Laci Mosley stars as Harper in the new Paramount+ series iCarly. New episodes of the 13 episode first season release Thursdays on the streaming platform. The show has also already been renewed for a second season. Mosley is known for A Black Lady Sketch Show as well as her podcast Scam Goddess.
iCarly on Paramount+ picks up nearly 10 years after the beloved original Nickelodeon show ended, finding Carly Shay, the original influencer, and her friends navigating work, love and family now as adults. The series stars Miranda Cosgrove as Carly, Jerry Trainor as Spencer, Nathan Kress as Freddie, Laci Mosley as Harper and Jaidyn Triplett as Millicent.
I spoke with the actress about bringing Harper to life, joining a show she watched growing up, all the amazing iCarly fashion, her dream season two storyline, all of the OG guest stars, and so much more! Keep reading to find out what she told me.
I want to start by talking about how your character brings some much needed representation to the show. What does it mean to you to represent both the Black and LGBTQ+ community? How has the fan response been now that they know you and your character?
Laci Mosley: I want to say just after having so many conversations, and the words diversity, inclusion, and representation coming up, I’ve started to notice that in Hollywood, those words have become dog whistles for unnecessary Black people or unnecessary queer people. People are so accustomed to everything being a representation of whiteness that they forget that this is not just a representation, those movies and TV shows never depicted the real world that we live in. You’ll see a show about New York City and then you never even see a Black person on the street. So, I think that we need to stop looking at this– and I’m not saying you’re saying this at all– but I think that in general, what was really exciting to me about Harper is that she belongs in this world. She’s queer, she’s dark skinned, she’s a woman, and none of those things are dressed as if they are a coming out party. She can just be. That’s what I pray for other people like us, people of color, you know? My prayer for all of us is that we do get to a point as a society where we can just start being and it not having to be this exhausting, extra layer. Life is already hard and then the daily struggles that we have with the world’s aggression against us just make it harder.
So, the show was already so established and had this fanbase that has grown up with it; what was it like entering this world and really bringing a new voice into the mix? Were you a fan of iCarly beforehand?
So, much like other people my age, I got home from school and I turned on iCarly. I loved random dancing. There’s so many iconic things on the set that they made sure to bring back and really honor what the show originally was. So, walking onto a set, you’re stepping into something that is canon, something that’s been around in my mind rent free since I was a child watching the show. So, it was cool to like walk around and touch stuff. I was nervous because I’m working with these people with these huge fan bases and you don’t know what people are going to be like when you meet them. And I think to attest to what you said, Sophia, like saying I fit into the world, I really think that’s a testament to Miranda, Jerry, and Nathan. The second that I met them, it felt like I knew them forever. We were hanging out, having lunch; it didn’t feel like us vs. them, you know? We do a lot to make sure that it didn’t appear that way either. We all kind of worked together to make sure that we were cast members full throughout, Jaidyn and I as new cast members, but still cast members and treated as such. So yeah, I mean, it’s wild to walk into something that you watched on television that you never for one second thought you’d be a part of, but it’s also really beautiful to see how crazy the world can be.
What has it been like taking this show to the grown-up level rather than directing it towards kids once again? Because I feel like that really does make the show stand out. I haven’t really seen reboots or revivals directed towards the original audience necessarily with kid shows.
Yeah, I think that that’s what Nickelodeon and Paramount did so well with this reboot, is the fact that it’s not taking the show that you loved as a kid and just redoing it with different people. It’s really like– I’m almost the same age as Miranda and Nathan, very close in age– so, I grew up right with them and now our characters get to grow up with the audience. We get to see how Freddie’s life has gone and that he’s still kind of simping, he’s still kind of losing a lot. You can see that Spencer just basically had like the easiest life and it just got easier. Then you get to see Carly and Harper deal with real life as millennial adults who don’t have a safety net, who had to figure out how to hustle on the side so they can get the careers that they want. I mean, that’s more Harper, but you also get to watch Carly start the channel that she finished years ago. So, it’s really cool to grow up with a television show. I think that’s what makes us so unique.
One of my favorite things is the dynamic that we see between Harper and all of the other characters; it feels so natural and they are all just really fun. What was it like getting to build those relationships both on and off screen?
Building Harper was a blast out because Ali Schouten really made the set a fun collaborative space. So, if I wanted to pitch on the show for me or for anybody else, they would hear it and if it was good, I got it. I was really proud to see final cuts where there’s some bits and stuff that we did that made it and that makes me so proud as a creator and as an actor, but also just like seeing everyone’s ownership and responsibility over all the characters. Like we all care about each other’s characters as well. So, it’s just a really fun collaborative space and a really dope thing to make.
What can you tease about the remaining episodes of this season?
So, I can’t give any real details on this, but I do want to say two things. The CONgregation, which is my podcast fans, there might be a little nod to you guys. Then also, as a bisexual woman, there’s something that I think is gonna be really cool and I can’t say anything else.
Your character dreams of being a fashion stylist and you have had some amazing fashion moments on the show so far and I know we’re not even close to being done with them. Were you able to take any of those outfits or accessories from set? Did you steal anything from set when you guys wrapped or anything like that?
There’s definitely been times where I’ve accidentally tried to go home with something, but, unfortunately, when you’re in the middle of shooting while your show is airing, there’s continuity stuff so you can’t take stuff that they might actually need or you’ll be sued or whatever. But there was so many beautiful clothes that I wanted to steal so badly. The stylists on the show– they really turned it. The hair like, Cora and I worked together to come up with really amazing, fun looks; Cora is so talented and she had so much on her own. Then, my makeup would always be– you know, you see Black women on TV and a lot of times that they look good, they might have been the ones to do their own hair and makeup because that was just the world that we’ve been living in. So, to step onto a set where everybody is so confident on knowing how to do dark skin and Black hair, that’s something I’ve never experienced before and I’m so grateful for it.
That’s the change we really need. So, I’m really happy to hear that. Your outfit and hair in the episode with the robot wedding was absolutely amazing and you looked fantastic.
Yes! I wanted to nod to Beyoncé’s hair in Black is King. She did a look kind of similar to that and I showed it to Cora. And she was like, “Oh, yes. I’m all over this.” She made it so futuristic. It also kind of felt like “No Scrubs.” That was the moment that I really enjoyed. One of my favorite looks.
One really fun thing about the show is we’re getting so many guest stars from original series. Who has been your favorite to work with that we’ve seen so far?
Yes, I love working with Reed. He plays Nevel. He’s just a really fun personality on and off camera. So, we really bonded in the makeup and the hair trailers. And now, he works for Business Insider, so he has a completely different career. So, I was so excited that he stepped back into acting for a moment to give the fans what they really wanted.
You have already wrapped for the season, which is such an accomplishment with COVID and everything else going on. What was that day and moment like for you?
I was really, really happy. Sometimes I have wrapped a show and felt relief, which I’m not gonna say is a feeling you shouldn’t feel, but this time around I was overjoyed. I was really excited to, hopefully, hear what was going to happen with season two. It was so fun to do, I had a blast. So, it was a celebration. It was us dancing, talking, having fun– it feels like a family. It really does.
What would be your dream season two storyline for Harper?
Oh, that’s so hard. I would love to see Harper forward her career more, like see changes and growth; see how big she can get, you know? That would be cool to see. But I do just in general like that Harper feels like a full, recognized whole human being with her own goals that aren’t just to support Carly, even though she is there to also be supportive as a friend. You see Carly support Harper as well. So, it’s not like that typical friendship that I think people were really worried about where the Black woman is just like, “You go, girl! Go get your man!” They’re actually real friends.
When you look back on season one, do you have any memorable moments that really stick out to you that you could share?
So, Miranda and I used to get lunch together a lot. So, we would do Postmates or whatever ordering food app, but we ordered on the apps and because you’re on the Paramount lot, it took until like the end of the season for us to actually get the food to come when lunch was happening. It would be like “the drivers here,” and we go outside, we’d be searching for him across this lot for like 25 minutes; then they’d be gone or then sometimes they’d be there and leave us a cold egg burrito when we ordered chicken from a different place. It kept happening like we were cursed and it became like a bit.
I have to ask you, have they gotten you to try a spaghetti taco yet?
Oh yeah, there’s even photo evidence of it. It’s really good. It lowkey kind of tastes like a Dorito. I was like, “They might have something here.”
Did you do any random dancing on set?
I mean we do it, but I don’t know if it appears in the season. You’ll have to wait and see, but they’re on TikTok too. There’s still some that I haven’t released yet. My favorite thing to do is me and Jaidyn love to make Miranda do TikTok because she does not enjoy dancing.
Are there a dream roles or projects that you hope to do in the future?
I’ve always wanted to be like a Marvel villain. I want to be evil and hilarious. That would be fun. [You need to be with Loki.] Oh my god, I would love that. I would just want to be like Loki’s secretary, who is also evil, but very funny. I would love to be in Black Panther also.
How would you describe Harper in your own tagline or phrase?
That makes me think of like the Real Housewives tagline. I was rich before and I’ll be rich again.