The Outer Banks follows a group of teenagers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina who are called "Pogues", who live at The Cut, and are determined to find out what happened to the missing father of the group's ringleader, John B. Along the way, they discover a legendary treasure that is tied to John B's father., Rudy Pankow plays JJ, John B's loyal best friend since the third grade who is a surfer.
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  • Suit. Zara

    Shirt. Zara

    Shoes. Florsheim

    Watch. Raymond Weil

    Necklace + rings. Rudy’s Own

    Tee. Revtown

    Jeans. Zara

    Jacket. Mackage

    Shoes. All Saints

    Necklace + rings. Rudy’s Own

    Shirt. Banks Journal

    Jeans. Revtown

    Jacket. Mackage

    Shoes. All Saints

    Watch. Raymond Weil

    Necklace + rings. Rudy’s Own

    Tee. Frame

    Jeans. J Brand

    Jacket. J Brand

    Shoes. Converse

    Necklace + rings. Rudy’s Own

Putting it

That’s putting it mildly. Compared with J.J., who endures beatings from his father, Pankow’s initial plunge into acting only came after getting the go-ahead from his parents.

“I had an opportunity to come down to L.A. and I was like, ‘Mom, have you ever had this moment there’s something you really want to try?’ And she said, ‘Yes. I wanted to be a dancer.’ She talked about how good she was in gymnastics and how she wished she would have one that,” Pankow says. “So she encouraged me. Then it was a matter of talking to  Padre to agree that I would take a sort of gap year.’”

Since then Pankow has gotten to enjoy some of Outer Bank’s juiciest scenes, where the set felt less like a traditional TV production but more on the scale of a movie. Another of the most intense scenes he remembers comes in episode 5, ‘Midsommers,” where a party scene finds him posing as a waiter and then being chased through a labyrinth of crowded rooms.

“That I was — whoah, man — an electric air with 200-plus extras, basically the entire cast and everyone just there to do their jobs,” he says. “I remember looking around and it was this entire world everywhere you looked, somebody was acting. The cameras were hidden, so you didn’t even realize it until they said ‘Cut!’ and you realize the camera is right next to you.”

Outer Banks’ ended with something of a cliffhanger for Pankow, where J.J. puts a potential scholarship in jeopardy for the sake of his best friend.

“I think where we left off with JJ is he’s going to have to cross a certain bridge with his home life and it’s not going to be pretty, but that can be mediated by his friends,” he says. “There’s been a lot where he doesn’t want to deal with it, where he’s just procrastinating.”

Pankow, on the other hand, is not planning to stay idle, even though Outer Banks was recently renewed for a second season. Besides exploring film projects, he continues to study acting and says some of his lesser-known classmates are more of an influence than celebrities he admired like Andrew Garfield, Tom Hardy or Adam Driver.

“You never know what obstacles are going to reveal themselves on set and off set but I’d say my goal is one of purpose,” he says. “A career that is not just something to say you did, but something that made a difference, is something I really want to pursue in terms of acting. That could be making a difference in terms of cinema, or just transforming into something and really portraying a character in a way that’s honest and true.

"Whether he’s a protagonist or an antagonist, if it was a performance that moved somebody, that’s my mission as an actor.”


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