Jennette McCurdy: “My Ultimate Goal Is To Make People Laugh”

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Jennette McCurdy is on a mission to put the play back on the dinner plate! She teamed up with Birds Eye Vegetables for their “Rewrite The Dinnertime Rules” campaign that makes dinnertime more fun and encourages kids to get the daily recommended amount of veggies, all leading up to Nickelodeon’s 10th annual Worldwide Day of Play this fall.

Celebrity Teen Scoop recently chatted with Jennette about her partnership with Birds Eye Vegetables, how she’s preparing for the Worldwide Day of Play, and her role as celebrity mentor in the upcoming Kidz Star USA competition. The Sam & Cat star also shared what it’s like working with Ariana Grande

CTS: Could you tell us about your partnership with Birds Eye Vegetables?

Jennette: “Yes! I am teaming up with Birds Eye Vegetables and Nickelodeon to encourage kids to eat healthy and get all the recommended daily servings of vegetables. I think a great way to get kids to start eating their vegetables is to get creative with them. You need to take charge of what you eat and what you put in your body. I want to help kids pay attention to the things they can do to make sure they’re getting the amount of vegetable servings each day.”

CTS: What is the ‘Rewrite The Dinnertime Rules’ campaign all about?

Jennette: “When I think of typical dinnertime rules, I think of a family sitting at a table in a sturdy manner, and it’s not necessarily a relaxed and playful time. I think rewriting the dinnertime rules means ditching the button-down shirt and forgetting about initiating boring conversations about what the kids learned in school. The campaign encourages families to make dinnertime fun. Especially for the kids…get playful with your vegetables and play with your food! Go for it!” [laughs]

CTS: How are you getting ready for the Worldwide Day of Play this fall?

Jennette: “Nickelodeon puts on the Worldwide Day of Play every year, and it’s a really fun event filled with tons of games and activities. It’s a great initiative by Nickelodeon that encourages kids to have a healthy and active lifestyle. I think a healthy lifestyle means making exercise fun, because, for me, going to the gym is not a good time. [laughs] Lately, I’ve been going on hikes with my friend from iCarly. She’s driven and really good at hiking, so it’s really difficult but fun at the same time. I also like doing Pilates classes  and going on runs around neighborhoods with pretty trees around.”

CTS: Is healthy eating a high priority for you?

Jennette: “I don’t follow any special diet, but I do try to eat healthy. For me, that means eating grilled chicken or grilled fish for lunch or dinner, as well as sides of vegetables, of course. I also eat a lot of fruit. However, it is also important to splurge and treat yourself to something that you really want to have. For me, ice cream is my ‘cheat food’ and I absolutely love it! If I have a scoop of ice cream a couple times a week, it makes me feel better and I’m able to stay on-track. For the rest of the time, I look forward to knowing that I can have that ice cream and enjoy it!”

CTS: You have a starring role on Sam & Cat. What is your favorite part about being on the show?

Jennette: “I really love the scripts, because they’re always really funny. I think Sam & Cat has found its own cute, fun voice. I love the jokes that I get to say and I really love my character.”

CTS: What is it like working with Ariana Grande on the show?

Jennette: “We crack each other up! It’s great to have someone your age on-set who is going through the same things that you are. I think there are inevitable similarities there, but other than that we’re really different. We really work from each other’s differences and I think we get more of a kick out of each other that way.”

CTS: How did you get your start in acting?

Jennette: “I wanted to be in Star Wars when I was six years old. I asked my mom for two years and she told me I was crazy. [laughs] She said, ‘No way I am going to put you in acting! You hear stories about what happens to kids, and I don’t want that happening to you!’ Eventually, I think I bugged her enough or she felt beat down by me and she finally agreed to help me pursue my dream.” [laughs]

CTS: You are going to be a celebrity mentor in the Kidz Star USA competition. Could you tell us about the contest and your role? 

Jennette: “Yes, I am really excited about that! It’s going to be held at Six Flags Magic Mountain, which is awesome because I love amusement parks and I’ll get to ride fun roller coasters! Kidz Star USA is a really exciting contest for kids who might not be old enough to compete in some of the popular singing contests out there. The winner gets to be a Kidz Bop star and have a record deal. I think it’s a really fantastic opportunity. A lot of kids are going to try out for the auditions and I am going to help judge some of the finalists.”

CTS: How did you get involved in the competition?

Jennette: “Kidz Bop representatives asked me to be a celebrity mentor, and it seemed really exciting to me.  I will get to hear kids sing and help them along and mentor them a little bit. Frankly, I also really love roller coasters so I was ecstatic to be able to ride some roller coasters at Six Flags too!” [laughs]

CTS: What are some of your tips for young people thinking of getting into the acting industry?

Jennette: “Start out locally and see if you like doing local theater. Make sure to also discuss your goals with your parents. Really convey to them how important it is and that you’ve definitely thought about it, because a career in acting is a ton of work. You need to get your parents on-board if you want to pursue it.”

CTS: Is there anything you would like to say to all your fans out there?

Jennette: “Yes! I would love to say ‘thank you’ to anyone who has ever watched me for a second or two and laughed, because my ultimate goal is to make people laugh.”

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