'iCarly' Star Jennette McCurdy on Growing Up For Netflix's 'Between' Drama

Netflix's 'Between'

The Nickelodeon child actor's breakout adult role had her learning to cry again after putting deep emotions on the back burner.

Jennette McCurdy started out starring on Nickelodeon's iCarly and its spinoff, Sam & Cat, but the actress has now added a dramatic role as Wiley, a cynical and pregnant teen in the Canadian survivalist thriller Between.

McCurdy tells The Hollywood Reporter that she learned to cry again, personally as well as on cue, during the six-parter's three-month shoot in Toronto earlier this year.

"The whole time I felt like I grew a lot and dealt with my emotions in a way I hadn't for years when I put them on the back burner," McCurdy, whose mother died in 2013 after a long battle with cancer, explains. As a sitcom veteran, McCurdy says that in recent years she's used comedy to confront serious subjects.

"I stopped crying. I would make jokes about serious things because that was easiest," she says. That changed with Between, which portrays a small town under siege from a mysterious virus that kills everyone over 21 years of age. Without a cure — or adults — the remaining young people must decide how to survive among competing factions.

"I just felt like I became an emotional wreck again, which was nice to remember I could feel like that," McCurdy says after Wiley, who remains mostly stoic in the first episode as the government quarantines the town, finds emotional release as the six-parter draws to a climax.

Netflix ordered Between, which is directed by series creator Michael McGowan and Jon Cassar (24), as its first original Canadian production. The homegrown drama will debut on May 21 on City, the Canadian TV network that developed the one-hour drama, and in all Netflix territories outside Canada.

The drama is produced by Don Carmody Television and McGowan's Mulmur Feed Co., in association with Elevation Pictures Corp.