Why Hollywood won't cast Miranda Cosgrove anymore

Miranda Cosgrove first found fame at 10 years old with her film debut as Summer Hathaway in School of Rock (2003). The following year, she scored her iconic role as scheming younger sister Megan Parker on Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh, before landing a starring role on the network's iCarly in 2007.

After branching out into the music biz with her 2010 hit "Kissin' U," the actress-turned-singer successfully returned to film, voicing Margo in Despicable Me. As she said goodbye to her alter-ego, Carly Shay, in 2012, Cosgrove was on top of the world. So, why has she been so quiet lately? 

Miranda's music career never really took off

While Cosgrove enjoyed a few light hits, her music career failed to reach the same explosive level of Disney Channel counterparts Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez.

Her most successful singles were undoubtedly 2009's "About You Now", which reached no. 47 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Kissin' U" , which peaked at no. 54. Her 2010 debut album, Sparks Fly, debuted at no. 8 on the Billboard 200, but Cosgrove's last single, the Avril Lavigne-penned "Dancing Crazy," barely cracked the Hot 100 in 2011 before falling off the chart.

A bus crash ended her national tour

The slow-burn momentum of Cosgrove's music career was dramatically cut short following a tour bus crash that ended her Dancing Crazy Summer Tour in North America. According to Billboard, the accident took place on the morning of August 11, 2011. While traveling on I-70 in Vandalia, Ill., the bus ran into an overturned tractor-trailer in the middle of the highway. According to a statement released by her publicist, the then 18-year-old Cosgrove broke her ankle, but "everyone will be fine." Following her doctor's orders, the "heartbroken" singer was forced to cancel her 25 remaining tour dates.

Cosgrove filed a lawsuit

Two years after the aforementioned accident, Cosgrove and her mother sued her former tour bus driver, the tractor-trailer driver, and both transportation companies for unspecified damages resulting from the accident.

According to TMZ, Cosgrove claimed the crash could have been prevented if the drivers had kept a "safe and proper lookout" instead of driving in a careless manner. Cosgrove also alleged the accident had not only ruined her career, but had left both she and her mother "disfigured and disabled." Both women claimed they "lost their normal lives."

Are her claims legit?

In 2014, Cosgrove's former bus driver publicly stated that the singer's claims were bogus—exaggerated for monetary gain. According to TMZ, the driver questioned the millions of dollars Cosgrove supposedly lost as a result of the accident. This included $400,000 from canceling her tour, $560,000 in future shows, $400,000 from losing a contract with Neutrogena due to her injuries, and $184,490.16 in medical bills, reported TMZ. Additionally, Cosgrove's record label, Sony, allegedly dropped her after her tour was scrapped. These financial losses reportedly totaled $2.5 million, but the driver cast doubts on Cosgrove's math.

Hitting the books

After iCarly wrapped in 2012, Cosgrove decided to take a short break from Hollywood to study film at the University of Southern California. According to USA Today, she was happy for the change of pace, acclimating to college life and working sparingly on other projects. "Sometimes I forget that I've been on the show, because everyone is just trying to get to class and get their work done," she said. The studious actress later told Bustle, "It was always important to me. I still wanted to be able to go to collegeI'm slowly trudging along until I finish."

In a December 2017 visit to LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, Cosgrove shed a bit more light on her pivot away from Hollywood when she told the daytime hosts that she recently changed her major from film to psychology. Granted, this doesn't mean that Cosgrove intends to give up the entertainment life entirely, but it does clearly indicate that she has serious interests outside the biz. 

Her post-Nick projects flopped

The transition from child star to adult actress has not been easy for Cosgrove as her post-Nickelodeon projects continue to flop. 

NBC's 2013 pilot for Girlfriend in a Coma had a promising start. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was to be a comedy about  "Karen (Christina Ricci), who wakes up from a coma after almost two decades to find out she has a 17-year-old daughter from a pregnancy she was unaware of when her life was put on hold." Cosgrove was to play Evie, "a small-town, overachieving loner who can't shake the legacy of being the daughter of 'Coma Lady.'" Despite the interesting concept, the show struggled to land on its feet after Ricci exited the project following a table read; it was not picked up.

Spaced Out failed to launch

2017's Spaced Out was a single-camera workplace comedy from the mind of Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence. It centered on a team of geniuses who are building a rocket to Mars, with protagonist Peter Gibbons (Matt Shively) serving as a working-class newcomer struggling to fit in with the group. The space-travel pilot features Cosgrove as Casey, a character Deadline described as "a brilliant and enthusiastic software engineer who shares her co-workers' dream of sending humans to Mars." The project never got off the ground; NBC cut it during its final round of picks. 

The Intruders went straight to DVD

 While Despicable Me has turned into a huge franchise, Cosgrove's other film efforts have not done nearly as well. The 2015 horror flick The Intruders went straight to DVD and garnered negative reviews, earning just 21 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Film critic Steve Newton had a particularly harsh view of the film, describing it as a "watered-down twist" on an obscure TV movie from the 1970s. His thoughts on Cosgrove's performance weren't much better, as he also noted, "Unfortunately, the iCarly star's photogenic qualities far outweigh her acting chops here." Ouch.

She's been 'crowded out' of TV

In February 2015, Cosgrove scored a television gig that was actually picked up to series. The actress joined the cast of NBC's Crowded, which focused on two daughters (Cosgrove plays younger sister Shea) who have moved back into their parent's home, according to the New York Post. Unfortunately, the series' formulaic and dated content attracted poor reviews and low ratings. The Hollywood Reporter called the show "pointless, stupid and unfunny." Yikes. The freshman sitcom was canceled after just one season.

She's busy planning her comeback in music

Since her departure from iCarly, Cosgrove has hinted that she'd like to eventually return to music. She told Kidz World, "Sometimes I record songs. Because I've been focusing more on school I guess, I haven't been as focused on music although I still really like it." 

Want a taste of Cosgrove's more recent musical output? In September 2016, she shared a stripped down performance of a song she wrote on Instagram.

She wants to be a screenwriter

Cosgrove hopes to one day write and act in her own screenplays—a la Tina Fey. "I definitely want to act. That's why I want to major in film," she told USA Today. "The most important thing is to find a good story. It's hard when you're coming from a TV show. I'm hoping to find something that's right."

Cosgrove told Bustle  she's honing her writing skills. "I like to write about bad days, experiences, things that actually happen to me," she said. "Especially with comedy, so many [female] comedians, my favorite ones, they write their own stuff because they know their strengths."

Despicable Me 3

The third installment of the computer-animated Despicable Me franchise premiered in late-June 2017 with Cosgrove on board. Although the family-friendly movie was met with mixed reviews, it attracted massive international box office success. According to Variety, the movie grossed an astounding $241.4 million worldwide during its opening Fourth of July holiday weekend. Though being part of a commercially successful film that most certainly pays the bills, this may not be the more mature fare Cosgrove is looking for.

How she can turn it around

While the Despicable Me franchise is a nice safety net for Cosgrove to fall back on, she doesn't seem to be attempting to move out of her acting comfort zone just yet. According to her IMDb page, Cosgrove has just one project on her plate for 2018, another network sitcom called History of Them. Deadline describes the project as a "high-profile multi-camera/hybrid comedy pilot" that centers on "two friends, Luna (Ana Villafañe) and Adam (Brett Dier), and how they fell in love, using the couple's social media (Instagram/Twitter/FB) as a guide." And Cosgrove doesn't even get screen time — she's the show's narrator.

That sounds to us like it's either another career "safe bet," like her previous sitcom attempts, or maybe just something that won't cut into her academic studies too much, but still keep her relevant in the game. Regardless, Cosgrove seems to be in a holding pattern career-wise, but we're confident that when she's ready, she'll be able to re-capture the energy of her earlier, multi-faceted attempts at showbiz.