"iCarly's" Miranda Cosgrove, anything but "Despicable"

LOS ANGELES Wed Jul 7, 2010 5:56pm EDT

Actress Miranda Cosgrove arrives at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles June 6, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Actress Miranda Cosgrove arrives at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles June 6, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Danny Moloshok

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "iCarly" star Miranda Cosgrove may be one of the most popular -- and powerful -- teenagers on TV, but like many kids her age, she still gets star struck in Hollywood.

Take for example, the 17-year-old's recent work voicing one of the roles in new, 3D animated movie "Despicable Me," which debuts in U.S. theaters on Friday.

Cosgrove ran into the film's co-star Julie Andrews in the parking lot of a studio and gushed over the A-list actress.

"My mom and I have watched all her movies, like 'Sound of Music' and 'Victor/Victoria,'" Cosgrove told Reuters. "I was really nervous because she's kind of like, the queen. But she turned out to be the sweetest person."

"Despicable Me" has Cosgrove voicing the role of one of three orphaned sisters who get adopted by the villain Gru (Steve Carrell) as part of a master plan to steal the moon with his army of minions.

What Gru doesn't count on is how much he'd fall in love with the girls and what they would do to his plans.

Jason Segal, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig and Andrews are among the all-star cast. For Cosgrove to be among them signals the power her name can lend to a project -- specifically in bringing in the young girl audience.

Cosgrove's show on Nickelodeon, now in its third season, is the network's top-rated program for kids. It revolves around Cosgrove's character Carly, a teen who has her own web show with best friends Sam and Freddie.

ONLY JUST BEGINNING

While 17-year old Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus is retiring her "Hannah Montana" character after the current fourth season ends, Cosgrove has no such plans.

Industry reports have put her salary as high as $180,000 per episode, which is as much as, or more, than many actresses on prime-time TV. Cosgrove recently signed a new deal said to be in the seven-figure range, and under that deal she will continue to shoot the show for an additional 26 episodes.

"I love making 'iCarly' and I love it when kids come up to me and say they love watching the show," she says. "So as long as people are enjoying it, I'd be willing to do it."

A native of Los Angeles, Cosgrove began working in commercials at age 3. Her earliest acting memory is starring opposite Jack Black in "School of Rock."

She first came to Nickelodeon in a role on the sitcom "Drake & Josh," playing Drake's little sister. When the series wrapped after four seasons, Cosgrove was tapped for the starring role in "iCarly," even singing the theme song, "Leave It All to Me."

This year, she released her first solo pop rock album, titled "Sparks Fly," from Columbia Records.

She said the album's first and current single, "Kissin' U," was written about a boy she liked. She confessed it was "awkward" telling him, but ultimately he was flattered.

Still, she said he's not her boyfriend, although she did go out on a few dates with him and liked him. She blushed. "It's very complicated in these teen relationships!"

Outside of her "complicated" love life and high-profile job, Cosgrove seems very much a regular teen. She wants to get her driver's license, but fell behind in math this past year. Now in lieu of driver's education, she's spending the summer being tutored in pre-calculus.

Even with her high-paying salary, she has yet to splurge on any big-ticket items. She'd like to buy a car when she learns to drive but is engaged in the age-old debate with her parents about what type of car that should be.

"My mom wants me to get a Prius, but I want a Range Rover Sport," said the actress.

Then she adds with a laugh: "My mom will probably win."

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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