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Gabrielle Union Praises Percy Jackson’s Aryan Simhadri (Exclusive)

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The next generation is coming to Camp Half-Blood. Earlier this year, it was officially announced that Disney was greenlighting a serialized adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson novels for Disney+, completely separate from Logan Lerman-led two-film franchise. In one of the project’s earliest efforts to stay true to the source material, Percy Jackson cast 13-year-old Walker Scobell (The Adam Project) in the titular role, ensuring that the character would age appropriately leading up to the climactic great prophecy.

Standing alongside Scobell are Leah Jeffries (Beast) and Aryan Simhadri (Cheaper by the Dozen) who will be rounding out the core trio as Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood, respectively. Similar to Scobell, both Jeffries and Simhadri have limited filmography credits to their name but already have extensive experience working with top-tier talent.

Simhadri specifically has shared scenes with accomplished actors like Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union in Cheaper by the Dozen, a Disney+ adaptation of the 1948 novel. Speaking with’s Liam Crowley while promoting Strange World, Union stressed that Simhadri’s upcoming Percy Jackson role is a “big deal.”

“When I saw him, I was like, ‘This is a big deal kid. This is awesome, and I’m so proud of you,'” Union recalled. “He is so sweet and kind. When you meet his parents, you realize that this kid has been raised with so much love and care and the whole family is really awesome. He’s just a delight. He was just so loving and helpful and on point.”


Simhadri is the third actor to bring Grover to life, as Bjorn Yearwood and Brandon T. Jackson previously played the satyr in the 2010s film adaptations. In the books, Grover is tasked with bringing demigods to Camp Half-Blood, including Percy himself. Throughout the five novels, Grover regularly accompanies Percy on his quests all while aiming to accomplish his own life’s mission: find the Greek god of the wild, Pan.

Based on the work ethic he brought to Cheaper by the Dozen, Union believes Simhadri is destined for superstardom.

“I absolutely see how he has the career trajectory that he has,” Union continued. “It’s really rooted in him being a good person, but also understanding and respecting the business, without losing his childlike wonder. His parents allowed him to be a kid and to be a super intelligent kid at that. They didn’t try to force him into any one direction. He has just of as much of a love as of all things STEM and technology, as he does the business and his friends. I think all of that together makes him pretty unstoppable.”

Simhadri is currently in the final months of Percy Jackson production, which is set to wrap in January 2023.

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