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The Untold Truth Of Outer Banks

Netflix's "Outer Banks" is such a perfect storm of interesting elements and strange plot twists that it's frankly shocking that the teen drama set on socially divided North Carolina shores has managed to pack so much allure in two 10-episode seasons. The show's clash between the cool, working-class Pogues and wealthy, often nefarious Kooks provides an attractive combination of teen drama, mystery and treasure-hunting adventure, as well as sympathetic protagonists and entertaining villains.  

"Outer Banks" has so much going for it that it's no surprise the show has found its fanbase — and after the shocking ending of "Outer Banks" Season 2, everyone's no doubt already clamoring for Season 3, which will hopefully answer the many unanswered questions from the sophomore season. As friends of the show wait for the hopefully inevitable news of renewal from Netflix, it's an excellent time to take a look at the show's inner workings. This is the untold truth of "Outer Banks." 

The ultimate test for Madelyn Cline and Chase Stokes' real-life relationship

The people behind "Outer Banks" went through the same hurdles as the rest of the world did in 2020, and as such, several cast members faced a lengthy quarantine period after Season 1. While this could have been trying for the group, Madelyn Cline (who plays Sarah Cameron in the show) told Seventeen that getting stuck in quarantine for weeks on end actually ended up building plenty of real-life camaraderie between the actors. 

"For about a month and a half, some of the cast were quarantined together," Cline said. "It was amazing. We built forts and we binge watched all our favorite classic movies and had marathons. We listened to music, played 'Call of Duty', you name it. We just kept each other in check and we kept each other sane. And it was great too because it was during the release of the show when all of this was brand new. We were just guiding each other through this experience."

The quarantine also doubled as an important hurdle for Cline and Chase Stokes (who plays John B.), who had recently started a real-life relationship. "It was like an immediate test. It's like, 'Hey, you're dating. Guess what? Figure it out. You're stuck'," Stokes told Us Weekly, and noted that despite this, the pair managed to persevere. "We've got really great communication, and the cool part is we've started a friendship first, which is awesome to be friends before you dive into a relationship," he said.

Charles Esten had a great time with Ward's fake death plotline

A show like "Outer Banks" can only truly thrive if it can bounce its likable main characters off a nasty villain, and Charles Esten's Ward Cameron more than fits the bill. The outwardly charming and pleasant businessman is actually a conniving monster whose apparent murder of Big John Routledge (Charles Halford) is the single largest driving force of the show's two seasons — apart from, of course, the gold, which Ward is also after. 

Ward's big moment in Season 2 is when he seemingly dies in a boat explosion, only to return with a vengeance in the season finale. According to Esten, keeping the fact that his character had simply faked his death secret was something he embraced wholeheartedly, because Ward's fake death coincided with the rise of other villains, and was constructed in such a clever way that he felt it could very easily have been the true end for the character (per ET Online). "That's what I sort of love so much about it," Esten said about the way the show sold viewers on Ward's demise. "It's necessary that we bring in these other villains, these other bad guys, because the show couldn't do without a villain. So I think if you're watching, you go, 'Wait, they do have these new villains, and Ward is cornered. Maybe that's what happens.'"

Carlacia Grant went to elaborate lengths to craft Cleo's character

"Outer Banks" Season 2 introduces viewers to Cleo (Carlacia Grant), a resourceful person from the streets of Nassau. Her various hustles and coincidental meetings with the Pogues turn her into a surprisingly staunch ally for the team, and she's eventually fully indicted in their inner circle. According to Elle, this character arc very much reflects Grant's path behind the scenes, as she joined the cast as a relative outsider, and ended up being welcomed in the close-knit group of the show's young actors with open arms.

Cleo's fairly sporadic role in the show means that while she might be Team Pogue, a comparative lack of backstory still makes her something of a wild card. If you ask Grant, though, Cleo does very much have a history — and an extremely elaborate personality, as well. Though you haven't seen much of it onscreen yet, Grant has crafted a complex personal history for Cleo, which involves childhood discussions with the character's grandmother, playlists on the kind of music Cleo would enjoy, and even reading up on Egyptian history — after all, the character's full name is Cleopatra. All of this work has certainly paid off, since Cleo is a fully realized character who clearly has plenty of nuance. "She's smarter, faster, better than everyone else, but she's smart enough to not show it," the actress said.

Madelyn Cline turned to Reddit to research her character's shooting scene

Season 2 of "Outer Banks" is a wild ride that slants heavily toward action and adventure, which posed the cast with all sorts of challenges. One of the biggest beats of the season is when Madelyn Cline's Sarah is near-fatally shot — a scene that Cline found very difficult to approach (per Elle). In the end, she decided to crowdsource her research by taking things to Reddit. 

"I had no idea where to start. I went to Reddit," Cline revealed. "I went to a few Reddit threads and was like, 'Have you ever been shot? What was it like?' Because I had no idea how to answer that question myself. So that was my first gut reaction: 'I'm going to go to a forum website.' By the way, I love Reddit. It's phenomenal, but I digress."

Fortunately, Reddit returned Cline's affection with many interesting stories. "Some of the answers I got were people feeling, like, heat," she said. " They felt cold, and it was because the gunshot felt really hot. A lot of people said they felt shocked. So that's where we started with it." If you watch the scene, you can see just how this research played out. "When Sarah first gets shot, she falls against the truck and it's like this weird shock of, 'Did he just shoot the gun? Is everybody okay?' And then a few minutes later, she's starting to bleed out."

There's a reason the cast seems so sweaty all the time

"Outer Banks" is all about that outdoors life, and things get pretty hot for the characters in pretty much every possible way over the course of its many twists and turns. Still, you might wonder just how the characters stay so sweaty all the time. Do cast members spend their time doing jumping jacks when the cameras aren't rolling? 

The trick behind the "Outer Banks" stars' perpetual sweatiness is, thankfully, slightly less labor-intensive. A blooper reel for Season 2 reveals that whenever the situation calls for it, the actors apply moisture from a handy spray bottle. This is apparently common enough that there's an actual montage in the blooper reel, and the cast even has a pet name for the trick — "spritzing up." It's a neat, little piece of entertainment business magic, and the fact that constant real sweating isn't required probably also makes their shooting days much more pleasant to the nose.