Sophia Lillis talks to YEM about playing Nancy Drew

The iconic mystery solving teenager from the classic Nancy Drew books is back with an all-new movie that comes out today! Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase follows Nancy Drew in her new town, making new friends and on a mission to solve the case. The movie stars Sophia Lillis (from Sharp Objects on HBO) and is co-produced by Ellen DeGeneres. We spoke with the movie’s star Sophia Lillis about playing the iconic character and what it’s like to be in a movie of mystery.

Young Entertainment Mag: You’re playing the iconic character of Nancy Drew. Did you read any of the books growing up?

Sophia Lillis: You know, I didn’t. I was more of an Encyclopedia Brown girl but I have started reading them and they’re great! They’re really funny and she’s such a great character.

YEM: How is this version of Nancy Drew different from previous versions?
Sophia: Well, I think she’s probably more relatable. She’s still really independent but she depends more on her friends and family which is more realistic, I think, than in the books or the other movie or TV movies.

YEM: In this movie, Nancy Drew moves to a small town, but wants some more excitement. Are you personally more of a small town or a city girl?

Sophia: Definitely a city girl! I was born in Brooklyn and still live there. And I go to school in Manhattan. I love living in a city-there’s so much to do – almost too much.

YEM: What do you think makes Nancy Drew such a compelling character, who has stood the test of time?

Sophia: I think her independence and the fact that she’s just focused on what she loves to do and doesn’t let other things get in her way. She’s not sitting around thinking about clothes or dating or her social media presence. She’s out there solving mysteries.

YEM: What mystery does Nancy investigate in this adaptation?

Sophia: It’s actually a house that might be haunted. So she goes there to spend the night and help figure out what’s going on.

YEM: This movie is produced by Ellen DeGeneres! Did you get to meet her?

Sophia: Not while shooting. We were down in Georgia and Ellen was getting ready to do her comedy stand up show. But she did invite me on her show which was amazing!

YEM: You recently played a younger version of Amy Adams on the HBO show Sharp Objects. Did you get to interact with her while filming?
Sophia: We definitely talked a bit beforehand but we actually weren’t shooting together too much since we were the same person, you know. But the director had been working for months with Amy so he had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted.

YEM: Finally, Sharp Objects was very dramatic. And while Nancy Drew certainly has drama, it is more lighthearted. Which do you prefer: intense drama or some adventurous fun?
Sophia: Both! They both have their pluses. And it’s great to have a balance.

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase is in theaters today!