All About Madelyn Cline, the Lead Actress of Netflix’s Outer Banks

Madelyn Cline is one of the stars of the most buzzed-about Netflix show of the moment, Outer Banks. She plays Sarah in the teen soap, the leader of the wealthy Kooks and Juliet to John B’s forbidden Romeo. Like the rest of the Outer Banks gang, the 22-year-old performer has only a few credits to her name so far. Below, a few fast facts about the up-and-coming star, including her take on Sarah’s complicated family dynamics.

Cline is originally from South Carolina, where Outer Banks is filmed.

netflix's "i am not okay with this" photocall

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Cline was a natural fit for the world of Outer Banks from the start. She was born in Charleston, South Carolina, where the North Carolina-set series is filmed. Cline left the coastal state at age 19 to pursue a career in acting, returning only to film the show. “I think personally, I fell back in love with where I’m from, Charleston,” Cline told V Magazine about filming Outer Banks in her hometown. “Shooting a show and a love story in that whole ecosystem with the most amazing people, our cast and our crew, I fell back in love with that area because I was so in love with the project.”

She has thoughts on Sarah’s arc for season 2.

In the twisty finale of Outer Banks, Sarah chooses to run away with John B (Chase Stokes) instead of sticking by her fractured family members and ex-boyfriend Topper (Austin North). According to the actress, she had some input in where her character’s allegiance would ultimately lie. “I remember there was a point when [a writer] asked me, ‘Do you think you, as Sarah Cameron, would choose your family or John B.?’ I remember thinking on it and telling her, ‘I wholeheartedly believe Sarah is 100 percent absolutely head over heels for John B., and I think she absolutely would get on that boat with him,'” Cline told Glamour. “There’s one part in the show when John B. tells Sarah, ‘You’re all I have.’ I told the writer that at that point John B. is also all Sarah has. Her world just crumbled around her, so it’s a no-brainer that she would have gotten on that boat with him and risked everything.”

outer banks

Jackson Davis/Netflix

As for where that relationship is headed after the couple survives a tropical storm mid-boat ride? “In my mind, what I see is this Blue Lagoon or Cast Away scenario where they get to the Bahamas and have the gold bars, and they live in this really romantic, Bonnie and Clyde-type Blue Lagoon world,” Cline explained to Glamour. “They’re just in this honeymoon phase of ‘We’ve run away from home, we’re in love, we’re in this beautiful place, and there are no problems.'” She added, “I would really love to see everything they’ve been running from catch up to them. I think they might have to go back to the Outer Banks because of the Pogues and confront all the things they’ve been running from.”

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Netflix

She’s currently quarantined with the cast of Outer Banks.

The cast has plenty of time to circulate ideas, as several of them are actually quarantined together. When asked about sheltering at home by ELLE Canada, Cline said that some of the cast had been quarantined together for more than a month. “At the very beginning, when stay-at-home orders were first issued, we all decided ‘Why not just quarantine together?’ We have each other’s company instead of just staying home completely isolated,” she told the outlet. “We gave each other the time [away] as far as the initial incubation period is concerned, so we’re all safe and healthy.”

And while Us Weekly reported about rumors that Cline and her onscreen love interest Chase Stokes were dating during quarantine, that’s not confirmed to be the case. Apparently, the cast is filling their time like the rest of us, tackling their Netflix queue and binging TV shows. Among the ensemble’s watchlist is Jersey Shore and New Girl, Cline told Elle Canada.

Cline has appeared in other teen-centered projects.

Although Cline herself hasn’t been a teenager in a few years, she often plays one onscreen. Her past work includes Boy Erased, the 2018 drama starring Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman, appearances in Stranger Things season 2, and episodes of the CW series The Originals.

Editorial Fellow Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com.

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