What You Never Knew About Chase Stokes

"Outer Banks" fans have watched John B.'s intense journey unfold each season. Yet, few know that actor Chase Stokes has had quite a journey himself when it came to landing the part of a Pogue.

When he first made it out to Hollywood, the young actor was willing to do whatever it took to make it in the big city. After being unemployed for months, Stokes read a script that would change his life. It was for a Netflix series called "Outer Banks," and, as Stokes admitted on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he was "sitting in my borderline evicted apartment" as he read it. Indeed, his life has never been the same since picking up that script.

Today, Stokes has become synonymous with John B., and, as it turns out, the two actually have quite a bit in common. "We really wanted to make sure that there was an authenticity in the grounding of the character so a lot of [my personal attributes] were translated into John B.," Stokes explained in an interview with VMan. Yet, there's still a lot that people don't know about this breakout star.

An injury altered the course of Chase Stokes' life

When Chase Stokes entered high school, he had no aspirations to be an actor. At the time, ice hockey was on his mind, and he was serious about it, too. "I was going to play in college and then do the professional route," he revealed during an interview with Brief Take. However, after getting injured on the rink, Stokes had second thoughts about pursuing it any further. "I had the realization that I definitely don't want the lifelong effects of that," he admitted.

It was after reading the morning announcements in high school one day that Stokes had a discussion he will never forget. He had always been the class clown, and it truly showed over the school's sound system — which some teachers were not so happy about. Once he had finished up, "a teacher suggested I should get into acting," he told Men's Health, and he's never looked back since.

Chase Stokes didn't want to audition for Outer Banks at first

When Chase Stokes was asked to audition for "Outer Banks," he was told it was a series about a group of friends going on a treasure hunt — and something about it sounded super familiar. "That's 'The Goonies.' That's for sure 'The Goonies,'" he said on Jimmy Kimmel Live. He had no interest in being a part of remaking something that was already considered a classic. "Like, I don't want to destroy that," he said. "So I passed on it."

A few months later, he got another call saying that the casting directors still hadn't found the actor they were looking for. After a bit of convincing from his agent, Stokes eventually agreed to read the first episode — and that's when he had an eerie realization. "I've made a giant mistake. This is not 'The Goonies,'" he said. After meeting with the team, everyone at the network realized they had found the perfect actor to play John B. "Three days later I got the job," Stokes told People.

Chase Stokes loves to surf

Throughout the course of "Outer Banks," the Pogues spend an awful lot of time out on the water. Luckily, this was something Chase Stokes was accustomed to already. "I'm a water child. I grew up all along the eastern shore," he told Refinery29. And, just like John B., Stokes spent a majority of his childhood surfing.

In addition to riding waves on a surfboard, Stokes also knows how to drive a boat over them. In fact, he had a boater's license long before he had ever heard of "Outer Banks." "When we were in Charleston [where the show filmed,] I reached in my wallet and pulled out my boating license," he explained. "They were like 'Great, that makes everything a lot easier.'"

Even so, there was just one thing that was challenging about acting out on the water. "Learning to scuba dive, that was something I learned in a weekend in order to get the shots done," Stokes revealed to People. Hey, a weekend is still a lot more time than John B. had!

Chase Stokes isn't actually his real name

Every fan knows him as Chase Stokes, but that's actually as inaccurate as calling the actor John B. Yet, it's not necessarily his stage name, per say. His birth name is "James Alexander Chase Stokes," he revealed to Wired. Though James has always been his first name, this "Outer Banks" star has been going by Chase for his entire life. "If you say James in my general direction, I will not answer," he said.

Stokes' name, in fact, has been difficult to explain during the course of his life. While he was still a student, his entire name was always written in roll call. When he tried to correct his teachers, they never took him seriously. He was always known as the class clown, so they just assumed he was causing trouble. (We're sure his teachers are extremely confused now when the "Outer Banks" credits start rolling at the end of each episode.)

Chase Stokes has two tattoos

You've never seen them on "Outer Banks," but Chase Stokes actually has two tattoos on his right arm.

The first is a special tribute to his grandmother that he has to pull up his sleeve for fans to see. Located on his bicep, the spread features a small dove with the words "Love, Joan" written right underneath. "A dove is always signifying that someone is watching over you," Stokes explained to Wired. "And when she passed, this was the last letter that she wrote to me, so I had a tattoo artist sketch it on my skin."

Stokes' second tattoo is a small smiley face on the top of his wrist. Aside from the fact that it can bring a smile to anyone's face who sees it, this one has a much simpler meaning. "This is just Frank," he said, which his girlfriend — his "Outer Banks" co-star Madelyn Cline — helped him to name after he added it to his collection.

Chase Stokes originally auditioned for another Outer Banks role

When it came time to read for "Outer Banks," Chase Stokes did not initially audition for the part of John B. It's hard for any "Outer Banks" fan to imagine now, but Stokes first read the part of Topper for casting directors. "And I bombed the audition," he admitted on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

In an interview with "Chicks in the Office," Stokes admitted that the day of the audition was a difficult day for him. The audition had been planned amidst some family drama, and his day progressively just got worse. After feeling embarrassed for forgetting to remember Topper's lines, "I got a parking ticket as I was at the audition," he revealed.

Today, all of us are secretly happy that Stokes ended up as John B. instead, but this actor was devastated after his first "Outer Banks" audition. "I felt like I completely killed my career," he said to Jimmy Kimmel. Looking back, not landing the role of a Kook really was meant to be.

This was Chase Stokes' first celebrity crush

Long before he ever became famous, Chase Stokes was crushing pretty hard on one pretty friend-ly celebrity. "Jennifer Aniston," he revealed to Glamour. And he's a huge fan of hers to this day. In fact, he still remembers the very moment that she joined Instagram in 2019. "I actually cried," he admitted. "Like, I had tears coming out of my eyes."

As a big name on Instagram himself — he has nearly 7 million followers as of this writing — perhaps the iconic actress will one day catch a glimpse of his account. "At least knowing that we both have an Instagram, there's a slight possibility that this could potentially turn into a conversation, at least," Stokes said. As for all of us at home, we would love to see a new series starring Stokes and Aniston.

Today, his celebrity crush has obviously changed a bit, considering he's now dating his own "Outer Banks" co-star Madelyn Cline.

Chase Stokes has appeared in a music video

Only a few months after making it official with girlfriend Madelyn Cline in 2020, Chase Stokes could be seen starring in something completely different from "Outer Banks." The famous DJ Kygo called the couple and asked them to be a part of the music video for his single "Hot Stuff."

Throughout the 3-minute video, Stokes has his real-life relationship on full display as he dances alongside Cline. The two have the entire bar to themselves as they bring back disco, and it's as if viewers are watching them fall in love for the very first time.

While this is only Stokes' music video debut, we can't help but wonder if we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the world of music. It turns out, music runs in his family. During an interview with MTV News, Stokes revealed that his father is a DJ. The young actor is also a guitarist, himself, and he even likes to jam with his "Outer Banks" co-stars between takes.

Before Outer Banks, Chase Stokes was so broke, he was living out of his car

Making it as an actor isn't easy, but Chase Stokes was willing to do whatever it took to succeed. For a couple of months after moving to Los Angeles, he was so broke that he was even living in his car. "Every day I would find a different parking spot, and it worked out," he admitted on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "I never got caught."

As Stokes struggled to find work, an audition for a show called "Outer Banks" finally came around. The crew flew him straight to Charleston, South Carolina, to meet everyone on the team. It seemed as though this may be his big break, but making it to the eastern seaboard still didn't seem to be enough. "I landed in Charleston, and I went to call an Uber, and my bank account was overdrafted," the soon-to-be John B. said on The Drew Barrymore Show. "So that was kind of like the bottom of the well for me." After a quick call to his mom to borrow some cash, Stokes finally made it to the production office and nailed his audition.

Though it was a rough road, Stokes attributes his true success to coming from rock bottom. "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," he told Insider.

Chase Stokes uses his platform to advocate for mental health

Growing up, Chase Stokes had a lot on his mind. In addition to dealing with his parents' divorce, he experienced bullying in high school. "I always had this anger and aggression toward not understanding why this type of stuff happened to me and also the anxiety that, sort of, comes with it," he explained in an interview on The Drew Barrymore Show. Graduating from high school didn't help, either. Even as an adult, Stokes found himself dealing with extreme anxiety. "Whether it was uncertainty or just sheer anxiety. I mean, I would have full, crippling anxiety attacks," he explained. Now, he uses his newfound fame to let others know they're not alone with their own mental health struggles.

Stokes has partnered with an organization called Bring Change To Mind which helps open up discussions regarding mental health. The "Outer Banks" actor has even visited schools and spoken with students who were actually the same age he was when he began to develop anxiety. "I realized that I'm doing a disservice to myself if I didn't use my platform for what I wish I had at that age," Stokes said. "And I realized that was where my audience was, and so it was exactly what I knew I needed to do."

You may have seen Chase Stokes in another hit Netflix series

Though everybody knows him as John B., Chase Stokes was first asked to audition for another pretty popular Netflix series. "I read for a couple characters in the original table read for [Season 1] of 'Stranger Things,'" he told The Daily Front Row. In fact, he landed the role of Reed in the series' first season.

Episode 6 is where you'll see Stokes appear. While Jonathan and Nancy are talking near the movie theater, Stokes' character drives by and yells a not-so-nice line at Nancy. It all happens pretty quickly, but his experience on the show still made quite an impact on his life. He's since become friends with much of the "Stranger Things" cast and has even worked with Caleb McLaughlin — who plays Lucas — on a campaign for American Eagle.

All in all, appearing on the science fiction series helped him out when it came to future acting roles. On "Outer Banks," "there's the same camaraderie you've seen with the 'Stranger Things' kids," Stokes told Refinery29. Appearing on Netflix has certainly turned Stokes' life completely upside down.

Chase Stokes is way older than his Outer Banks character, John B.

John B. is a teenager who doesn't have a care in the world. Yet, Chase Stokes was a lot like his character when he was 17 years old — over a decade ago. Surprisingly, the "Outer Banks" actor was 27 years old when he was first cast in the role.

Though there's obviously a big age gap between the two, "at 17, I was for sure doing similar things," he admitted during an interview with The Daily Front Row. "My teenage self and John B would probably be getting into very similar circumstances," he said. As a high schooler, Stokes and his friends enjoyed sneaking into hotel pools and pretending they were a lot older than they really were, he admitted to The Orlando Sentinel

Well, maybe not as extreme as some of the things that John B. and his friends have done.

This is Chase Stokes' favorite movie

When he's not watching himself on "Outer Banks," Chase Stokes has an all-time favorite movie he loves to turn to — "Spy Kids." "I've watched it a thousand times over again," he said on The Drew Barrymore Show.

The family film first hit theaters all the way back in 2001 and has since turned out three sequels, which leaves Stokes with hours of entertainment to watch. Yet, in addition to "Spy Kids" being an action-packed film, it's also one that this "Outer Banks" actor relates a lot to. "I see a lot of Junie in myself," he admitted. Funny enough, the actor who plays Junie — former child star Daryl Sabara — is now one of Stokes' good friends, and what could be more fun than watching your friend in a movie? "And then who doesn't love Antonio Banderas?" Stokes added. "I mean, the dude's a legend."

Chase Stokes used to live with one of his Outer Banks castmates

Before anyone ever started binging "Outer Banks," Chase Stokes had a roommate any fan would recognize now. "Rudy [Pankow, who plays JJ] and I really wanted to make sure that this friendship was incredibly authentic, so Rudy and I actually lived together," Stokes revealed during an interview with BUILD Series. While this certainly helped build their bond on-screen, their friendship quickly began to exist off-screen, too.

Interestingly, the entire cast of "Outer Banks" actually all lived in the same apartment building while shooting the show. When they weren't on set, everybody would show up at Stokes' and Pankow's apartment to hang out. Of course, they would all go head to the beach together, too. "It was kind of like a Y.M.C.A. summer camp where you're being paid, and Netflix is sponsoring it," Stokes admitted.

Needless to say, shooting the popular series has been a surreal experience for Stokes. Yet, the friendships he's built off-screen seem to be exactly why the audience continues to watch "Outer Banks." "It's gone from complete strangers to family," Stokes told Access (formerly Access Hollywood). "I think it's been part of the success of the show."