'We wanted to get back together so bad,' he tells EW

By Dana Rose Falcone
Updated February 09, 2016 at 05:36 PM EST
Credit: Michael Bezjian/Getty Images
  • TV Show
  • Fox

Early into Grandfathered‘s season 1 run, star Josh Peck told EW he’d love to have his Drake & Josh costar Drake Bell make a guest appearance on the new show. Four months later, he made it happen. The friends and former child stars will reunite on Tuesday night’s episode of Grandfathered, in which Gerald (Peck) will pitch his idea for an app to a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur played by Bell.

“It was interesting working with Josh and not being Drake & Josh,” Bell tells EW. “I really enjoyed getting to play with him in a different setting. And we’re adults! We don’t have our bushy hair and talk about high school problems and girlfriends. We’re pitching an app and he’s a father. I think it’s crazy.”

The old pals gathered on set for a day in November, at which point Bell got to meet his replacement — John Stamos. “He’s the older, better-looking Drake,” the 29-year-old California native jokes. And Bell got slightly starstruck meeting Peck’s onscreen mom, played by Paget Brewster. He admits, “I’m a huge fan of Criminal Minds.”

Despite only getting to spend one day filming with Peck, Bell felt like hardly any time had passed since their Nickelodeon days. “It was like we worked together yesterday,” Bell says.

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Still, hearing the production assistants call for the pair made him nostalgic. “It was pretty cool being on set and hearing people say ‘Okay, we’re ready for Drake and Josh,’ ” Bell recalls. “I’m like ‘Whoa, I hadn’t heard that for a while.’ “

And the short reunion was nearly nine years in the making. “We’ve remained friends off the show, but we haven’t had that opportunity other than doing a line together or something,” Bell explains. “We wanted to get back together so bad.”

Bell says he’s open to future guest roles on Grandfathered and even getting the entire cast back together for a Drake & Josh reboot; in fact, he’s already begun working with another one of his former costars. “I’m creating a show right now with Jonathan Goldstein who played my dad on the show,” Bell says. While that project remains in its early stages, Bell will appear in a web series titled Dan Is Dead later this year, in addition to touring throughout North America.

But playing shows in Mexico won’t keep Bell from staying in touch with Peck and the rest of his Drake & Josh costars. “We go out to dinners, we hang out, we go to the same holiday parties,” Bell says. “It’s like they’re family.”

Grandfathered airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

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2015 series
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