Miranda Cosgrove is opening up about the challenges of teen fame.
Speaking with PEOPLE, the actress, 28, gets real about growing up in the public eye, reprising her role as Carly Shay in the upcoming Paramount+ iCarly revival, and whether or not she has any regrets.
"I think one of the most challenging things growing up making iCarly, I went through my awkward phase and completely grew up on the show," says Cosgrove.
"So when I look back at all the episodes, even though I remember the fun times and I can laugh, sometimes when I see the outfits I'm wearing, I just know how I felt during those moments in some of the episodes. It's so weird to think that when you're a kid growing up on TV, people are watching you go through all that awkward stuff and figuring out who you are," she continues.
Starring on the original hit teen sitcom, which aired on Nickelodeon from 2007 to 2012, Cosgrove was looked up to by viewers as a role model - a position that she calls "flattering" and "scary."
"I feel when I was little and people would call me a role model, I think it always was really flattering, but it's also scary because when you're a little kid and someone's calling you a role model, it's like, 'Oh no, I don't want to let anyone down,'" she explains. "But you also aren't fully formed and you don't really know how to be a role model. So there are nice things about it but it's also challenging."
Now, the Los Angeles native - who began appearing in TV commercials at age 3 and starred in School of Rock alongside Jack Black at 14 - is gearing up for the premiere of the iCarly revival, which she both stars in and executive produces.
"I feel from this experience in particular, I've learned a lot of things really fast that I never knew about before," Cosgrove says. "I'm getting to help edit all the episodes. I've never edited anything in my life. So just even seeing all the behind the scenes things, even talking to the set designers from the very start, figuring all that out and seeing how they put the sets together. These are all things that I've never done before. So it's just been a real learning process and I've really enjoyed every second of it."
Nickelodeon Network/Photofest Nathan Kress, Miranda Cosgrove and Jennette McCurdy
"And I also just feel like I've gotten better at speaking up for myself because when you're being asked questions all day long about, 'Where should this go? What should we do, and do you think your character would say this,' you really start to get used to it. People are looking to me and asking me questions, so I feel it's been really empowering and that's one of the things that I'm most proud of from this experience."
The revival, set 10 years after the Nickelodeon classic, will follow Carly and her friends navigating love, family and friendships in their 20s.
"It's kind of funny because in the show iCarly, Carly's character goes to college after she is in Italy with her dad for a few years, she goes to college and then she ends up coming back to the show. iCarly was like me in real life," she says. "And she starts up the show for the first time in 10 years. So when we were doing the scene, it was kind of weird for me just because that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm starting the show again for the first time in 10 years. So there are a lot of moments like that within the show where it really mirrors my real life."
Sarah MOrris/getty Miranda Cosgrove
Reflecting on her journey, Cosgrove - who finds joy in taking care of her five animals and fostering other pets - is grateful for every step that has led her to this moment.
"I wouldn't say I have any regrets because I am really grateful for all the opportunities I've had and I do think even hard stuff makes you who you are," she says. "And I think I had a lot of amazing experiences making the show. I wouldn't change anything, but I am grateful for this experience because I think it's just made me kind of see it in a new and even better light than I did before."
The iCarly revival premieres Thursday on Paramount+.