Jennette McCurdy says she was 'pissed' at 'Sam & Cat' costar Ariana Grande for missing work to focus on music: 'I didn't like her'

Jennette McCurdy says she was 'pissed' at 'Sam & Cat' costar Ariana Grande for missing work to focus on music: 'I didn't like her'
·4 min read
Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande in October 2013.
Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande in October 2013.Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Nickelodeon
  • Jennette McCurdy detailed her experience working alongside Ariana Grande in the sitcom "Sam & Cat."

  • McCurdy said that she was frustrated and "pissed" at Grande for missing work due to music obligations.

  • McCurdy also said that she was envious of her costar and couldn't avoid comparing their careers.

Jennette McCurdy detailed her negative experience working on the "iCarly" spin-off "Sam & Cat" with Ariana Grande and shared the moment that "broke" her.

McCurdy became close friends with Miranda Cosgrove through their roles as Sam Puckett and Carly Shay in "iCarly," but her dynamic with Grande (then known for playing Cat Valentine in fellow Nickelodeon show "Victorious") was fraught with resentment. "Sam & Cat" premiered in 2013 and was canceled after one season.

In her new memoir titled "I'm Glad My Mom Died," released on Tuesday, McCurdy said that Grande was frequently absent from work because of her music career, leaving her to keep "Sam & Cat" intact.

During that time, McCurdy said that crew members often thanked her for "being such a good sport" about the situation.

"I know why I'm hearing this phrase so often," McCurdy recalled. "It's because my costar 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."

Ariana Grande and Jennette McCurdy in "Sam & Cat."
Ariana Grande and Jennette McCurdy in "Sam & Cat."Nickelodeon

McCurdy said that she didn't understand why Grande was allowed to miss work when she previously had to turn down projects due to her commitment to "iCarly."

McCurdy said that she tried to reason that Grande was permitted to attend to her music obligations because she wasn't missing "entire weeks" of work.

Her perspective changed when Grande skipped a week of work and the plot of the episode was adjusted to accommodate less screen time for her character.

"So I have to turn down movies while Ariana's off whistle-toning at the Billboard Music Awards," McCurdy wrote, adding that she became "a bitter person."

"Ariana misses work in pursuit of her music career while I act with a box," she said. "I'm pissed about it. And I'm pissed at her. Jealous of her."

Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande in "Sam & Cat."
Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande in "Sam & Cat."Nickelodeon

McCurdy said she was envious of Grande because "she had a much easier upbringing than I did."

McCurdy's mom was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer when the star was 2 years old and they struggled to pay bills in Garden Grove, California. Meanwhile, Grande "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."

Additionally, McCurdy said that when the concept for her own show was pitched to her years prior to the premiere of "Sam & Cat" in 2013, she was under the impression that it would solely focus on her character Sam, who originated in "iCarly."

"This was supposed to be 'Just Puckett,' the harrowing tale of a brassy juvenile delinquent–turned–school counselor," McCurdy said.

Instead, the two characters from "iCarly" and "Victorious" were combined for a spin-off in which they started a babysitting business together.

McCurdy said that she found herself continually comparing her career to that of Grande, who, at the time, was "popping up on every 30 Under 30 list that exists."

"I'm constantly in the same environment as her, and she doesn't exactly try to hide her successes," she said.

Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande in May 2013.
Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande in May 2013.Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

The actor said that she initially hid her jealously well, but it became harder over time.

"When she came skipping onto set saying she'd be performing at the Billboard Awards, I didn't care," McCurdy said, adding that she was "unfazed" by Grande singing "sing some cheesy pop song on a stage."

McCurdy also said that she was envious of Grande "trotting onto set saying she'd be on the cover of Elle magazine" due to her own insecurity.

"But what finally undid me was when Ariana came whistle-toning in with excitement because she had spent the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks's house," she said. "That was the moment I broke. I couldn't take it anymore."

"From that moment on, I didn't like her. I couldn't like her," she added. "Pop star success I could handle, but hanging out with Sheriff Woody, with Forrest Fucking Gump? This has gone too far."

"Every time she misses work it feels like a personal attack," McCurdy said. "Every time something exciting happens to her, I feel like she robbed me of having that experience myself."

Representatives for Grande didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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