It's been three months since "Outer Banks" became an instant hit, and the show's star, Chase Stokes, is still reeling from the shocking success — and grappling with his new status as a Hollywood heartthrob.
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"To be in that category is awesome," he told TMRW, adding that while he loves being known as a romantic lead, he also wants to expand into deeper roles in his work. "For me, it's about continuing to push the bar and do work that is ever-changing."
He named Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp and Jake Gyllenhaal as actors whose careers he would like to emulate — "people who have branched out into more drastic roles," he said.
Stokes plays John B. in the Netflix show, which follows a group of teenagers searching for sunken treasure off the coast of North Carolina while trying to unravel the mystery of John B.'s father's disappearance. The show also focuses on his character's budding relationship with Sarah, played by Madelyn Cline. And, much to fans' delight, the pair revealed last month that they're dating in real life, too. Stokes said he and Cline grew close while filming and took their relationship to the next level after the show wrapped.
"It was cool to work with somebody you’re really good friends with," he said. "And to take the time to fall for each other after the show had wrapped was really cool. I was talking to my mom about it … it was cute and fun and it's super cool to be a part of something with your partner and watch the success of it all together."
In fact, the whole cast has become close — they were even quarantining together at one point.
"We spent the first half of quarantine together in Los Angeles," Stokes said. "After a while of being stuck together in a 700-square-foot apartment, we were like, we need to go home. So we all hopped on flights and went back to our respective homes."
The coronavirus pandemic may have helped the show rise to popularity, as it came out during a time when many Americans were stuck at home searching for something to binge-watch. Stokes, who originally turned down an audition for the role of John B., and then later read for Topper, his character’s nemesis in the show, said he’s “super thankful” for the casting agents who recognized he was a fit to be the show's main character.
Stokes spoke to TMRW on behalf of Sweet Earth Foods, the maker of plant-based burgers and more, although Stokes said he's not a vegan, but a "flexitarian": "I just like trying all different types of food," he said. "But I've noticed my energy levels are definitely higher when it comes to a plant-based diet."
While Stokes knows fans are curious about what a season 2 of “Outer Banks” might look like, he said he’s in the dark as much as anyone else, given the coronavirus pandemic, which has put a halt on most TV production. But he does have other projects in the works, including “One of Us Is Lying,” a show that’s based on a YA novel and will air on the new streaming service, Peacock, which is part of our parent company, NBCUniversal.