Jennette McCurdy is best known for her role on iCarly as fiesty Sam and JustJaredJr.com got a chance to sit down and talk with the actress.
The 16-year-old star dished to JJJ about her new single (OUT TOMORROW!), her Nick series and her dream guest star. Check it:
JJJ: Your single, “So Close”, drops THIS Tuesday, tell us about it.
JM: Oh my gosh, I’m so excited about it. It’s been such an effort on so many people’s parts. I have a great team, great producers, great label – just really awesome management. They’re people who have been supporting me all along, and it’s basically just all of our work put together. It’s really something that I hope everybody will enjoy. It’s a song that I really find close to my heart, and I really hope that they find it close to their heart, because I think everybody can find a story in the song.
JJJ: What kind of feel does it have? Hip-hop, blues, jazz?
JM: It’s actually under the pop genre, but I hope it has a little something for everybody. If you like country, you’ll like it, because it has a cool country feel – a few country instruments here and there pop up occasionally. It also kind of has a rock feel, because it has some really strong beats, and things like that.
JJJ: When is your album coming out?
JM: We don’t actually have a date for the album release yet because we’re planning on doing this first single, “So Close”, and then we’re releasing two more singles following that one. Like how Taylor Swift or Jesse McCartney do it. And then we’ll release the full CD after that. But I do know that another single will be following “So Close” soon after.
(Click inside for more of JJJ‘s interview with Jennette McCurdy…)
JJJ: Who are your musical inspirations?
JM: Oh man, I have so many musical inspirations. I love Gavin DeGraw and Bob Dylan. Lyrically, those two top my list! They are supreme. I love Hall and Oates, pretty much obsessed with them. I love Jesse McCartney abd Michael Buble. I am absolutely IN LOVE with Carole King, I think she is the coolest. She is so deep and her lyrics are amazing, the music and melodies are beautiful, I love her. I love Carrie Underwood, and I really like Kelly Clarkson, also. Gosh, that’s so many!
JJJ: On one of your YouTube videos, you spotlight your Gavin DeGraw posters. Have you actually met him before?
JM: Yes! I actually did! I got to meet him at a Lauren Conrad fashion show, and I freaked out so much. I’m pretty glad that there wasn’t anybody recording me, because if that got out on the internet, that would be really embarrassing. It was at a fashion show, and I ran across the runway right before the show started, when they were announcing for people to take their seats.
But I was so excited! He’s one of my idols! I was so excited to see him, I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me to stay in my seat! So I got up and ran across the runway. He was the nicest guy to me. He took a couple of pictures, talked with me, I could not believe it. He did not let down my hopes or expectations at all.
JJJ: You’re also an avid figure skater. How did you get started in figure skating?
JM: I was actually really inspired by the 2006 Winter Olympics, I love Sasha Cohen and Michelle Kwan. I know Michelle was unfortunately unable to compete in the Olympics, but from years past, I’d always been a fan. And when I saw Sasha Cohen win, it really was something — that touched my heart. Something about that sport brings tears to my eyes – it’s just so beautiful.
So in 2007, I started, and I actually had to take 6 months off for iCarly, but as of January, I’ve gotten way back into it. I’ve got this great coach named Igor. Hi Igor!!! He’s awesome.
JJJ: Do you have any favorite jumps that you like to do?
JM: I actually got to try a few double axels on a harness yesterday, and even a triple axel just for kicks, but the double is much more reasonable. I really like my double jumps a lot. Double loops are a lot of fun.
JJJ: Have you ever competed?
JM: No, I actually haven’t competed. I would love to! But I just don’t know how realistic, time-wise, that would be with everything else [going on in my life].
JJJ: Do you like the sparkly outfits that figure skaters all have to wear?
JM: Oh, you mean the flouncy dresses and everything? I’ve actually never worn skating dresses. I wear the workout pants and a really light sporty jacket. No skirts for me.
JJJ: You mentioned Hall and Oates, and you recently hung out with Tanner and John Oates at Discovery Cove at Sea World. What did you all do there?
JM: Oh my gosh, we all went to pet penguins together and then I got to watch an amazing Hall and Oates concert. John Oates is amazing and Daryl Hall is fantastic. I, literally, was almost in tears and practically hyperventilating through the whole concert! I know every single word to every one of their songs. And Tanner (Oates) has actually become a really good friend of mine, and he’s coming out to California again in a couple of weeks. We plan to some hang out time. I guess we’re going to go sky diving. I’m excited, I’ve never done it before!
JJJ: Did you also swim with dolphins?
JM: Yeah, my mom and I did! It as such a good experience. I think it’s something that everybody needs to do at one point or another. It’s just peaceful and serene and calm. The troubles of the world are just left behind, because you’re just there with a dolphin.
JJJ: Do you have a list of things you have to do before you die?
JM: I want to try everything, everything under the sun! I’ve recently become more adventurous with things like, roller coasters! I used to be really bad and scared of those, but I’ve been becoming more adventurous. [Just] things I never thought I’d do, but I think if the opportunity comes along, I’ll try it! Chances are, you’re probably not going to regret doing it, but you will probably regret not doing it.
JJJ: You have three older brothers, are they really protective of you?
JM: I think I have the best three big brothers I could possibly ask for, I’m glad I have brothers and sisters. I think that I’ve learned so much from all of them, and I think I’m able to get along with so many different kinds of people because their personalities are all so different and unique. It really helps me with getting along with people, especially since I’m in business where you meet a lot of different people. They are very protective of me, but they respect me – it’s just awesome. My relationship with all three of them is just so great. They’re so cool, I just love them!
JJJ: On your website, you have a story about your mom, a very inspiring story – can you tell us more about it?
JM: It was a bonding experience for the whole family, if that makes any sense. We had to go through this devastating time together. I think if my mom wasn’t so strong, all of us would be very different people today. Her strength just amazes me everyday of my life. She is my idol and inspiration. I’m just so glad that she’s here with us, because the doctors told her that she wasn’t going to make it, that she wouldn’t make it through the night. So having her be here 14 years later — after having doctors, professionals, told her that she wasn’t going to make it — is an inspiration for everybody. It shows you that you can pull through; just be strong.
JJJ: During this process, your family fell in love with Star Wars?
JM: Yeah…we actually found a lot of our strength in Star Wars. (laughs) You could have walked into our house at any given moment, and one of the Star Wars, the original 3, would be playing. I loved all the actors. I thought they were awesome. I loved the music, I thought it was so inspirational – John Williams is supreme. I loved everything: all the creatures in it, and especially the intriguing lines. Like, “may the force be with you,” anything like that. They just had some really awesome phrases. Yoda coined some awesome lines in there, too.
JJJ: Your favorite character was Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, and I read that you actually starred in Hollywood Homicide with him.
JM: Yeah, I did a small part in that movie and I got to meet him — he was so nice. And just a couple of months ago, I went to an event that he went to with his son and his wife. I went up to him and told him that I had met him before and that I did Hollywood Homicide with him. Then I told him that he was the reason that I became an actor, and I thanked him for everything he had done for me because I love acting and I found it all because of him.
And he looked at me, and he goes, “You’re on Nickelodeon. You do a great job, kid. You do a great job. Keep up the good work, okay?” I literally could not believe it. When this happened to me, I nearly passed out. I’m so glad that my mom was right behind me to grab my shoulder or I probably would have passed out.
JJJ: Do you want to star with Harrison again one day?
JM: Yeah, I definitely would want to – that would be like a dream come true to me. I would love to star with him in some sort of movie…AAHH! I got to go write it!
JJJ: We recently interviewed Sammi Hanratty and she had said that you guys were really close – is she your best friend in the business?
JM: Sammi is definitely one of my best friends in or out of the business. She’s just the sweetest thing. I love her to pieces! She’s like my little sister – I don’t have any sisters, older or younger, so I always call her my lil sis. She does have sisters, but she calls me her big sis anyway. We have so many little inside jokes and things, we see each other at events all the time, and we always make it a point to hang out before or afterwards if we can. It’s really important to have people in this business that you can really trust and confide and share everything with. You need somebody like that who’s also in the business because then they know exactly what you’re going through. She’s just really awesome, we tell each other everything.
JJJ: What is the best thing about working on iCarly?
JM: Definitely making people laugh. Fans will quote things from the episode, saying, “Oh that was my favorite part,” or I love when they say “Remember when?” And just to see the expressions on people’s faces and what you can do for kids and their families… to be able to make them really happy for half an hour, that’s really something special. I think that’s the coolest part.
JJJ: You recently had an episode where you kissed Nathan Kress, because that was all the talk on JustJaredJr.com! Was he your first kiss on or off screen?
JM: Actually, no, my first on-screen kiss was when I was 12 in an episode of Zoey 101. I had to kiss Paul Butcher and Sean Flynn, Harold Flynn’s grandson. So no, I’m an old pro. (laughs) I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Those were just little tiny pecks, and this one was just a little bit longer, but it was still really innocent and stuff. I think everybody just wanted it to be my first one, so they were making a big deal out of it.
JJJ: In the “iLook Alike” episode, who plays your look alike?
JM: Oh, I’m so excited! Her name is Annie Defatta, and we shot this episode…goodness…almost a year ago now, and she’s become one of my dearest friends. I talk to her all the time. We go to concerts together, we got to theme parks and movies, and we just have a blast. She’s just one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I’m so honored that she played my look alike. People ask us if we’re sisters when they see us together, she really does look like me.
JJJ: Who would you love to guest star on iCarly?
JM: Ooh! If Johnny Depp guest-starred, I might not be able to make it through the day. They probably would have to rush me out in an ambulance – actually, I’m sure of that. Or if Jesse McCartney guest-starred, I would probably start crying hysterically. “Jesse! Jesseeeee!!!” I would love him; I would sing a duet with him.
JJJ: You also guest-starred on True Jackson with Keke Palmer. Tell us about that episode.
JM: They have these characters called the Pinks, who are the mean girls at True’s school and who are True’s arch-rivals. I play the lead Pink – Pinky Turzo, who is True’s nemesis. True hates her and Pinky isn’t too big of a fan of True either. Pinky comes to the office (Mad Style?), and she actually gets a job. I’m a big fan of the show, so it was so exciting to be on it. I actually already knew Keke and Matt really well, they are great friends of mine. Ashley, who plays Lulu, is one of my best friends. I think this interview has basically covered all my best friends!
Ashley Argota is the coolest and an amazing actress and an amazing singer. And an even more amazing person, and I think that’s really something great because, I don’t know. We all keep in touch, we write to each other all the time, we get together just about every week.
Both Keke and Ashley are two of the greatest and sweetest girls I’ve ever had the honor of working with, and just to be on their set for a week was just so great. I can’t even stress enough just how phenomenal they are – they are just the coolest people!
JJJ: Do you know when the episode will air?
JM: I don’t know for sure, but I think they have a shorter turn around then iCarly, because iCarly is about 8 months, and I think theirs is about 2 months, but I’m not sure.
JJJ: What other show would you like to guest star on?
JM: I don’t know if they’re on anymore, but I’d love to be on Without a Trace. I auditioned for that a couple of times, and every single time, it got down to the wire and just for stupid things like height or hair color, I didn’t get the parts. I’d really love to be on a drama, though.
JJJ: Do you have a favorite TV show?
JM: I Love Lucy and Monk. 10 Items or Less, I love that show so much. There was an episode the other day where he was whistling and he released a whistling CD. Oh my goodness, I could not stop laughing. It motivated me to want to whistle, because I can’t whistle!
JJJ: Do you have a favorite food?
JM: Grilled cheese. My mom’s homemade grilled cheese with marinara dipping sauce!
JJJ: High School Musical or Spectacular?
JM: I’m going to have to say Spectacular! because I have to root for my own network! Sorry High School Musical!
JJJ: Who are your celebrity crushes?
JM: Johnny Depp, Gavin DeGraw, and Jesse McCartney…I’ve recently become…uncontrollable about him. I’ve got to get a grip. I love him. He’s JMac and people call me JMac, so I mean, come on!
JJJ: Do you have a favorite gadget?
JM: My iPhone — I have to have it with me for business all the time.
JJJ: Do you have a Twitter or a MySpace?
JM: Yeah, I do have a Twitter, it’s jennettemccurdy, and I have MySpace coming that will be for music but it’s not up yet.
JJJ: Are you into fashion at all? Who are your favorite designers?
JM: I love fashion! Lauren Conrad has actually let me wear a few of her pieces for past events. I think she’s amazing. I love how everything she designs is so gorgeous and elegant, but you play it up or down. Most of all it’s comfy! And Betsey Johnson is AWESOME. I’m wearing a Betsey Johnson dress to the Kid’s Choice Awards!
Jennette‘s new single is also featured on Fred‘s (Lucas Cruikshank) new video! “So Close” will be available to purchase TOMORROW, March 10 on iTunes and Amazon.
Also, be sure to enter JJJ‘s contest – you can win Jennette‘s Graffeeti Sneakers!
Posted to: Jennette McCurdy