Grande is no stranger to invoking a wide range of emotions in people. Former co-star from the Nickelodeon show “Sam & Cat,” Jennette McCurdy, understands that all too well. In her new book, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” McCurdy describes how difficult it was to work with Grande.
“Sam & Cat” aired on Nickelodeon in 2013 and 2014. McCurdy played Sam Puckett, a continuation of her popular character on the hit show, “iCarly.” Grande played Cat Valentine, also an extension of a previous Nickelodeon character, from the show “Victorious.” The two teens played roommates and proprietors of a babysitting service.
A Budding Rivalry
Rumors of a feud between the young actresses were swirling throughout production which, according to Grantland.com, may have ultimately led to the show’s cancellation. After a series of publicized feuds between Grande and McCurdy, “Grande posted an emotional farewell to the show…which was very sweet on the surface, but whose thank-yous conspicuously left out any mention of McCurdy,” Grantland reports.
It’s been almost a decade since Grande and McCurdy starred on “Sam & Cat,” and the rivalry has gradually died down. However, with the recent release of McCurdy’s memoir, old feelings and memories are resurfacing.
In the book, McCurdy describes her aggravation: “my co-star Ariana Grande is a burgeoning pop star who misses work regularly to go sing at award shows, record new songs, and do press for her upcoming album while I stay back and angrily hold down the fort.”
McCurdy continues, “I understand on a surface level why she has to miss work. But at the same time, I don’t understand why she’s allowed to. 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.”
The now 30-year-old then tells of a ‘last straw’ moment when Grande could not attend a taping, so the entire episode was filmed as if her character was trapped in a box.
For a while, McCurdy was able to keep her anger and jealousy under control. But soon she began to question, “Is [Ariana] robbing me of opportunities that would have been mine?” The turning point for McCurdy was when Grande came waltzing onto the set talking about having hung out at Tom Hanks’ house the night before.
“From that moment on, I didn’t like her. I couldn’t like her,” McCurdy recalls. “Pop star success I could handle, but hanging out with Sheriff Woody, with Forrest F***ing 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.”
McCurdy Wants Grande to Read the Book
McCurdy told Entertainment Tonight, “I don’t know if [Ariana will] read the book or not, but I think it’s a really entertaining read regardless of who you are, so I hope she does.” So far, Grande has not made any public statements about whether she has read the memoir, or if so, what her reaction was.
According to Vogue, I’m Glad My Mom Died “is a number-one New York Times-bestselling memoir that has also achieved pop-cultural phenomenon status.” The bizarre title has really gotten people’s attention. As Vogue explains, “McCurdy’s mom, Debra, who died of breast cancer in 2013 when McCurdy was 21, had controlled and abused McCurdy throughout her life, she writes, pulling the puppet strings on McCurdy’s acting career (a dream Debra never achieved for herself) and manipulating her against quitting.”
McCurdy is now getting a different type of praise than she did as an actress, and it is far more fulfilling. She told Vogue, “I have felt so connected to the people that are connecting with the book, and it’s meaningful to me in a way that I haven’t experienced in my previous career.”
Ariana Grande left “The Voice” after one season, and continues to pursue her music career.