Austin North plays Topper in Netflix’s hit series Outer Banks. Season two just premiered on July 30 and it includes 10 episodes of pure action, adventure, and drama with a ton of crazy twists. The actor is also known for I Didn’t Do It and All Night. This interview contains spoilers for the second season, so only continue if you’ve seen the new season.
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.
Ahead of the second season’s premiere, North and I discussed Topper’s redemption, the insane cliffhangers, his favorite moment from the new season, who he wants to have more scenes with in the future, what he hopes the show teaches those watching, 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.
Austin North: It’s exciting. I mean, I’ve had so many people come up to me on the streets and ask me, “When’s the next season?” And I’m like, “Oh, you know, it’s coming out soon.” There’s just a lot of anticipation and it was left on such a cliffhanger season one. So, I’m just really pumped, really excited for everyone to see it. I think the feedback is gonna be great. I’m just happy that people have a nice summer show to watch.
One of my favorite things about getting to speak with you now is that we’re going to get into some spoilers. So let’s talk about Topper this season, how did you feel about what you got to do with his character rather than just continue his season one behavior?
Yeah, it’s great to kind of see the other side of Topper; the side that’s not super aggressive, quick to react, be emotional, angry, and controlling. I think you see a different side of him, for certain. In season two, there’s a redemption part of it, which I think a lot of people were rooting for. Whenever he comes and saves Sarah in episode five, I think that’s going to be a really awesome moment for the fans to see. I love that he’s kind of coming back down to earth, putting his emotions aside, being there for Sarah, loving on her, making sure that she’s safe, and also trying to just allow her to escape the crazy stuff that’s going on with her family and all the drama with John B that starts to happen. I think Topper just wants to see her well and mentally okay; I think he does a good job at that too. He becomes kind of a nurturer and brings her in, lets her stay at his house, and invites her to the bonfire. He wants to go back to how things were, where it was just kind of the two of them and life was more simple. I think she gets to experience that for a little bit until things just pick up and get crazy again.
Did you know that this was the direction that they were heading with Topper’s character?
I think I saw it coming, I think we all kind of saw it coming, because he kind of takes the bullet for Sarah and John B in episode nine when he puts on John B’s clothes and lets them escape. You see Topper in the back of the cop car and that’s really the last time you see him in season one. So, I think that cliffhanger alone, people were like, “What’s happening? Is Topper making a change? Is he going to turn around for the good?” And that’s kind of what I was thinking too. I’m glad that it’s gone that direction, I think people were wanting that. I’m excited that I was able to explore that other side of Topper, see more of his personality come out, and more of his true human nature rather than kind of this cocky, arrogant, boozy, rich kid personality.
When you were filming the season, did you know everything that was going to happen next or were you theorizing and guessing what was coming?
Yeah, I mean, the process varies. They definitely do write kind of as we’re filming sometimes. We didn’t have like every single episode up front, so there’s definitely times when I needed to call the writers or Jonas and kind of get an idea of where things are going, that way I can prepare, and make my decisions early on that will make sense for what’s going to happen later on. So yeah, the process is a little crazy, a little wild, but I think in the end, this show was shot very beautifully and everything came together very nice. It makes sense, you know, when they’re kind of jumping from Barbados to Charleston, and also the Outer Banks; I think it flows very well and everything in the storyline makes a lot of sense. So, I think the fans are gonna love that.
Let’s talk about that huge final revelation and all of the other crazy twists and turns, what were your reactions?
I mean, I’m sitting in my apartment in Charleston, when we’re filming, getting these scripts come to me, and I’m just locked in. I feel like a fanboy and I’m like, “What’s gonna happen next? What’s the cliffhanger?” Seeing it all come to life was pretty insane because there’s a lot of special effects involved and how are they going to pull off a lot of these stunts, explosions, and all of these different things? It’s just so incredible what post production can do. I think it turned out beautifully. It starts off very, very, very intense. You’re just back on the adventure, new characters are coming in, and I think people are just gonna be on the edge of their seat.
Did you have a favorite moment from this season that either you just loved filming or how it came out that you’re excited for fans to see?
For sure, a couple of different ones. I love the scene, obviously, when Topper comes, saves Sarah, and they end up on the boat afterwards. I think that was a really tender, special moment that the fans haven’t really seen yet. There wasn’t a lot of dialogue, there wasn’t a lot of things happening, and there didn’t need to be a lot of dialogue because it was all just so many turns of events that happen with Sarah and it’s kind of a first time Topper is seeing Sarah since she left. He thought she was dead, now she’s back, they’re on this boat, and he’s just there to help her, keep her safe, and protect her. I think that was a special moment. Also, whenever they get to go back to normality, be at that bonfire, have a couple drinks, and escape everything that’s going on. I think that was a really cool moment too and besides the storyline, that was just a fun night to film with all of the extras. We had all these stunts going on and everyone was there that night, the whole cast was there I think– Rafe wasn’t there, but it was just a really fun night to be filming. Yeah, those are kind of the ones that stood out the most to me.
One of the scenes that I loved was in the very beginning with Topper at the table and JJ serving, which is a pair that we don’t get to see interact very much. Everyone’s talking about Sarah and John B, and Topper sort of sticks up for them. He also tries to calm JJ down. So, leading into my next question, is there anyone you’d want to have more scenes with going forward, if you could pick?
I would love to see some more scenes with JJ. Honestly, that was probably the most I’ve really interacted with him. There’s a few times in the first season, but I think there’s some similarities between the two. I think that if they were just together like stuck on a boat or something it’d be a really funny dynamic. I think they both would understand each other in a way. With JJ’s family issues with his dad and all the stuff that he has to go through with that. Then Topper with his mom because he deals with a lot of pressure, a lot to live up to, all of these expectations to be successful, and be this and that. I think they both would have a little bit of a friendship there, but who knows; that would be a fun thing to explore.
How do you think this season is going to stand out compared to the first?
Yeah, I think just from an adventure standpoint, it’s on another level from the get-go. We all know what’s happening, they’re trying to get the gold. Then, some other turns of events happen, there’s a secret that comes out that the Pogues find out with Pope. That’s just a whole other storyline to explore. I mean, for me, personally, when I watched it, I was just like, “Gosh, I’m relating to all of these characters in my own way,” even with Rafe. Obviously, a psychopath. Obviously, kind of insane, but I feel for him at times and I’m like, “Why do I feel this way?” It’s like he has such a love for his dad, he wants to make him proud, and I’m just like plotting myself, sitting on the couch, forgetting about the fact that I’m on this show. I watched it and I’m so involved, so invested with all these characters and I’m so pumped for everyone to see it.
Is there a message that you hope the younger generation, people the same age as these characters, or even just anyone watching receives from the show?
Yeah, I think there’s so many things to be touched on. I think, specifically, kind of what I was talking about with Topper, you look on from the outside and he’s just kind of this rich, cocky Kook, you know? You would think everything is just kind of handed to him and life is set up, but I think he goes through a lot of different emotions, which is the pressure from his mom and expectations. Even though he has all these materialistic things, he’s still human and has emotions at the end of the day. I think that’s something that people can relate to and I just love also the friendship aspect. There’s so many different personalities, especially with the Pogues, and the fact that they’re all able to come together, have that true friendship, and just the small moments, especially in the first season. There’s just so many moments between them when they’re just living life at the Chateau, having that bond. I think overall, it’s such a great message, the different characters — and you’ll see in season two with Carlacia Grant coming in, there’s just a whole different world that’s being explored in the Bahamas. There’s so many different personalities, races, ethnicities, and so many different types of people coming together and helping each other. I think it’s a beautiful thing and a beautiful message.