Interview by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for
August 4, 2010

In the Nickelodeon TV movie Best Player, iCarly co-stars Jennette McCurdy and Jerry Trainor take their comedic chemistry to a new arena as they face off in the virtual world of video games. In this final installment of our exclusive three-part interview with Jerry, he talks about his own personal passion for video games, and the experience of working with Jennette on a whole new project, away from the familiarity of the iCarly set in Hollywood.

Best Player debuts Saturday, March 12 on Nickelodeon. Check your local listings for times! So what can fans expect from you and Jennette in Best Player?

JERRY: I play a character named Quincy. The short of it is he is the best video game player. He lives in his parents' basement, which he has turned into the ultimate man cave. He is a Chinese food delivery guy, he has as little responsibility as possible, because all he wants to be doing is playing these video games, because he's the best. And people online know him. And his parents, who are fed up with him living at home, decide they're moving and selling the house. And he's like, "I gotta save the house. I can buy the house." They tell him how much it's going to cost, he finds out there's a video game competition with this new type of video game playing which is very gestural--it's very akin to the Wii or Kinect on Microsoft. It's very movement-based. And he's like, "I'll be the best player at this game, I'll win this competition, I'll have enough money to buy the house, I'll save my juvenile lifestyle." Well, he keeps getting beat online--while trying to practice, he keeps getting beat by this character. They find out who this person is in real life. Turns out it's a little girl: it's Jennette's character! [laughs] And so we decide to infiltrate her life, and I become a teacher at her school, and I try and get her to go to the prom instead of play in the video game competition so that I'll win. Throughout this, I start to care about her mom, we start dating, I start to realize that what I'm doing is wrong. Lessons are learned, I grow up a little bit...

While Quincy is training for the competition, is there a classic '80s montage scene?

I believe there is! [laughs] I believe there is a nice montage scene. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I don't know how they're going to edit it together. But we definitely did a lot of cool camera sweeps and zooms. We knew, kind of, what the avatars were going to be doing, so we tried to do movements that would match that.

You've said that you're a video game fan yourself. What are some of your recent favorites?

I just played, on the Xbox, a game called Limbo that is a masterpiece! It is a work of art. You have to play it. It's almost a perfect game. It's just a puzzle game where you're this little boy. It's all black and white, no music. And you wake up in this sort of limbo. And it's all puzzles, it's all physics-based. And the puzzles are mind-blowing! And it reminded me a lot of how I felt when I played Portal for the first time--like I had to play [the whole thing] in one sitting. Amazing. But I just built a brand new video game PC, which I've been having problems with. And I finally figured out the issue last night. [laughs] This sounds very geeky, but I'm very proud of myself.

No, that's huge. Tech problems can totally drive you nuts...

It was such a weight on my shoulder. I tried everything to figure out what was going on with this thing, and I finally figured it out. I even had an electrician come and make sure I was getting clean power to the circuits. Insane! It had to be done! And it turned out that was part of the problem--I wasn't getting enough power. But that's neither here nor there...But I'm looking forward to the new Diablo by Blizzard coming out. I'm very excited about that. And I hate to say it, but when Cataclysm comes out for World of Warcraft, I may check that out. I've been away from World of Warcraft for a while now...

WoW can absolutely eat up all your time...

Yeah. But I may just check it out. [shrugs sheepishly] If that's possible? To just maybe dip my feet in a little bit?

Having worked with Jennette for so long on iCarly, did you find that the two of you had an instant shorthand in terms of chemistry and comedy when it came to working together on Best Player?

Absolutely, yeah. So much of the "meet and get to know you" stuff that you have to do on movies... [snaps fingers] Never had to worry about that. It was like we were on the set, but just up there [in Vancouver] in a different environment. And it was cool, actually, to have that distance from LA and from the iCarly set, doing something different, getting to play different characters, but with very similar energies. I mean, they cast us for a reason, because Quincy's very juvenile, and her character is very brash. She's, like, very tomboyish. So there's similarities. [Jennette enters for our interview, Jerry starts to heap on praise for her, making sure that she can hear him] And here she is now! And you can not ask for a better actress than this girl right here! You'll find as you talk to her, she's nothing like the characters that she plays, which is a testament to her acting ability. She's so sweet! And lovable! [to Jennette] I know you can hear me!

[Editor's note: At this point in our interview session, Jerry hands things off to Jennette. Demonstrating that they do indeed make an awesome comedy duo, the two banter over random topics and tease each other like a brother and sister. We really wish we had video of this to share...]

Jerry, thank you very much for your time this afternoon.

It was a pleasure, thank you.

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