Jennette McCurdy is sharing why she was jealous of Ariana Grande. In her new memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, the 30-year-old former actress candidly shares her complicated feelings about her “Sam & Cat” co-star. The pair appeared on the Nickelodeon series for one season, which aired between 2013 and 2014.
In her memoir, McCurdy refers to Grande as “a burgeoning pop star” who “regularly” missed filming “to go sing at award shows, record new songs, and do press for her upcoming album,” all while McCurdy had to “angrily hold down the fort.”
While McCurdy writes that she does “understand” why Grande missed work, she didn’t get why the singer was “allowed to,” largely because, McCurdy claims, she was not afforded the same luxury.
“I booked two features during ‘iCarly’ that I had to turn down because the ‘iCarly’ team wouldn’t write me out of episodes to go shoot them,” McCurdy claims of the first Nickelodeon series she appeared on.
At first, McCurdy writes, Grande missed sporadic days on set, but eventually she was told her co-star was going to be gone for a full week of shooting.
“The week where I was told Ariana would not be here at all, and that they would write around her absence this episode by having her character be locked in a box. Are you. Kidding me,” McCurdy writes. “So I have to turn down movies while Ariana’s off whistle-toning at the Billboard Music Awards? F**k. This.”
The situation led McCurdy to “resent being a good sport,” something she was often praised for.
“If I wasn’t such a good sport to begin with, I wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place. I wouldn’t be on this sh**ty show saying these sh**ty lines on this sh**ty set with this sh**ty hairstyle,” she writes. “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.”
McCurdy’s jealousy of Grande stemmed from a few places, the first being that she believed Grande had “a much easier upbringing.”
“I grew up in Garbage Grove in a god**mned hoarder house with a cancerous mom who constantly wept about not being able to afford rent and utility bills,” McCurdy writes. “Ariana grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, an incredibly wealthy, idyllic town, with a healthy mom who could buy her whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted – Gucci bags, fancy vacations, Chanel outfits.”
The fact that McCurdy had Grande as a co-star at all also led to resentment for the former actress.
“When I initially got a development deal with Nickelodeon for my own show a few years ago, I thought it was gonna be just that… my own show,” McCurdy writes. “This was supposed to be ‘Just Puckett’, the harrowing tale of a brassy juvenile delinquent-turned-school counselor. Now it’s some half-baked two-hander – ‘Sam & Cat’ – about a brassy juvenile delinquent who, with her ‘ditzy best friend,’ starts a babysitting company called ‘Sam & Cat’s Super Rockin’ Fun-Time Babysitting Service.’ This is not harrowing.”
Jealousy also popped up because of Grande’s advancing career, and McCurdy’s stagnate one.
“Ariana is at the stage in her career where she’s popping up on every 30 Under 30 list that exists. And I’m at the stage in my career where my team is excited that I’m the new face of Rebecca Bonbon, a tween clothing line featuring a cat with her tongue sticking out. Sold exclusively at Walmart,” McCurdy writes. “And I frequently make the mistake of comparing my career to Ariana’s. I can’t help it. I’m constantly in the same environment as her, and she doesn’t exactly try to hide her successes.”
None of that, though, made McCurdy reach her breaking point. That moment, which “finally undid” her, happened when “Ariana came whistle-toning in with excitement because she had spent the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks’s house.”
“That was the moment I broke,” McCurdy recalls. “I couldn’t take it anymore. Music performances and magazine covers… whatever, I’ll get over it. But playing a family game at National Treasure, two-time Academy Award–winner and six-time nominee Tom Hanks’s house? I’m done.”
From that moment on, McCurdy writes, “I didn’t like her. I couldn’t like her.”
“Pop star success I could handle, but hanging out with Sheriff Woody, with Forrest F**king Gump? This has gone too far,” she writes. “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.”
I’m Glad My Mom Died is out now.
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