INTERVIEW ERIN WALSH
PHOTO CHRISTIAN HOGSTEDT
MEET Miranda Cosgrove, actor, activist, and icon. SBJCT spoke with Miranda about growing up in the spotlight, using her platform to support causes she believes in, and unconditional love. Read on for more…
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Erin Walsh Hi Miranda! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. Here at SBJCT we have shot many, many actors like you who have been at it since they were young children. I would love get into that, your latest reboot of iCarly, what really excites you these days in terms of how you use your platform, and what you think is the best use of your following. But let’s start at the beginning- let’s look at baby Miranda. How did all of this begin? Was there ever a time in your childhood when you had been doing this for awhile when you began to examine WHY you were doing it? I am curious because obviously at age 3, you don’t really choose to go into the entertainment industry, so was there ever a moment after that where you actively decided that this is what you love, that this is the path you want to pursue?
Miranda Cosgrove A children’s agent came up to my mom while we were at a food festival when I was 3 so I didn’t choose to pursue acting on my own. I kind of fell into it and my mom started taking me to auditions. I definitely have thought a lot about how that agent coming up to my mom that day really changed the trajectory of my entire life. I don’t know if I would’ve ended up pursuing an acting career or even a career in the entertainment business if that hadn’t happened. My dad owns a dry-cleaning business and my mom would stay with me on set when I was a kid. I feel super lucky to have the opportunities I’ve had in my life. Even though I do love acting I missed out on middle school and high school. And around 16 I started thinking about exploring other passions. I always wanted to go to college and acting and singing helped me save up enough money to be able to do that. The show iCarly ended when I was 20 and I immediately started college at USC. I really wanted to pursue new interests and have the college experience. Overall, I’m really glad I went to college but I missed acting. It definitely made me more confident that even though I didn’t originally choose acting myself, it was truly my number one passion. I think I really needed to take that step away from it for a while and go to college because I wanted to know for sure that acting was what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life.
EW How did you enjoy the experience of being on set as a child? Who was most instrumental in keeping you grounded and tethered during this time?
MC I loved being around kids and going to a regular school in elementary so on set school wasn’t always ideal for me. It was awesome having access to great tutors and I didn’t have to worry about falling behind because you get so much one on one attention. But it was mainly just me and the two other regulars on the show that were my age working on our schoolwork together. We were in a room all the time working with separate teachers so it’s not the same as having a regular school experience with lots of other kids. But I think there’s good and bad to everything and I got to have a lot of experiences I would’ve never had if I hadn’t done homeschooling. My mom and my studio teacher that helped me from 8 to 18 were the two people who really kept me grounded. They traveled with me everywhere when I was little, and I always knew I could turn to them with any problem.
EW What did you like the least about being in the spotlight at a young age? What did you find to be helpful or insightful about it?
MC The thing I liked least about being in the spotlight as a kid was probably people making mean comments about me online. I think when you’re growing up it’s already really challenging figuring out who you are and wanting people to understand you and like you. Being in a movie or on tv can make it even harder because so many people form an opinion about you without ever meeting you. When I was younger, and people would make rude comments about me that I hadn’t ever met I wanted to figure out a way to get them to change their minds. I know now that everyone isn’t going to love you no matter what you do. You just have to love yourself. I think that’s a hard thing to totally get as a child, but it definitely set me up for the future and taught me not to take everything so seriously.
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find loving homes for multiple dogs I’ve found on the streets of LA
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EW What about recently? What is really exciting to you in terms of work, projects you are working on?
MC Recently I started the new iCarly Revival and it’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. I didn’t fully realize how emotional it would be to come back to the show almost a decade after it ended. I really grew up making iCarly so even stepping back onto the old set and seeing it again was a crazy feeling. Being around most of my old cast mates from the original show and playing the same characters as adults has been really fun. I think it’s pushed all of us to explore new sides of the characters we play. I’m also an executive producer on the show so I get to be apart of the writing process and the edits for each episode. On the original show I was so young I didn’t have a say in anything the Carly character would say or do. I was just there to do my job the best I could and say the lines the way I was asked to say them. This time around I have a lot of creative freedom and it’s been amazing getting to express that.
EW Anything you are hoping to manifest in the coming year?
MC In the coming year we are going into our 2nd season of the revival, and I want to make sure it’s more exciting and even better than the first. We spent a lot of the first season setting up the new world and explaining where the characters have landed now that so much time has passed. I’m really looking forward to pushing everything further this season and having more fun now that we’ve already laid some groundwork.
EW I know you are involved with St Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Education Through Music- can you tell me a bit about charities and causes that you like to support and how you like to do so?
MC I work with Kitten Rescue La to get homeless cats off the streets, get them spayed or neutered, and find them forever homes. They do amazing work and I love everything they stand for. Also Love Leo Rescue and Wags and Walks have helped me find loving homes for multiple dogs I’ve found on the streets of LA.
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EW What are some of your favorite ways to pay it forward via your platform?
MC I like to use my platform to get animals adopted. Working with animals is one of the things that keeps me grounded most and that I love most in the world. I currently have two dogs and three cats. Most of them were foster fails. A friend of mine found a cat with a litter of kittens in her backyard years ago and I ended up taking them all home. Once the kittens were old enough a cat rescue that I contacted on Instagram helped me find homes for all of them. I’ve done that same thing a few more times since with other pregnant stray cats and their babies. I also love fostering dogs and I’m a big advocate for taking on older dogs. I think so many people want to start with puppies and just don’t realize how amazing older dogs can be. Older dogs come with histories and their personalities already set in a lot of ways. I love seeing them open up over time. They appreciate you being in their lives so much.
EW In terms of social media, and even having a giant number of young people who look up to you- what do you feel is your responsibility as someone with an audience like you do? Do you ever feel resentful of the possibility that you might need to be or are a role model in some way?
MC When I was younger the idea of being a role model sometimes stressed me out because I didn’t ever want to let anyone down. I think it can be a lot of pressure as a kid to be considered a role model when you’re still finding your way and growing up yourself. Now I just feel lucky to have a platform where I can reach a lot of young people. I view it as a way to connect with people and share some moments from my life.
EW Favorite ways to unwind?
MC My favorite way to unwind is to try different hikes around LA. It feels really good to stay active and I love going with my friends and being able to catch up while we exercise.
I think it can be a lot of pressure as a kid to be considered a role model when you’re still finding your way and growing up yourself.
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EW What keeps you centered and in alignment?
MC I’m a big foodie even though I can’t cook a single thing. It keeps me centered making time for my friends and family and trying new restaurants with them. I also like to drive around and listen to podcasts with one of my best friends. We will drive through Krispy Kreme and listen to crime podcasts together.
EW What should we be watching right now?
MC My favorite show at the moment is Sweet Tooth on Netflix. I watched the entire first season in one day.
EW What should we be reading?
MC My favorite book of the moment is I’m Fine and Other Lies by Whitney Cummings and my favorite of all time is probably To Kill a Mockingbird.
EW Do you keep anything in the way of 5 or 10 year plans?
MC I don’t really have a 5 to 10 year plan but I definitely want kids someday and a family. I want to keep growing and trying new things. I don’t want to ever stop doing things that scare me because I feel like I’ve learned the most from the chances I’ve taken.
EW What do you hope your legacy to be?
MC I hope I’m remembered for making as many people laugh as possible and for being a kind person.
EW Favorite way to spend your weekend?
MC My favorite way to spend my weekend is hiking with my dogs or going to the movies with friends. I love getting popcorn and actually sitting in the theater and watching something. I feel like it’s a whole different experience when you’re in a real theater and I think it’s a million times better than just watching from home.
EW Miranda, what’s your SBCJT? What really moves and motivates and inspires you?
MC Animals inspire me a lot. They live in the moment and take life as it comes. They love you unconditionally. I think people could learn a lot from animals. I definitely have.
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