‘Outer Banks’ Star Chase Stokes ‘Couch Surfed’ and Slept in His Car Before Landing the Role of John B

Chase Stokes is a huge star today, thanks to his lead role on Netflix’s Outer Banks. But before landing the part of John B on the hit series, Stokes was a struggling actor who couch-surfed and lived out of his car while trying his best to make ends meet.

Chase Stokes attending the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards
Chase Stokes | Kevin Mazur/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

Chase Stokes struggled to find acting gigs

According to Stokes, his journey to fame wasn’t an easy one.

In a recent interview with Men’s Health, the actor got candid about his daily struggles before landing the role of John B. on Netflix’s Outer Banks.

“I did the morning announcements in high school, and I had this reputation as being the one dude who didn’t take it very serious. I was just trying to help people to enjoy first period, which is not exactly an enjoyable time. A teacher suggested I should get into acting,” Stokes explained. “So I did some commercial stuff to make some extra cash when I went to college. Then one day, I went on IMDb, and I emailed everyone at CAA, WME, UTA, you name it. And I got a couple responses. One of the agents at the time told me to come out to LA, so I did, I stayed on his couch for a little bit. I slept in my car for a little while. A friend I met in an acting class let me sleep on his couch for a little bit.”

While appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on July 22, the actor detailed his experience living in his car at a parking structure near the famous Hollywood Blvd.

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“You don’t want to park in the corner, right? Because then all of a sudden, the parking attendant is like, ‘That dude’s for sure sleeping in here,'” he told guest host Anthony Anderson. “So every day I would try to find a different parking spot and it worked out. It worked out. I never got caught.”

Chase Stokes took on odd jobs to make ends meet

When he wasn’t keeping a low profile while he slept in his car, Stokes could be found working odd jobs to make a little extra money.

Before his big break, the actor worked as a server as well as a bartender. He even landed a job as a social media manager after he lied about his photography skills but was eventually fired.

“I completely BS the guy into believing that I could help and that knew what I was doing—and mind you, I was horrible and still am horrible at social media,” Stokes admitted to Men’s Health. “But I convinced him to pay me extra to come in and shoot food photography and all this other content. He bought into it for four months and it worked until he realized I had absolutely zero ideas what I was doing.”

Not long after he was let go from the position, Stoke’s bills began piling up. Though it was starting to seem like all hope was lost for him, things began to look up for the actor after his agent sent him a breakdown of the role for John B.

Chase Stokes initially passed on ‘Outer Banks’

When Stoke’s first heard about Outer Banks from his agent, he wasn’t interested in being part of the project and had turned down his role.

“I thought it was a reboot of The Goonies,” he told the outlet. “I’ve always been a fan of The Goonies, and rebooting it with the characters at an older age didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”

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However, after reading the script for the first episode, Stokes had a change of heart and decided to audition.

“I got on a plane to Charleston, but my bank account had just overdrafted and I couldn’t even afford an Uber from the airport,” the actor explained. “I had to ask somebody in production to spot me some cash. The next day, we had the network test, and I got a call 20 minutes afterwards that I got a job.”

Stokes landed the role of John B on the teen drama, marking the beginning of his career.

“And that’s how I started the journey,” he told Anderson on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “I had two pairs of underwear, three t-shirts and a pair of shorts.”