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iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy has come of age in Canada.
The perennial Nickelodeon favorite has a grown-up lead role in the Canadian survivalist thriller Between for Netflix and City now shooting in Toronto. And by stepping away from her good-girl image, McCurdy has stumbled into adulthood.
“I’m going back home next week, and I’ve grown a lot,” she told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday as she nears the end of a six-week shoot north of the border. McCurdy boarded Between, a drama about a town under siege from a mysterious disease that has wiped out everybody except young people aged 21 years and under, because it allowed her to play against type.
But leaving Nickelodeon behind for a dark and edgy role in a Canadian drama has been both challenging and satisfying as an actor. “I’ve had this personal arc,” McCurdy said.
“I come from the set to home, and I feel like I’ve emotionally released myself. It’s a way to get out emotions that you may put on the back burner and put aside to act a certain role to your fans,” she added. In the six-part drama, as the government quarantines the town, the young people, mostly in high school, must decide how to survive among competing factions.
“In some ways, I don’t want them (friends and family) to watch. It’s very raw. And I’m sure, whether or not I want them to watch, they will watch the show,” McCurdy insisted. But don’t expect many iCarly and Sam & Cat fans to be shocked by her Between role. They’re growing up as well.
“I feel Between is really perfect. A lot of the kids that watched iCarly and Sam & Cat are getting older. This fits the bill. Already my more intense fans are very excited and eagerly awaiting the series,” McCurdy said.
She’s also reveling in new-found independence after working in Canada. “When I found out I was shooting in Toronto, I was scared to be away from my fans and friends and community for so long,” McCurdy confided. “But I also felt excited to be alone and independent. It’s turned out to be more than I could have anticipated. I’ve felt that I’ve made some great friends in Toronto.”
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 simultaneously 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.
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