Photographer Brandon Hart
Actor Praneet Akilla who will be starring as Gil Bobbsey AKA one half of the modern-day version of the Bobbsey Twins in the CW's hit television series Nancy Drew.
The Bobbsey Twins are the principal characters of what was, for many years, the Stratemeyer Syndicate's longest-running series of American children's novels. First appearing in 1904, the Bobbsey Twins appeared in more than 100 children’s novels, until 1992. Gil Bobbsey along with his sister Amanda solve petty crimes in order to survive.
Nancy Drew follows the story of a brilliant teenage detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother’s untimely death derails her college plans. Devastated by her mother’s passing, Nancy swears off crime-solving while crossing off the days until she can re-apply to college. But 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.
How has it been working on set on the second season of Nancy Drew?
It's been so wonderful. The cast and crew have welcomed the Bobbsey Twins with open arms. The writing and directing on this series is top notch and getting inhabit such well developed worlds and characters has been an actor's dream. Each episode keeps getting better and better, there're more twists and turns to come with the Bobbsey Twins storyline so stay tuned!
How did you prepare for the role?
I didn't really go to the source material of the original Bobbsey Twins books-because the iteration of the characters in the show is much darker and completely different. Gil Bobbsey is a guy who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks turning to petty crime to make ends meet. He also has trauma from his past that he is dealing with. I did some research on the connection between trauma and people who grow up in low income families. I also relied on the brilliant writing and backstory created by our head writers. I could ask all my questions during our monthly check-ins.
What's your all-time favorite movie or TV show?
Breaking Bad. Brilliant storytelling from start to finish. Incredibly well developed characters. Kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Prospective writers and filmmakers are going to keep studying the series as a "how to do it right" manual for years to come.
What is your favorite meal and can you cook?
I love to cook and I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it! Favorite meal is my mother's homemade paneer biryani and raita. Indian comfort food at its finest.
Single or ready to mingle?
If single, what's your type? Not single. I'm lucky to say I have the most wonderful girlfriend who I love very much.
How do you stay grounded in the world of Hollywood and entertainment?
I think I'm surrounded by a close network of family and friends who keep me humble and grounded. To them I'm just Praneet not "Hollywood actor" Praneet. So they still roast me and tease me (all with love of course) and I wouldn't have it any other way. I also came into this industry later in my life after some life experience. Just being able to act on a set is winning the lottery and I'm very hyper aware of that fact. That keeps me grateful and focused.
Who would you love to co-star with on a future project?
Jake Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis are actors I admire deeply for their work on both stage and screen. One day hopefully I'll get to share a scene with them.
What are other projects this year or next that fans can look forward to?
I'm going to be producing and starring in a short film called Mom vs Machine about an Indian mother battling a sentient food making robot to compete for the affection of her son. I just wrapped an all-south asian cast Christmas movie called Christmas in Crumbs. There's also another project that unfortunately I can't talk about yet but will announce soon. Stay tuned for all these projects to come out late 2021!
How can fans find you via social media outlets? Do you read your own comments?
I read and respond to all my comments! You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @p_akilla