‘Nancy Drew’ Star Kennedy McMann Wasn’t Surprised By Adult Content

The CW has aged up Nancy Drew for its audience. Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is 18 and has given up crime solving for several years. She is also in a sexual relationship with Nick (Tunji Kasim). That’s not the young, chaste character from the books and previous film and television adaptations. The O.C. creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage brought their teen drama sensibilities to Nancy Drew.

Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew
McMann as Nancy Drew | Robert Falconer/The CW

McMann spoke with reporters after The CW’s Television Critics Association panel for Nancy Drew. She defended the new interpretation of the character and hopes that Nancy Drew fans will join her in this new version of the character. Nancy Drew airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. after Riverdale on The CW.

Kennedy McMann says her Nancy Drew retains this about the character

Younger Nancy Drews didn’t have sex, drink, smoke or do any of the adult things that might occur on The CW’s show. However, McMann thinks those additions don’t change these key attributes.

Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew
Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew | Robert Falconer/The CW

“Nancy for me has always been this bold and this candid, this afire of command over herself and her decisions and over the things that she chooses to throw herself into,” McMann said. “So nothing about this Nancy is any surprise to me based on how I believe that she is.”

The love scenes on ‘Nancy Drew’ aren’t that big a deal

Love scenes on TV dramas are pretty common. On The CW they must be a well oiled machine. 

Kennedy McMann and Tunji Kasim in Nancy Drew
Tunji Kasim and Kennedy McMann in Nancy Drew | Dean Buscher/The CW

“I guess the love scenes are a little scarier because it’s sort of like hey, here we go,” McMann said. “But Tunji’s so kind and so lovely and respectful. It makes it really easy”

These ghosts are fake

This Nancy Drew does encounter supernatural occurrences, and there may not be a real-world explanation this time. There is, however, a real world actor on the set.

“So the woman that plays our ghost, her name’s Stephanie,” McMann said. “She’s truly the sweetest, nicest person I have ever met in my entire life but she looks horrifying. I just saw her without the makeup on two days ago for the first time. So that’s not very scary.”

McMann had another spooky encounter that she might have blamed on the great beyond. 

Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew
Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew | Robert Falconer/The CW

“Okay, I would have said up until three days ago that I was not at all a supernatural believer, except for the Loch Ness Monster,” McMann said. “This bell started ringing, and then the door to the room went shut. We went over to the window and looked out and everyone was gathered on the front lawn. We heard this pounding out in the hallway and we’re like oh my God, we’re going to die now. It’s over. And so we ran out but that door was locked and we were running through the hallway to go to the other door and that door was locked. We turned the corner to go down the stairs and there was a staircase leading up and there was one that was supposed to lead down but it was blocked off and we were like we are dead. We’re being trapped here by a ghost.”

The explanation was much more mundane.

“Eventually we got out and all was well and it was a fire alarm,” McMann said. “Our atmospheric smoke set off the fire alarm, but I was a little bit crying.”

The mystery on ‘Nancy Drew’ will surprise Kennedy McMann

Kennedy McMann may not be surprised by her grown-up Nancy Drew, but she will be surprised every time she reads about a clue in the script. The writers have not told her the ending.

“I don’t want to know especially because as Nancy finds out, I want to be finding out,” McMann said. “That helps make my job easier too.”

Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew
Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew | Dean Buscher/The CW

McMann plays by the rules when she reads mysteries too.

“I stick through it,” McMann said. “I would never skip to the end. I’ve got to see how it happens and then I would reread it to see what was leading up to everything before.”

‘Nancy Drew’ Easter Eggs will surprise the fans

Look for a Hidden Staircase reference in the premiere episode, and many more to come.

Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew
Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew | Robert Falconer/The CW

“Oh, it’s so good and there’s more to come,” McMann said. “Many more Easter eggs. Yes, indeed. Keep your eyes peeled.”