entertainment 5 days ago

Scott Wolf was final piece to 'Nancy Drew' mystery

Tribune News Service — By Rick Bentley Tribune News Service

Oct. 08-- LOS ANGELES-Executives at The CW liked the idea of taking well-known teen sleuth Nancy Drew and giving her the kind of dark and mature spin that made the "Riverdale" version of Archie Comics so popular. That's why "Nancy Drew" was one of two new series added to the network's fall lineup.

The network was happy, but the producers were not 100% pleased with the direction. They love Kennedy McCann as the crime-solving character and all the young actors playing her friends and foes. The uncertain part was the role of Carson Drew, Nancy's widowed father and lawyer, originally to be played by Freddie Prinze Jr. Scott Wolf ("Party of Five") took over the dad role and a new first episode was refilmed to reflect the changes.

"We needed Scott Wolf," says executive producer Josh Schwartz. "I think the chemistry he has with Kennedy, you really believe and invest in that familial bond that they have. And believe that he's somebody who, despite whatever secrets he might be hiding, he still cares for his daughter and wants to rebuild the family. I think that all comes across with Scott."

Wolf's character will be involved in his daughter's life both as a parent and as a lawyer. Nancy is a brilliant teenage detective who decides to stop solving crimes after her mother's death. When a socialite is murdered, Nancy finds herself a prime suspect in the crime, along with a group of other teens present at the scene.

The approach Wolf is taking is both dad and daughter are still reeling from the loss of his wife and her mother.

"In a way, they've kind of mourned separately. And so we see these two characters who have this wellspring of connection and love for each other. But they're just clanging heads and can't find each other," Wolf says. "There is a real distance between them, so I think throughout the course of things, I think they both in their own way want to get back to who they've always been, and will they or won't they winds up being a fun dynamic within the show.

"Carson is an attorney, and he's a guy who maybe had the skill set to go off and have a big career elsewhere, but he grew up in this town of Horseshoe Bay. He loves it, and he now has an opportunity to really be part of this community and help the people here in any way he can as a lawyer."

Wolf's credits include "Everwood," "V," "The Night Shift" and "The Nine." He doesn't look for roles that fit a certain genre but is more attracted to a part if it is a good character sitting in the middle of a great story.

Wolf comes to the series with some knowledge of the character, as he read both Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books when he was growing up in New Jersey. He's impressed that while the books are close to 100 years old, people are still enamored with them. His theory is there's something so simple and old fashioned when you read them now, but the sense of mystery, character and storytelling quality holds up.

His familiarity with the character almost kept him from becoming part of the show.

"Before I opened the script I had a nostalgic version of Nancy Drew in my head," Wolf says. "By Page 3, the intentions of what these people are trying to create became clear and by Page 6 I was calling my agent saying 'Let's make a hard run at this.' By the end of the script, I was just dying to be a part of it."

Adding Wolf to the "Nancy Drew" casts makes him part of The CW, the same network that is rebooting "Party of Five," the Fox drama that helped make Wolf a star. His hope is the new cast has the same amount of joy making the show and finds the same amount of success.

"Anything with the 'Party of Five' name on it, I'm rooting hard for it. It's a very beautiful story that is timely the way they are doing in with the immigrants' story," Wolf says. "The basic premise of the show and what made it meaningful for the audience was watching this group of kids band together and struggle and figure it out for the sake of each other and for the sake of what their parents would have wanted."

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'NANCY DREW'

9 p.m./8 p.m. Central Wednesdays on The CW

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