JENNETTE McCURDY on 'FRED: THE MOVIE'
Interview by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for RadioFree.com
Demonstrating the awesome power of the internet, teen actor Lucas Cruikshank accomplished the impressive feat of turning a simple idea into a worldwide comedy sensation--his series of web videos centered around alter ego Fred Figglehorn, a manic child prone to anger management issues, has, to date, garnered nearly 2 million subscribers and 600 million channel views on YouTube. Armed with those numbers, it's no surprise that his digitally high-pitched, fast-talking character is breaking into another medium: Lucas makes his film debut as Fred in the appropriately titled Fred: The Movie, in which his maladjusted creation sets out on an epic quest to pursue the girl of his dreams, Judy, played by pop singer Pixie Lott.
Fred: The Movie also features John Cena as Fred's dad, and Jennette McCurdy as his antagonistic companion Bertha. This project re-teams Lucas and Jennette for a second round of comedy, as they previously worked together on the iCarly episode "iMeet Fred," which found Carly, Sam, and Freddie embroiled in a manufactured web rivalry with Lucas.
In this exclusive interview, conducted by the magical form of communication known as e-mail, Jennette took a moment to answer a few questions about reuniting with Lucas and working on Fred: The Movie.
Fred: The Movie premieres this Saturday, September 18 on Nickelodeon!
RadioFree.com: Lucas visited your world by guest starring on iCarly as himself and Fred. Now the tables are turned, and you're the newcomer playing in his world in Fred: The Movie. How did you feel about switching from home team to visitor, and how was your experience of working with him again?
JENNETTE: Lucas is awesome. When he guest-starred on iCarly, I was already familiar with his "Fred" videos, so I was pretty jazzed about him coming to our set and we became great friends. He was so funny on the show and I was really impressed by his improv skills. Interesting thing about iCarly is that we don't improv much, but Lucas went for it when he was on the show and I really admire his ability to do that. Working on Fred: The Movie was fantastic because it was almost all improv and working in that style was a lot of fun.
Bertha has jet black hair and rocks the dark eyeliner. Did life as a brunette treat you well, and to what extent does a markedly different look help you get into the skin of a new character?
Well, my character had different hair every day. The make-up and wardrobe changed a lot, too. One day I was in a 1920s-style bathing suit and then I was in an '80s outfit with lots of spandex. I actually got to wear the shoes Marty's girlfriend wore in Back to the Future! The character is really spontaneous and a little bit of an oddball, so I think the hair, make-up and wardrobe really reflected Bertha's personality.
What "comedy muscles" did Bertha allow you to flex that are, perhaps, different from those you are accustomed to when playing Sam?
I loved being able to improv. The writing is amazing on iCarly, but, as I mentioned before, we don't get to improv often on the show. Fred allowed me to explore comedy in a different way and it was a lot of fun.
Bertha is described as Fred's "frenemy." What are the most important traits of a true friend in your book?
I look for people who are loyal, honest and have a sense of humor.
Do you have a favorite moment from the movie?
I'm not sure if this scene made it into the movie, but Lucas was wearing a huge pair of basketball shorts and they accidently fell down while we were shooting. He was wearing another pair of shorts under the basketball shorts, but it still had us laughing because it was so unexpected.