Watch: Jennette McCurdy Quits Acting, Embarrassed By Past Roles
Jennette McCurdy is opening up about the abuse she says she endured from her mom throughout her childhood.
The iCarly alum, who confirmed her retirement from acting in 2017, spoke to People about her one-woman show, I'm Glad My Mom Died, which, as she explained, explores the "intense" physical and emotional abuse she endured at the hands of her mother, Debbie McCurdy, who died of cancer in 2013.
"It's thought-provoking," the 29-year-old actress said to the outlet about the dark comedy. "But even though it may seem black and white, there's a fullness to my narrative. Life can be dark—and messy. Nobody has a perfect life." The former actress, who has since switched careers paths to venture into writing and directing, debuted her one-woman show in Los Angeles in February 2020.
"My earliest memories of childhood were of heaviness, and chaos," McCurdy, who is also set to share her story in an upcoming memoir, told People. "My mom's emotions were so erratic that it was like walking a tightrope every day. The mood fluctuations were daily." McCurdy's father did not respond to People's request for comment.
McCurdy went on to explain that she felt pressure from her mom to become a star from a very young age. "My mom had always dreamt of being a famous actor and she became obsessed with making me a star," she said. And although McCurdy says she was "cripplingly shy," she went on auditions and began building her résumé of roles. "I felt like my job was to keep the peace," she added. "And I wanted to make my mom happy."
Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesTrending Stories1The Future of You Revealed Ahead of Season 32Kim Kardashian’s “Biggest Parenting Fail” Is Way Too Relatable 3See Tim McGraw Jump Offstage to Confront Hecklers During Concert
The star, who starred as Sam Puckett in the Nickelodeon show, iCarly, for six seasons until 2012, also opened up about her childhood earlier this year during an episode of her podcast, Empty Inside.
Of walking away from her acting career, she explained during the early March episode, "I quit a few years ago because I initially didn't want to do it. My mom put me in it when I was 6 and by sort of age, I guess, 10 or 11, I was the main financial support for my family. My family didn't have a lot of money, and this was the way out, which I actually think was helpful in driving me to some degree of success." McCurdy added that acting was "always, always, always" difficult for her.