$100 From Chase Stokes’ Mom Helped the Actor Land His ‘Outer Banks’ Part
Teen mystery Outer Banks has quietly grown into one of the biggest hits on Netflix. With three seasons under its belt, viewers are more invested in the class-conflict-driven drama of this unique show. With such a young cast, many of these actors are emerging as talents right in front of viewers’ eyes.
Lead actor Chase Stokes, who plays working-class crew leader John B. Routledge, had a few credits to his name before Outer Banks. He even had a one-off appearance years back on a different Netflix hit. Routledge is his biggest role yet, the one that made his career — and getting the audition as a struggling young actor wasn’t easy.
Chase Stokes struggled early in his acting career
Stokes’ performance as John B. makes up the lion’s share of the draw for Outer Banks fans. The intrigue around the character expands as his backstory is slowly revealed. Stokes capably handles the enigmatic character with a seemingly natural leading man charisma.
Said charisma didn’t come from a ton of acting experience. He booked one-off roles, including a 2016 episode of Stranger Things. Mostly, he worked odd jobs while keeping feelers out for more acting work. People reports that this unstable lifestyle resulted in homelessness.
He worked as a server and a social media manager, among other jobs, but it wasn’t enough to keep his Los Angeles apartment. He’d book shows like Daytime Divas for a few episodes, then try to find another in-between job to stay afloat. During this period, he slept in his car.
$100 stood between Stokes and his ‘Outer Banks’ audition
Stokes’ struggling actor days were proof that even booking acting work with Netflix doesn’t guarantee a full-time acting career. Stokes needed to pay the bills. And, despite his difficulty landing long-term acting jobs, he was picky about his roles.
“I used to use the LA Fitness on Hollywood Boulevard as my shower,” Stokes explained in an Access Hollywood interview posted to their YouTube channel. His limited funds nearly ruined his chances to play John B. at all. He had the funds to fly into Charleston, South Carolina, to meet with the Outer Banks showrunners.
Once there, he realized he didn’t have enough money to pay for an Uber to get to the audition. His only fallback to was to give his mom a call. He told her, “I can’t leave the airport. Um, can I borrow a hundred dollars?” She transferred the money. “And the rest is history. Wow! So thanks, Mom. Appreciate you. Love you.”
Netflix takes ‘Outer Banks’ beyond its infamous 3 season limit
Netflix isn’t known for holding onto many shows these days. It speaks volumes of their confidence in Outer Banks that the low-key resort town drama recently released its third season. Its quirky premise and the deceptively complex multi-generational story seem to be resonating strongly with the long-running streaming service’s subscribers.
Still, three seasons is often the cap even for the successful Netflix shows, thanks to their ruthless adherence to algorithm-driven business decisions. On top of all that, Outer Banks has coming-of-age themes, making it a target for a reasonable story resolution just a few seasons in. This is the exact sort of series Netflix tends to cut short some original series.
But they didn’t. According to Variety, the Season 3 promotional push also came along with a surprising announcement. Outer Banks will return for Season 4. That early renewal was likely known to the cast and crew much earlier, as they were able to structure Season 3 with built-in hooks for the future of the series. Hopefully, unlike too many high-profile Netflix series, Outer Banks will wrap up with a proper ending and all of the loose ends tied up.
Source: Cheat Sheet
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