Miranda Cosgrove on ‘figuring out who you are’ in your 20s

Miranda Cosgrove is ready to step back into the shoes of her favorite television character Carly Shay with the revival of iCarly on Paramount+. But after nearly a decade of exploring her own identity separate from the onscreen persona that so many know and love, Cosgrove is more prepared to portray Shay as the young adult that she herself is today.

“I just feel grateful to have the opportunity to do this again,” she tells Yahoo Entertainment of returning to iCarly. “It is really fun getting to play the character at 27 years old and to see how she navigates it, kind of with the knowledge that she had from before and also just trying to figure out who she is today. She’s never really stood on her own two feet before. She’s really trying to figure out how to do it on her own and make sure that all of her content really represents who she is.”

At the time that the show premiered on Nickelodeon in 2007, the concept of the show was one of a kind, chronicling the journey of two young teens who decide to start a web show from their own home. “That really wasn’t a thing people did back then,” Cosgrove says. Today, however, with the rise of Gen Z influencers on TikTok and other social media apps, it’s way more common — as are the complications that come with it.

But as Cosgrove has grown up, so has Shay, as fans who watched the show the first time around will get to see.

“When I did the original series, I as 13 when I started. A lot of the things that I went through back then on the show were things that I was going through in real life. I think I had my first kiss in real life like a few weeks after my first kiss on the show,” she recalls. “I kind of feel the same way about this time around. When we started off this season, I was 27, and we did a whole episode about Carly turning 27 and being really nervous about 27 for some reason.”

With that, it’s been important for Cosgrove, now 28, to incorporate some “real stuff” about adulting into the series. She even explains that she drew inspiration from her friends.

“I definitely wanted Carly to represent me and a lot of my friends and all of the struggles that you go through in your 20s,” she says. “You learn so much in your 20s and you go through so many things that you never expected to happen. Struggling with getting your dream job after college when it’s much harder than you would’ve imagined. And just figuring out who you are still.”

And while that self-exploration is difficult for anybody at Cosgrove’s age, she notes that the pandemic stripped away a lot of the newfound independence that 20-somethings have, as many — including herself — spent time back at home with their parents. Still, she managed to find the silver lining.

“I definitely got back into talking on the phone and FaceTiming. I also got very into just eating, too. Into food. I feel like food really got me through the pandemic,” she jokes. “Even though there are a lot of things that are not good about the pandemic, I think I’m always gonna look back on the time that I spent with my parents and be happy I had it.”

As for embarking on the next chapter of her life and the show, Cosgrove just hopes that iCarly brings joy back into people’s lives.

“I think that’s what iCarly was always about,” she says. “It’s kind of letting people know, don’t be afraid to be yourself, don’t be afraid to be weird. I love that about it, and I just hope it makes people happy.”

Video produced by Jenny Miller

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