‘Outer Banks’ stars: Pogues want stability, but adventure is always calling them


"Outer Banks" Season 3 premieres Thursday. Photo courtesy of Netflix

“Outer Banks” Season 3 premieres Thursday. Photo courtesy of Netflix

NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (UPI) — The stars of Outer Banks say their young adult characters are torn between seeking stability and yearning for adventure in Season 3.

Primarily set in contemporary North Carolina, the mystery-drama returns with fresh episodes Thursday on Netflix.

At the center of the sun-soaked story are best friends John B. (Chase Stokes), Pope (Jonathan Daviss) and JJ (Rudy Pankow), financially disadvantaged teens known as the Pogues who have little adult supervision where they live and work on the barrier islands, frequently butting heads with the rich, privileged locals and tourists they call Kooks.

Over the course of three seasons, the Pogues attempt to improve their lives and secure their futures by trying to find a hidden treasure, a quest that has them running from various villains, as well as the law, and taken them far from home.

“Their backs have been up against the wall since the very first second the show starts,” Stokes reminded UPI in a recent Zoom interview.

“Their whole goal is just to find something to keep them consistent. As we know with this show, consistency is never really a thing, so we’ll see where it goes from there.”

The most stable parts of the guys’ lives, at this point, are the friendships they have forged with each other and free-spirited Kooks Kiara (Madison Bailey) and Sarah (Madelyn Cline.)

“They have their ‘found family.’ They are trying to keep themselves together. They’re trying to keep their heads above water,” Daviss said of Pope, John B. and JJ.

“They’ve been gone so long and they are trying to readjust to these lives that they haven’t lived in a while, but that call to adventure is always there, so it’s hard for them to find stability when they know they’ve got to keep throwing themselves head-first into this treasure hunt.”

Stokes credits part of the series’ popularity to the fact that it premiered in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic when much of the world’s population was stuck at home for months.

“A lot of the experiences that the Pogues were going through and the [sense of] adventure had been lost because we had been shut down and the world was very isolated,” Stokes noted.

“I think the initial reaction [to it] was that longing for adventure, that longing for human connection and now [the show] just continues to dive deeper into the dynamics of friendships and relationships of, not just the world, but themselves. Sometimes, in society, we are closed off to that. It is a really beautiful thing for people to do the deep dives and search within themselves to figure themselves out.”

In showing the friends frequently laughing, swimming, surfing and fishing in gorgeous locales, while portraying the wealthier residents and tourists as bored, greedy and/or angry, Outer Banks drives home the point that money truly can’t buy happiness.

“Money and quality of life, I think people mix it up, especially the Pogues,” Pankow said. “We’re raised thinking money brings quality of life and I think in Season 3, they are realizing maybe it’s not. Slightly.”

“Money can buy you a jet ski, but jet skis break a lot,” Stokes quipped.

“Money can also fix your jet ski,” Daviss chimed in.

Bailey agreed that Outer Banks has always been a show about haves and have nots, but she said the friends will begin to appreciate how lucky they actually are in Season 3, which she described as “emotionally challenging” to play.

“What we have right in front of us is more important than [wealth]. I think that hits hard this season,” she emphasized. “We get the message, but chasing the money is what built the family and friendships and I think, by the end of it, we don’t need that to keep the bond.”

Cline chimed in, “The best things in life are free.”

The actors, who are older in real life than the characters they play, said that working on the action-packed show can be physically demanding, with Daviss laughing and likening the experience to competing in a triathlon.

“It’s like you’re going to run for six miles and then you’re going to swim for six miles and why don’t you bear-claw through the mud while you’re at it?” he said. “We’re on bikes! We’re not teenagers, so we have to go to the gym and focus on staying in shape.”

Stokes joked that, at 30 years old, he’s “starting to get aches and pains from the John B. lifestyle.”

“I’m never in better shape than I am when we are shooting the show because of the amount of running and swimming we have to do,” Cline said.

“I don’t work out for the six months we are shooting because, when I’m on set, I’m getting the job done,” Bailey said.

The show’s beautiful and sometimes wild environs go a long way towards helping the cast get into their characters.

“There’s not a lot of acting sometimes when it comes to facing the elements, which I think reads as very truthful,” said Cline. “It really helps with the authenticity and very visceral feeling of the show.”

Carlacia Grant, who joins Outer Banks full-time this season as Pogue collaborator Cleo, said the show — which has already been renewed for a fourth season — appeals to viewers of all different ages and demographics.

“Everyone can really find something to connect to, whether it’s fun or love or romance, or treasure and adventure,” Grant added. “You can see yourself in any character.”

Bailey thinks the theme of people finding their tribe while they are still in their teens is resonating with audiences.

“I wanted that when I was that age,” she said. “They’ve already found their group. A lot of times you find your lifelong friends a little later. People really connect with the fact that we’ve built a bond at a young age.”

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