhood to make good television for the rest of us, it's time to do the best for her – Team Jennette All the Way.