“My body is saying no, I don’t want this. I don’t want my first kiss to be like this. I want my first kiss to be a real first kiss, not a kiss for a TV show.”
In her new memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy has opened up about countless experiences she had while working on the Nickelodeon shows iCarly and Sam & Cat.
From being exploited and offered $300,000 by Nickelodeon in exchange for not publicly speaking about her experiences at the network, to feeling “jealous” of co-star Ariana Grande, there’s no topic off limits.
In the book, Jennette also details her experience filming her first-ever on-screen kissing scene (and first-ever kiss in real life) with Nathan Kress, who played Freddie Benson on the show.
In excerpts published by Bustle, Jennette explains how that scene went down, revealing that she was yelled at by “The Creator” and forced to re-shoot the scene several times despite being uncomfortable.
In iCarly season 2, Sam and Freddie kiss for the first time in the episode ‘iKiss’. The scene saw both Sam and Freddie agree to kiss each other in order to “get it out of the way”. The episode aired in 2009, when Jennette and Nathan were both 17.
“Our lips are touching,” Jennette writes in the memoir. “He’s moving his mouth around a bit, but I can’t move mine. I’m frozen. His eyes are closed. Mine aren’t. Mine are wide open, staring at him. It’s so odd, staring at a person while your faces are touching. I don’t like it. I can smell his hair gel.”
Jennette then notes that “The Creator” – the name she uses for iCarly creator Dan Schneider – yells at her from off-camera, telling her to “move [her] head around a bit more.”
Jennette explains that she tried to take The Creator’s direction on board but she was unable to because she felt uncomfortable: “My mind is saying who cares that this is your first kiss, that your first kiss is on-camera. Get it over with. Do what you’re told. My body is saying no, I don’t want this. I don’t want my first kiss to be like this. I want my first kiss to be a real first kiss, not a kiss for a TV show.”
Jennette then explained that the reason she was nervous and “embarrassed” to do the scene was because she had tried to suppress the parts of her that were romantic due to her mother’s constant comments.
“Mom’s been very clear about how boys are a waste of time and will only disappoint me, and how I should just focus on my career, which I get. So I try to force it away,” Jennette wrote. “But as much as I try to force it away, that romantic part of me is there. And it’s been there for a while. I wonder about boys sometimes. What it would be like to love one.”
After one take, Jennette recalls The Creator shouting “Cut!” and then walking over to her with “a deep anger in him” before doubling down on his direction notes: “‘Jennette. More. Head. Movement.'”
Jennette continues, adding that she had an “out-of-body experience” in the scene leading up to the kiss: “We lean in. Our lips touch… Shoot, I’m supposed to move my head. I start moving it. Back and forth. Back and forth. I sway it around. It doesn’t feel natural so I’m sure it doesn’t look natural. Nathan, as his character, Freddie, finally breaks away.”
After The Creator called “Cut!” again, Jennette says she could “tell by his tone” that he wasn’t happy with the way the scene had played out.
After seven takes, and requests to shoot even more, The Creator (who Jennette notes was ‘angry’ at this point) was told that they had to move on. Jennette then adds that Nathan kindly reassured her once the scene was over, saying: “Hey, we’re done.”
Jennette’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, is now available to purchase.