Nickelodeon Vet Jennette McCurdy Candidly Explained Her Jealousy Of Co-Star Ariana Grande, And How Tom Hanks Played Into It

Tom Hanks, Sam and Cat
(Image credit: Nickelodeon/NBC)

Former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy has been opening up about myriad topics in recent weeks as part of press for her memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, but the latest may be a doozy for Nickelodeon fans. In fact, the star revealed the true feelings she had about her Sam and Cat co-star Ariana Grande during the filming of the show. The last straw? Tom Hanks apparently. 

Jennette McCurdy recently published the aforementioned memoir; in it the iCarly star talks candidly about her life as a child actress on Nickelodeon. She describes her experience as negative, especially during production on the iCarly and Victorious spin off, Sam and Cat.

While filming Sam and Cat, Ariana Grande was becoming an increasingly famous pop star. She was missing filming days for the Nickelodeon show to perform at awards shows, record her music, and do promotional press for projects outside of the series. Jennette McCurdy claims she was not afforded the same opportunities, and resents that she didn’t speak up about unequal treatment. She writes (via ET Online):

Maybe my life would be entirely different right now. I fantasize about it being different. But it’s not different. It’s this. This is what it is. Ariana misses work in pursuit of her music career while I act with a box. I’m pissed about it. And I’m pissed at her. Jealous of her.

While it was hard for the former Nickelodeon star to miss out on the opportunities her co-star was getting, her breaking point wasn’t a photo shoot or a musical performance. Instead, she wrote it was a particular invite to family game night at Tom Hanks’ house. 

Pop star success I could handle, but hanging out with Sheriff Woody, with Forrest Fucking Gump? This has gone too far…. So now, every time she misses work, it feels like a personal attack. Every time something exciting happens to her, I feel like she robbed me of having that experience myself.

The former Nickelodeon star’s new memoir has sparked many headlines due to a plethora of revelations about the long-rumored behind-the-scenes Nickelodeon dynamics, as well as I'm Glad My Mom Died's striking title. During press for the book, she’s also talked about her lack of reverence for her early acting work in general, so these newest revelations shouldn't come as a total surprise. 

Due to her negative experience, Jennette McCurdy has stepped away from acting altogether, and has opted out of participating in the iCarly reboot currently streaming on Paramount+. The show has replaced the “Sam” character with a new best friend for Miranda Cosgrove’s “Carly.”

If you want to hear more revelations about Jennette McCurdy’s time at Nickelodeon, you can buy her memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, out now. Additionally, all seasons of iCarly and Sam and Cat are streaming now for Paramount+ subscribers.

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.