Chase Stokes stars as John B in the hit Netflix series Outer Banks. The Pogues are back in the highly anticipated second season after that huge season one cliffhanger. The new season will premiere on July 30 and has a total of 10 episodes. All episodes of the first season are now streaming on Netflix. You might have also seen Stokes in Tell Me Your Secrets.
Outer Banks is a coming of age story that follows a tight-knit group of local teens (the “Pogues”) in the beach vacation destination of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. After their near-death escape, Season Two finds John B & Sarah on the run — and in over their heads — in the Bahamas. New friends also bring new foes as they’re back on the trail of the gold, while the stakes for Kiara, Pope, and JJ rapidly escalate at home. The $400M is still in the game, but will the uncovering of a new-found secret reunite the group for a fresh mission? The adventure of a lifetime awaits, but uncharted waters ahead mean our Pogues must do all they can to make it out alive.
I spoke with the actor about what fans can expect from the new season, what’s next for John B’s relationship with Sarah, the hunt for the gold, his character’s journey, narrating the story, his dream storyline for season three, the strong friendships on the show, and much more! Keep reading to find out everything he shared.
First off, we’re talking a few days before the premiere, so how are you feeling right now as you get ready to release this new season into the world? Especially with everyone so hyped about it.
Chase Stokes: I am quivering in my boots quite a bit. I think anytime you get an opportunity to show a little more emotional range as an actor, it makes you a little self conscious. This is an industry that forces you to go internal and be vulnerable and it was a lot of fun to do, definitely pulled on the heartstrings at a lot of points throughout the shooting process, but I’m really proud of it. I think we’ve definitely stepped it up this year.
So last we saw, John B and Sarah are officially on the run and thankfully escaped storm; how do you think their relationship is going to adjust to these circumstances?
Oh, I think, obviously, there’s a lot of things that need to be discussed. Anytime you have young lovers who are in dire circumstances, a lot of questions will arise, and both of them have had very traumatic experiences over the past couple of days in this universe. So, I think there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs and learning about one another. They’ve been in the same world and known each other for a long time, but there’s a difference between knowing each other, falling madly in love, and being on the run as a wanted murderer and somebody who’s — I guess also in her case she’s an accomplice to the crime now, so what does that do to a young couple?
The hunt for the gold is still very much in play, especially for John B. What can you tease about this storyline?
I think something that stands true to me is that a lot of the hunt for the gold is search for the connection to his father; this kid’s dad has left on his own accord. He left because of his selfish wants in this experience. I think John B is looking for answers. So, anybody who’s looking for an answer that is touching their soul is gonna go to the end of the earth to figure it out. I would just tell everyone that he’s gonna go to the end of the earth to get the answers that he needs. So, strap in, buckle up, and get ready for some debauchery.
One of my favorite things about the show is the portrayal of such amazing friendships within this group. What do you hope that these characters teach viewers about friendship?
Thank you so much. I mean, I think, obviously, this show is super high octane, fast paced, and it’s got some chaotic energy to it, but at its core, this is a character piece. You have very definitive characters, who walk and talk in different ways, but are all the best of friends. I think with society, we’re so defined by our perception on social media, how many likes we get on our picture, hoping that people like how we’re dressing, or the funny comments we make. It’s important to be authentic and although, these kids make mistakes and they say dumb shit more times than not, you still love them for who they are and I think that’s what it is; it’s just being true to yourself and not shying away from that authenticity. If we can find a way to show the younger generation to feel comfortable in their own skin, then beyond anything else I think that’s the biggest fun of the show; being able to touch people, to see themselves in these characters, and feel more comfortable in their own skin by watching a TV show. If that’s the message that we send then I mean that’s the biggest lesson that we can give back.
Is there a favorite dynamic that either you love to do as an actor or just seeing it come to life on the screen that always sticks out to you?
Oh, I mean, I love comedy. So, the banter that seeps through in chaotic moments I think is always funny. I’m a big fan of Ryan Reynolds and how he’s able to take an insane moment and just say something absurd, and you’re like, “Okay, he’s getting shot at, but he just made the funniest joke that I’ve ever heard. I need to rewind this.” Like we have a very small version of that in Outer Banks, which I love. As a fan of Spielberg and classic action films like Indiana Jones, Jaws, and basically everything that he’s ever done, it’s captivated so many hearts, right? It’s so fun to watch and it sort of does give you that escapism. So, being able to be a part of a project that sort of pays homage to classic filmmaking and that escapism style is so cool because it’s what I grew up on. Plus, to put a modern day spin on it.
You also serve as the narrator of this story. What do you enjoy most about getting to do that as well?
That’s my least favorite part, I’ve got to be honest. I’m so self conscious about my voice and voiceovers. You spend so much time in an ADR studio like rerecording, then trying a line this way, or maybe getting a little crescendo at the end of this word — words that I didn’t even know involve a voice. I’ve learned over the course of narrating 20 episodes of this. You know what you signed up for, so it’s part of the plan, but I think in a lot of moments it’s really fun, because you’re helping move story and I think that’s always an interesting thing. It’s been fun to find how to navigate, how to do that side of it as well, but still I hear myself sometimes and Maddie will laugh at me cause I’m like, “Turn it off, I don’t want to hear it!”
Did you read the scripts all at once for this new season or as you filmed each new episode? And were you able to predict where the story was going or were you just shocked?
Oh god, no. No, we didn’t. I mean, COVID did a number on us, so nothing was shot in order, none of the scripts were really present until as we were shooting. We started on episode four cause we were backlogging all of the stuff that was shot in the islands. Then because of all of the different COVID stuff, not being able to get locations, I mean our writers were writing as fast as they humanly could and we were helping with making some of the scenes more authentic. I mean, anybody in TV will tell you that scripts are not usually present until you’re shooting, so we didn’t really get things until we were done. We would be finishing an episode and we would be anxiously awaiting the script for the next one. That’s just the nature of the business. We’ve got two writers who write the entire thing, and every now and again we’ll have another writer popping out for stuff, but I don’t know how they do it. God bless them because I’m sure their brains and their fingers hurt.
There were so many revelations as well as twists and turns for the characters and show overall. How would you describe what’s to come and how it changes everything?
You said it best, it changes everything. I almost pooped my pants when I read that part that we’re talking about. It just made me think about what we’ve done for 20 episodes and how you navigate that. Like what do you do? Where do you go from here? And so, I just will go to sleep at night, say a prayer for our writers, and say hopefully this all makes sense because I have so many questions. As a fan of the show, I just now need season three immediately. As much as I’m focusing on the other parts of my career, I subconsciously am always thinking like, “Well, what if this happens? Oh my god, this could happen too.” They’ve got me hooked, dammit!
I feel like John B really has a journey in this season. What has been your favorite part of bringing this character to life and seeing him continue to grow?
I think for me, there’s truth to the fact that this kid is a teenager and he doesn’t have parental guidance. In most circumstances, a parent is going to be like, “Hey man, that’s stupid. You shouldn’t do that. No.” So, John B is learning on the fly and it’s sort of trial by fire with him. It’s kind of fun because I read scripts and I’m like, “What are you doing, man. Why? Just don’t.” When you’re able to look at that from your own perspective and be like, “I would never do shit like that,” and then you get to go and do stupid shit, it kind of gives you perspective. In a lot of ways, you understand; he has such a longing for answers in his life that are just not able to be answered. I think anyone in those circumstances would do what he does. So, with season two, it’s fun because he does get a little bit of a more redeeming quality in how he goes about things, which is exciting. I think it brings the character full circle; you understand why he acts the way that he does, but then you’re watching him have this realization and a change of heart. I think that’s the glory of being able to portray people on television. They do have redeeming qualities. When they make mistakes, you can be angry at them and then you see them right their wrongs and you’re like, “I’m proud of you.” So, right now I’m pretty proud of John B, he’s turning the cheek in my mind.
What would be a dream storyline of yours for season three?
I think with season three, you have to slow down before you pick it back up, right? Because there’s so many things that need to be answered across the board, not just with John B. I know it’s the story of his journey, but now we’re realizing that it’s expanded and it becomes so much more personal to everyone, and everybody has their own personal experiences with what’s happened now. So, I would love to do what I think the fans would love the most, which is really dive into these characters, really understand how they’re feeling and where they’re going. Then, selfishly, I think we all love to do the action stuff — and reminder we did all of these crazy sequences during a global pandemic, you know what I’m saying? So, hold on tight, because if we get the opportunity to do it with a full open world, actual time to rehearse things, rehearsal days, and a little more time to prep — I mean this universe can just turn into anything. And that’s what I’m excited about is that without the restrictions and guidelines, and hopefully the world taking it in and appreciating this season, I think there’s a lot of potential for this show to just do some really incredible and sort of groundbreaking things in the world of young adult TV, and I think we’re sort of transcending that a little bit into not just being a young adult show.
What do you think is really going to stand out to fans about this season compared to the first?
I think the character development. We all did a lot of effort to sit there and really develop characters better; I feel like everyone got better, I think across the board, not just the actors, but our shot selections and the cinematography. We all sort of got better. So, I think you’re just getting a better product of the show in total, but I’m excited because I think the performances have a lot of honesty in it. Each character has their moments of really hitting home and I think everybody’s going to relate to these kids, even more so than in the first season.