- Chase Stokes stars as John B. on Netflix’s 2020 breakout teen drama “Outer Banks.”
- The actor answered some rapid-fire questions for Insider about the interesting detail fans would be surprised to know about “Outer Banks,” his partnership with Sweet Earth Foods, and more.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Chase Stokes is best known for his breakout role as John B. on Netflix’s “Outer Banks.”
The 27-year-old actor answered some rapid-fire questions for Insider about the roles he almost came close to landing, a fun fact that “Outer Banks” fans would be surprised to learn about the show, his partnership with Sweet Earth Foods, and more. (This interview took place prior to “Outer Banks” getting renewed for season two).
Dream job or project in Hollywood?
I think my dream job would be to continue to work with Netflix. Not just act in “Outer Banks,” but continue to do projects within that world. And I also want to get into producing and directing, so I would love to do something like with what Ryan Murphy does, where he has a bunch of projects slated.
And just continue to create and develop things like that. I also want to flip homes. My mom and I have thought and sort of started to put together an idea of starting to flip homes down in the southeast.
Is there a role you missed out on that you regret?
I don’t regret anything. I think that the experience of going through the casting process is super important, but I was really close to doing Han Solo.
“Looking for Alaska” was another one that recently came out that I was pretty heavily in the mix for. There’s been some fun projects that I’ve seen come to life and watching it now and saying, “Oh cool, that’s something I could have played.” It’s kind of fun to look back and watch.
What was the last thing you bought online?
This is hilarious, but I recently got a new camera and I bought a camera strap on Amazon and I got the camera strap in the mail, to find out there was no camera strap. So it was just an open envelope. So Amazon, I would kind of like my camera strap if you have it. That would be great.
What was the moment you knew you made it?
I don’t think I’ll ever accept the fact I have “made it.” I think for me as an actor and as a creator, my job is to continue to push the limit of where I can go, so I don’t ever want to tell myself I’ve made it. I don’t ever want to feel as if I’ve made it. I don’t like being comfortable. I think I thrive best when I’m uncomfortable.
I’ve told this story a couple of times on air, but when I got to Charleston for “Outer Banks,” I had -$36 in my bank account, so if I can keep that fighter’s mentality, I hope that that’s something that will help me continue to work. So I’m gonna keep telling myself I haven’t [made it], but it is cool to have a show that people really resonate with, so I’m super, super thankful for that.
Who do you admire most in your field?
There’s a lot of people I admire, but in particular, just on my personal experience, is definitely [“Outer Banks” cocreator] Jonas Pate. He’s somebody who has a tenacious work ethic, he’s a true storyteller, he’s somebody who doesn’t cut corners — he does it the proper way, the right way — and he hires a bunch of really great people.
It’s super great to work in an environment where it’s all lovely people who really care about the show, who care about their craft, and are incredibly good at their craft, too. So not only is it a great friend group, but it’s a great working group as well.
Just for him to be able to consistently put together projects with great people who are going to work hard day in and day out, and then it’s the type of people where you want to hang with them outside of work, that to me is a huge inspiration and something that I want to continue for the rest of my career.
Have you ever been starstruck? Who was it and what happened?
I have. I was actually at a little Netflix party for the SAG-AFTRA Awards and I had just broken my foot. I stepped in a sandcastle, it’s a long story, really clumsy. I walked in and Robert De Niro was walking by me and he kind of scuffed his foot on mine and I kind of tripped and looked down at my foot and I didn’t realize it was him at first, so I was more in pain at the fact that I had just tripped on my foot. And I looked up and it was Robert De Niro and I was like [jaw dropped].
And he kind of looked at me and looked at my boot, he kind of had a moment of like, “Are you at an event with a boot on?” and I just didn’t know what to say. I was just like, “Congratulations for obviously everything you’ve done in your career and you’re one of my heroes.”
I thought I was going to start drooling and potentially pass out and maybe break my other foot, but thankfully I didn’t, so that’s a plus.
What’s the best advice your parents gave you?
I think the most important thing that my mom said was: “Listen to listen, not listen to respond.”
And I think that’s a lost art in our society because we’re programmed through social media, we’re programmed through quick, responsive news sources and everything that we have at our fingertips that we always just want to speak. We want to be heard, we want our voices to be heard.
But I think the most important thing in today’s day and age, especially with everything going on in society right now, is listen to learn and listen to listen. It’s important to listen to the people around you, it’s important to listen to your community, and most importantly, to give people the space to talk. That was something my mom instilled in me at a very young age and I continue to take that with me every day.
What is the last thing you Googled?
COVID cases in Charleston, South Carolina. I’m so ready to get back to work and obviously it’s completely out of our control, so every morning I wake up and I’m like, “I wonder how many people have gotten the coronavirus today in Charleston.” It’s super dependent on all of that. So yeah, woke up this morning and Googled the coronavirus. Sad but true.
What’s the last show you binged?
I’m currently watching “Warrior Nun” on Netflix, which is great. I’m on episode five I believe. But the last show that I fully binged all the way through, I’m rewatching “The Office,” as usual. I think I’ve watched that all the way through probably 150,000 times, at least. So I’m currently bingeing that. But with all the stuff going on and some projects that I’m working on, it’s kind of hard to find time to binge, unfortunately.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Eat and not gain weight would be a good one. I don’t really know if that’s a superpower. But I think it would be cool to stop time.
I think it would be cool to stop and see everything around you from a bird’s eye view and take a second and breathe and I think that’s something we’ve kind of lost touch with, especially with the pandemic and everything going on, so I think it would be cool if we could just stop time for a second and everybody just take a deep breath.
Is there any behind-the-scenes detail about the making of “Outer Banks” that fans would be surprised to learn?
I think obviously if you follow us on social media, you see that we do have a lot of improv moments. We have a lot of witty banter that continues to go on throughout the process of shooting. I think some of the fan-favorite scenes were a little bit improvised, so it’s always fun to see what we do and how we put our little touch on things and how much fans appreciate it.
Can you talk about why this partnership with Sweet Earth is a natural fit for you?
It kind of became a natural fit just because of my lifestyle. Obviously, with filming and all the things that go on in my life with travel, inconsistencies with working in the film and TV space, I’m always trying to find a solid, easy way to get a high protein diet.
I also have a little bit of a difficult stomach as well, so some heavy meats kind of mess with me. So that’s why I started to venture into the plant-based protein area. I don’t completely go plant-based, but these products are something that really doesn’t mess with my stomach.
They’re high in protein, they’re easy to get, they’re super easy to cook as well, and they’re super flavorful. That I think is the main thing for me. I don’t want to cheat myself on getting a healthy, quality meal with some good flavor, so it just worked out in the ways it did. It’s a great product and I’m super pumped to be with these guys.
What are your go-to outdoor activities?
I’m a big water person, so anything on the water. I love to surf, I love to be on the boat, paddleboarding, all of that fun stuff.
What’s next in your career that fans can look forward to?
I have another TV series called “One of Us Is Lying,” which is slated to resume production hopefully the end of next… well, it’s really dependent on COVID and everything going on. We’re kind of just sitting and waiting.
I also have a top secret project. I’m working with the musician Kygo. We’re doing something super exciting that hopefully will be out later in the year. Those are the two things. And then fingers crossed that everything goes well with the COVID pandemic and that we get season two of “Outer Banks.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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