If there’s been a winner during isolation, it’s been TV content. One of the isolation’s hits has been Netflix’s teen drama Outer Banks, and Madison Bailey who plays Kiara is by far one of the show’s most successful breakout stars. That said, despite a sudden 1.5 million followers on Instagram and Outer Banks hitting the #1 streamed spot on Netflix spot in multiple countries, Bailey is taking it day by day.
In a recent interview with Harper’s BAZAAR, the 21-year-old explained, “I think sometimes when a show comes out, not in quarantine, you go from ‘I left my house, and nobody knew who I was’ to ‘Everybody knows who I am.’” Bailey explains that because of the quarantine, “I’ve gotten to let things sink in a little before it just hits me head-on. I’m gradually leaving my house, and everything’s happening a little slower, and I get to process things on social media. I have plenty of time to sit here and read everything.”
Unlike Ana de Armas, who appears to have a walk scheduled in about every hour, Bailey’s not making many trips outside of the house. Even still, the North Carolina-native is still getting recognized. “I can’t go anywhere without somebody being like, ‘Are you that girl from Outer Banks?’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God, you watch that??’”
Bailey’s genuine enthusiasm for the character is part of what’s won her so many fans. From their shared eco-conscious and open-minded ways, Bailey says she felt a connection to Kiara from the beginning. Even her eventual co-star, Rudy Pankow who plays JJ, DM’ed her as soon as they passed each other on a flight to her audition callback. “I had a DM from him,” she says. “He was like, ‘I knew you were Kiara the second I saw you.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, did this guy three seats up really just DM me?’ He went and found our mutuals, found my page, and messaged me.”
It’s not just her acting as Kiara that’s gaining her fans either. Her Outer Banks character has nearly single-handedly revived the beachy, boho look: inspiring a legion of TikTok fashion videos and exact recreations of the character’s necklaces. If you want one, be quick because the necklaces sell out on Etsy fast. Kiara’s style is all the most relaxed parts of VSCO girl fashion, but Bailey’s unpretentious charm is what’s really sold it.
Outer Banks Season 2
When it comes to an Outer Banks season two, Bailey’s as in the dark as the rest of us. While no Outer Banks season 2 has officially been announced by Netflix yet, it seems like a safe bet given the show’s success. Plus there are many love triangles and mysteries to solve.
The first Outer Banks season ended with Kiara kissing Pope, the dramatic culmination of their romantic interactions throughout the show. Pope had confessed his feelings for Kiara, but afraid of being the Pogue code, she rejected him, before that kiss in the finale. The thing is, John B. has uh, also kissed Kiara and in the real world, fans are absolutely desperate to see Kiara and JJ become a thing. Seriously, every single photo of her and co-star Pankow receives a flood of Kie/JJ shipper comments.
When speaking about the hopeful Outer Banks season two, Bailey explained that circling back to that Pope kiss is probably on the cards. “I don’t even know what was really in Kiara’s mind [when she kissed Pope]. I was like, ‘I don’t want to develop that part on my own, because I don’t think Kiara really knows either.’ It’ll be interesting to see once the craziness dies down if it was an act of love or an act of emotion.”
On top of handling that romantic sitcho, Bailey also reckons Kiara is going to have her work cut out for her keeping her friends united after John B.’s disappearance. “I think it’s going to be an interesting balance of Kiara being broken, absolutely shattered, and also being that heart of the group,” Bailey says. “I feel like JJ is the type of person to get really detached during all of this, and I don’t think Kiara’s going to let him do that. And I think Pope is just going to be very solemn. I feel like he’s going to kind of become numb, which Kiara is not going to want for anybody.”
Bailey would also enjoy seeing Outer Banks season two spend a little more time exploring Kiara’s privileged backgrond. For a teen show, Outer Banks has a healthy sprinkling of class exploration involved. Kiara’s character straddles both worlds, getting along with her friends the Pogues, people ostensibly from “the wrong side of the tracks,” while actually being the daughter of a relatively successful restaurant owner, making her a Kook.
“You see [Kiara] in a Kook environment at Midsummers, but what does it look like when my parents bring their friends to the house?” Bailey says. “What did it look like when I went to school? I would love to see a flashback to me and Sarah’s friendship. I want to see our friendship grow because we had this whole bond that we never saw because we pick up with it being over, and I just want a little more one-on-one time with Sarah, one-on-one time with the Kooks.”
The show’s creator, Jonas Pate is also hopeful Outer Banks will have a long life. “Ever since we started, we always viewed it as something that was probably like a four-season, maybe five-season show, but definitely four seasons,” explained Pate. “We’ve sort of long-arced it out pretty far. I’m just hoping that we get a chance to actually tell those stories. Before [Season 1] even came out, Netflix had greenlit us to write some [Season 2] scripts, so we’ve been working on that for a few months now.”
With the ongoing coronavirus situation, Outer Banks isn’t the only show whose future is uncertain. We’ll have to amuse ourselves with some other rewatch TV fodder while waiting with hope for confirmations on many teen show’s follow up seasons including Outer Banks, Never Have I Ever, Riverdale and Betty. In the meantime, if you need us, we’ll be creating extensive fan casts for the upcoming Disney Plus adaptation of Percy Jackson.
Lead image via Instagram @obx.