Putting work first. Madelyn Cline and Chase Stokes have broken down how they kept their real-life romance and split from affecting their roles on Outer Banks.
The Netflix series, which debuted in April 2020, introduced viewers to a coastal town in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which is divided into wealthy and working-class sides. Meanwhile, a group of teenagers accidentally find themselves at the center of a dangerous treasure hunt.
During the first season, John B (Stokes) and Sarah (Cline) developed a romantic relationship even though they were divided by their social status. At the time, fans questioned whether Stokes and Cline’s connection developed into something more off screen.
After going public, the Maryland native recalled how he and the Glass Onion star initially tried not to act on their feelings.
“At that point in time, we were so anxious about the show and so nervous about constantly screwing up. I think we were all under this sort of strange umbrella of, like, ‘Dear God, we got an opportunity. Let’s not screw it up!’ So, it was just always work-oriented — really until the day we wrapped,” he exclusively told Us Weekly in February 2021. “It wasn’t until after that, until we started to kind of get into the [coronavirus] lockdown where we were like, ‘Is there something here or am I crazy?’ That’s sort of where it bloomed from there. I think we were just so invested in the work.”
Us confirmed in November 2021 that the pair had called it quits after more than one year of dating. The news came after season 2 was released on the streaming service. Since then, Cline has been linked to Zack Bia and later Jackson Guthy. Stokes, for his part, was spotted packing on the PDA with Kelsea Ballerini following her divorce from Morgan Evans.
Ahead of Outer Banks‘ season 3 release, the former couple discussed how they have “always shown up for each other” at work. Showrunner Jonas Pate also praised Stokes and Cline for focusing on their job since their split.
“Honestly, and this isn’t just me: they’re pros,” he told Entertainment Weekly in February 2023. “They handled themselves unbelievably on set, and you would never know that they had an off-camera relationship. They were great. It’s a credit to Chase and to Maddie, they just put their heads down and did the work, so good for them.”
That same month, the model revealed how her relationship with Stokes affected her dating life going forward, telling Cosmopolitan, “I am a really private person. There’s a part of me that is for me and nobody else. But in hindsight, duh, making my relationship public made it everybody else’s business.”
She continued: “And I realized the negative side effects of that while going through the breakup, realizing I had let people in and then felt like I couldn’t get anybody out. It just hit me like a freight train. I wanted us both to move on and be happy. People see the need for sides. There are no sides — there’s no winning or losing in a breakup.”
Scroll on for Stokes and Cline’s candid insight into working together following their breakup: