Netflix’s “Outer Banks” is a teen mystery drama about a group of working-class friends, known as Pogues, living in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The sun-drenched series follows the Pogues in their search for answers surrounding the missing father of their ringleader, John B., and a buried treasure tied to the disappearance.
In Season 1, the main group of island outcasts (John B, JJ,, Pope, and Kiara) navigate their lives at the bottom of the social ladder in contrast to the Kooks, teens who come from wealthy and elite families; in narration, John B. describes the Outer Banks as “paradise on Earth” where “you either have two jobs or two houses.” Over the course of their quest, the Pogues encounter adventure, treachery, twists and turns, evil, and plenty of romance. The status of Season 2, which would pick up from Season 1’s cliffhanger ending and be bigger and broader, is still up in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been no announcements as to when filming will begin or when Season 2 will premier.
“Outer Banks” was created by Josh and Jonas Pate, and Shannon Burke, who also serve as executive producers. Jonas Pate is the showrunner. The series began filming on May 1, 2019 in Charleston, South Carolina, and premiered on Netflix on April 15, 2020, quickly becoming the most popular item on the streaming platform.
Backstage has had casting calls for “Outer Banks” in the past and while there are none right now, keep an eye on Backstage for future opportunities to join the series. Due to COVID-19, casting and filming for season 2 will be on hold until further notice. You can still find other productions casting that are worth checking out if you love the Netflix show.
In its first season, “Outer Banks” starred:
- Chase Stokes as John B
Madelyn Cline as Sarah Cameron
- Madison Bailey as Kiara “Kie”
- Jonathan Daviss as Pope
- Rudy Pankow as JJ
- Austin North as Topper
- Charles Esten as Ward Cameron
- Drew Starkey as Rafe Cameron
- Adina Porter as Sheriff Peterkin
- Cullen Moss as Deputy Shoupe
- Julia Antonelli as Wheezie Cameron
- Caroline Arapoglou as Rose
- E. Roger Mitchell as Heyward
- CC Castillo as Lana Grubbs
- Chelle Ramos as Deputy Plumb
- Brian Stapf as Cruz
- Marland Burke as Mike
- Deion Smith as Kelce
- Nicholas Cirillo as Barry
- Gary Weeks as Luke
Season 1 was cast by Carrie Audino and Laura Schiff, and Craig and Lisa Mae Fincannon. Together, Audino and Schiff cast all six seasons of “Mad Men”—for which they won a 2009 Artios Award from the Casting Society of America and a 2010 Emmy—and other projects including “Fear the Walking Dead,” “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” “Bosch,” and more. The Fincannons, the husband-and-wife heavy-hitters at Atlanta-based Fincannon & Associates (CSA), is the two-time Emmy-winning casting directors behind “Homeland.” The duo has also cast “Dawson’s Creek,” “One Tree Hill,” and such films as “RED,” “Battle: Los Angeles,” and “The Birth of a Nation.”
When it came to the leads, it was crucial to the showrunners to find actors who had great chemistry. Despite the core cast looking Abercrombie & Fitch-ready, physical looks were not a priority. According to Madelyn Cline, who plays John B’s love interest Sarah, “[Jonas Pate] does not care about that. He wanted people who were honest. Real human beings who could portray the type of experiences that were going on in ‘Outer Banks’... So he cast a majority of the show based on not social media presence. He immediately was X-ing out people who weren’t able to bring the performance and was looking at their social media like, Are they taking a bunch of selfies? What’s their M.O.?’”
“We all had super-good chemistry right from the get-go,” says Rudy Pankow, who plays JJ. “I met Bailey on the plane [on the way] to the chemistry read. Immediately, immediately when she got on the plane, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s Kiara.’ Then we started acting in the room, and boom, it was instantaneous…. We have such good chemistry as actors.”
But that chemistry wasn’t automatically fully formed. Some of the actors auditioned for different roles than what they landed: Pankow originally read for John B and Chase Stokes read for Topper, a Kook who loathes the Pogues.
Don’t rule anything out and don’t give up: As perfect as Stokes is in the role of John B., he was very close to not getting the part—he initially passed on the role. When his agent first emailed him about the project, it was pitched as “four friends on a treasure hunt” with a main character named “John B,” which he found fishy. In Feb. 2019, the project made its way back to him and unemployment led him to consider the role. “I was like, ‘I don’t even care at this point.” His first read didn’t go well: “Arguably in the top 10 worst auditions I’ve ever had in my life.” Luckily, Lisa Mae Fincannon was in the room and had cast him in his first role on “Daytime Divas,” saw his potential, and urged him to read the pilot and reconsider John B.
That’s when everything changed: upon absorbing the full script, he realized this was actually something he wanted to be part of. A few days later, he got a call from his agent saying, “You’re getting on a flight tonight [to Charleston, NC]...you’re taking the red-eye….here are 19 pages of dialogue...here are the first four episodes...figure it out.” He read for a few executives and on the way back to his hotel, got a direct call from Jonas Pate, telling him he “got the frickin job, congratulations!”
You don’t need to live in L.A. to book gigs: “This was not a job booked out of LA. This was a job that was booked in Atlanta. This was Lisa Fincannon who got me this job, so for the people who feel like there’s an obligatory need to come to L.A. and get their career jump-started and they feel like this is the only place that you can do it...don’t question your worth. Don’t question your value. The Southeast is incredibly strong. Out of the cast, Madison Bailey, Madelyn Cline, Drew Starkey, and myself were all, at some point, based in the Southeast, and all of them have roots there. Drew booked the job as Rafe out of Atlanta.”
You might not get the job you auditioned for, but you could be remembered down the line for other parts: “I feel like that’s a huge portion of our job, to have a database of actors, either in our heads or in a computer…. If we had to start from scratch not remembering anyone, every episode, or every pilot, or every movie, we would not be able to do our jobs. Our biggest tool is our memory of actors.”
Though there have been no public casting calls for lead roles, that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing new faces when the series returns. According to the showrunners, there are narrative plans for up to five seasons (“We’ve sort of long-arced it out pretty far,” Jonas Pate said. “I’m just hoping that we get a chance to actually tell those stories”). So chances are good that more and more new characters will be added to the roster. For now, though, the pandemic and social distancing measures will place auditioning and filming for a second season on hold.
Keep in mind that for larger speaking roles—series regular, recurring, guest star, co-star, contract—you’ll likely need to go through your agent. Don’t have an agent? Here’s how to get one.
South Carolina-based Taylor Woodell and North Carolina-based Jocabed Aragón of TW Cast & Recruit, LLC were the casting directors for all background actors on Season 1 of “Outer Banks.” There are currently no open calls for Season 2 background talent, but be sure to check Backstage and The Southern Casting Call and its Facebook page for updates. Previous background casting calls for “Outer Banks” have included:
- 18-39 years
- We are looking for preppy, well-groomed, and physically fit people.
- All ethnicities
- Pays $80/8 hours
For more information on how to land work and make a living as a background actor, check out Backstage’s guide to working as an extra.