Keke Palmer felt "trapped" as a child star on Nickelodeon.
The 29-year-old actress was just 15 years old when she landed the lead role in 'True Jackson, VP', and she found things particularly difficult during a seven-day Nickelodeon cruise during the sitcom's three-year run.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter magazine's Next Gen issue, she recalled: "I felt like I was walking around in a SpongeBob suit that I couldn’t take off.
"I was trapped. I couldn’t leave my room without someone coming up to me calling me True Jackson. What you are, to everyone, is just a character… just part of their experience."
The show ran from 2008 until 2011, and Keke - who rose to fame as True Jackson - has gone onto star in the likes of 'Scream Queens', 'Hustlers' and 'Nope'.
On the latter - which was directed by Jordan Peele - she said: "People don’t realise what it took to even get to the point where I could play that part.
"Nobody would have seen me playing that role if it hadn’t been for all the things that I’d done prior, so I’m proud of it for more reasons than one."
Keke - whose real first name is Lauren - explained she also had a separation between her true self in private, and what she lets the public see.
She added: "I’m a quirky artist, but I’m an artist, and it’s important for people to understand that Keke is just a part of who I am.
"It’s been a winding road of trying to figure out how to do what I love but also exist outside of this caricature."
She noted it's as simple as her not being "like that all the time".
She said: "I’ve taken those flamboyant and interesting aspects of myself and learned how to use them in a space that has become a career for me. I’m Walt Disney. That’s Mickey Mouse."