Getting honest. Over the years, former Nickelodeon stars have opened up about their journey as child actors at the network — and not everyone had the same experience.
Jennette McCurdy shocked her fans when she revealed that she wasn’t thrilled about her time on iCarly.
“I did the shows that I was on from like 13 to 21, and by 15, I was already embarrassed. My friends at 15 weren’t like ‘Oh, cool, you’re on this Nickelodeon show.’ It was embarrassing,” the actress, who played Sam Puckett, admitted during an episode of her “Empty Inside” podcast in March 2021. “I imagine there’s a very different experience to be had with acting if you’re proud of your roles.”
At the time, McCurdy recalled feeling “pointless and shallow” which led to her taking a break from acting. “I quit a few years ago because I initially didn’t want to do it,” she added. “I’m 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 [thing].”
The former child star later elaborated on her ups and downs with Hollywood in her memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died. “My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited,” she told The New York Times in August 2022. “It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it. There were cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn’t know what they were doing. And also cases where they did — they knew exactly what they were doing.”
Meanwhile, Jamie Lynn Spears had a more positive memory of the Zoey 101 set after starring in the lead role from 2005 to 2008. “The show attracted some of the best professionals in the business. The creator and director, Dan Schneider, was exacting and insisted on professionalism,” she wrote in her Things I Should Have Said memoir in January 2022.
Spears noted that Schneider “recognized [her] talent” and “was the driving force” behind her involvement in the project. The Mississippi native also praised the producer for knowing “how to get just what he needed from a rambunctious group of teens who thought that they were all that.”
Schneider previously made headlines after being accused of inappropriate misconduct during his time at the network. (The screenwriter parted ways with Nickelodeon in 2018 after a long-term partnership.)
The Tennessee native has repeatedly denied any allegations against him, telling The New York Times in July 2021, “The comedy was totally innocent. … I never interacted with actors in any way, texting or otherwise, that should make anyone uncomfortable.”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Scroll down for former Nickelodeon stars’ most candid comments about the network: