How Nancy Drew Got Modernized For The CW

Stars Kennedy McMann and Scott Wolfe explain who the new Nancy Drew is

By Lauren Piester Oct 09, 2019 10:15 PMTags
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This ain't your grandma's Nancy Drew...but that's not at all a bad thing. 

The Nancy Drew at the center of the new CW drama is, as some journalists were quick to point out during the show's panel at the summer TV Critics Association press tour, quite a bit sexier than Nancy Drew has been before. As in, Nancy now has some sex. But as Kennedy McMann and costar Scott Wolfe told us in our interview after the panel, she's just an 18 year old girl in 2019 who's going through a lot. (And it's also a CW show.) 

"I think what we're seeing is a young woman who is grappling with an extreme loss of a parent, and the loss of the future that she had depended on having because of her mother getting sick. Her college applications fell through, she decided to stay home," McMann explains. "We're seeing her desperately lonely, vying to fill that void with something, and I think if that's not relatable, I truly don't know what is. And I think it's a very normal part of growing up and navigating what one's relationship to that sort of physical intimacy is." 

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It's not a promotion of anything, it's just how she's navigating her life, and how she's building this one particular relationship," she continued. 

Plus, Nancy Drew is a character who first appeared in the 1930s, and things have changed since then. 

"What life looks like for an 18 year-old in 1938 is quite different than it looks in 2019, so this show embraces what it looks like now," Wolfe explains. 

Other than the fact that Nancy's now a modern woman, the show is still very much reminiscent of who Nancy Drew has always been—a tenacious, fearless teen detective with mysteries to solve. That said, she's gotten a little more modern, and a little more messy. 

"She's dropped a little bit of the caring so much about what people thing, and really quite recklessly follows her heart, and I think that's really cool to see, and makes a little bit of a mess which is very relatable I think, especially in this time of life that we're seeing her," McMann says.  

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She and Wolfe both definitely acknowledged that this was a beloved set of characters so there was definitely some pressure, but McMann could only go off of her own experiences. 

"I've been such a superfan of the books and of the games my whole life. I had a really strong sense of who Nancy is to me, and who Nancy is in my own head and in my heart, so when it came about, it was like well, I don't know which Nancy other people have been seeing in their lives, in their experiences, but I know who mine is, and all I can do is be true to that and filter it out through myself as a vessel. That's all I can do. So that pressure kind of got released of being like, all I can do is be the Nancy that I know, and the Nancy that's on the pages of our scripts." 

Hit play above to hear more from Wolfe and McMann, especially about what to expect as the show goes forward!

Nancy Drew premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW. 

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