Carlacia Grant joined “Outer Banks”, befriended the cast and season 3

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External banks owes much of his dazzling success in timing. Netflix’s action-adventure drama, often touted as a sort of CO meets The Goonies, hit the streaming giant just as the reality of pandemic longevity had finally taken hold across much of America. As we examined our new confinement – the four walls in which we brush our teeth, read and reread the same texts, and attempt some oddly ambitious new hobbies – we turned our attention to the ridiculous surreality of External banks. A holiday fever dream in my heart, OBX took us to the shores of North Carolina, where surfing, sunbathing and a Romeo and Julietsummer adventure in style expected. Well, that and $ 400 million in gold.

You can see the call.

But what did External banks transcendent had nothing to do with timing. Above all, the series is appreciated for its cast: Chase Stokes (John B), Madelyn Cline (Sarah Cameron), Madison Bailey (Kiara), Rudy Pankow (JJ) and Jonathan Daviss (Pope) make up the Pogues, the little fish , (mainly) working class outsiders who would literally take a bullet for each other. Both in real life and on screen, they embody a languid and easy symbiosis, the kind of friendship that we want as much as we appreciate. Stokes and Cline fell in love on set, formalizing their relationship after season one landed. The group appear to maintain weekly, if not daily, communication, exchanging beards and pranks like long estranged siblings.

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You can see why it can be terrifying to run into this kind of love.

But Carlacia Grant, the new 30-year-old addition to External banks season 2, doesn’t get easily intimidated. She first met the Pogue team during a Zoom Chemistry read, in which Grant said their synergy was immediately evident; there was no way it wasn’t their Cleo, the naughty teenager from Nassau who had guided John B from Stokes and Sarah from Cline to safety. The irony, of course, was that the casting directors almost jumped on him. When Grant sent in his audition tape, it went unanswered for months as the team suffered redesigns and repeated calls for auditions. So Grant’s agent, convinced that the actress was a perfect match for him, again submitted his tape. You already know what happened next.

carlacia purse

Emilie Sandifer

“Me being of Caribbean origin, I really understood [this role]Grant says. “I knew I could pull the accent very, very well. I sent the tape, and I watched it and just kept watching. I was like, ‘It’s okay.’ The person who recorded me, my friend: ‘Yeah, you got that.’ I do not know. It was just a feeling that I was just like, ‘This one feels good.’ “

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This hypothesis was confirmed when it was flown to South Carolina under strict COVID-19 protocols. Placed under 72-hour detention in her hotel room, she was not allowed to leave until she completed quarantine. His birthday came and went. When the hours finally passed, she slipped onto the set for a wardrobe fitting, when Daviss walked past. Grant hadn’t planned on filming that day, she was supposed to come and go without interruption. But as Daviss insisted, “Come hang out with us,” she ended up spending the rest of the day with the Pogues, laughing at their best stage flight jokes and jumping with the escape energy that makes External banks– although undoubtedly ridiculous – so contagious. Even in season 2, the series retains the creative trope cocktail that made the first such success: runaway lovers, sun, salt, sand, and sex. Explosions, gunshots, car chases, kisses. Gold.

External banks isn’t a show you’re meant to take seriously, and yet for many fans, it’s the show they’re most devoted to. Perhaps it was thanks to the commitment of the actors themselves: Grant felt she owed something sincere to Cleo, a 17-year-old orphaned in Nassau at around 10 or 11. Showrunner Jonas Pate told Grant that Cleo was named after Queen Cleopatra, which Grant took as a landmark to study Egyptian history. “She’s smarter, faster, better than everyone else, but she’s smart enough not to show it,” Grant says.

She’s created Cleo playlists filled with “groovy Caribbean” beats from Rapsody, Popcaan and Rihanna. “I do a lot of character building on the treadmill and during my cardio. Because I absolutely hate cardio, ”she laughs.

On the treadmill, she was concocting stories that she would later use to journal with Cleo’s voice. In the opening episodes of Season 2, it is revealed that Cleo grew up on the streets, her father leaving her before her grandmother died. But nothing else about Cleo’s origin story is shared with the public. So Grant took off on her own, creating scenes with Cleo’s grandmother where the wise woman would order, “I’m not going to stay here very long, but I want you to be what I know you can be.” , and you can’t give up. Sometimes it will get difficult, but you have to keep moving forward. You are a fighter, ” Grant said.

carlacia grant as cleo in episode 202 of external banks

JACKSON LEE DAVIS / NETFLIX

“It’s the spirit of an islander,” she explains. “Being from the West Indies means having this pride, the pride of the people. The pride of yourself.

Although of Caribbean descent, Grant was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where she played her first acting role at the age of 13. (At summer camp, no less. She played Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure islandHer family then moved to South Florida, where she attended commercial castings in Miami, convinced from her pre-teens that playing the role was the ultimate goal – the only career that matched her sociable personality. She tried going to college but gave up to move to New York City for acting gigs, only to find Manhattan was fertile ground for Broadway guys more than Hollywood starlets. She then wanders, from New York to Atlanta, then to New Orleans, before finally settling in Los Angeles.

Watch Grant in External banks, any skepticism about her commitment to an acting career is fading. She is certainly one of the most sophisticated actresses on the show, shrewd but playful, wielding a knife as if it were an extension of her arm. Although she has appeared in other programs, such as Green leaf and the Roots remake, this is Grant’s first time as a series regular, and you can tell she feels like she won the Netflix lottery with a start like External banks.

When she flew to Barbados to film the scenes for Season 2 set in the Bahamas, she had so much fun it was a challenge to keep Cleo’s cool and exercised calm. The water was warm, she said, and the beaches brilliantly white. During her action scenes, she was able to sprint, wave her knife and dive headfirst into the ocean. She laughed with Cline between each take. If it was work, she never wanted him to stop.

But his time in Barbados also gave him a first glimpse of the world Stokes, Cline, Daviss, Bailey and Pankow had inhabited for a year. External banks fans are notoriously insatiable. When she woke up at three in the morning to film a scene set at night, she found that they had camped out in front of and behind her hotel, eager to catch a glimpse of the stars.

“The fan base is so intense,” Grant says. “Even to get the answer Cleo was getting before the show came out … Yeah, that’s a very, very, very big job.”

So, to prepare for the fame that is already encroaching, she spent the weeks leading up to Season 2’s release relishing her final days of relative anonymity. Soon fans will stop him on the street, ask for an autograph, take a selfie. So she observed people, attended fairs and rode big wheels, made frequent trips to the beach in California, and faced her co-stars for advice.

carlacia grant as cleo in episode 201 of external banks

JACKSON LEE DAVIS / NETFLIX

“There is going to be… I witnessed it. I witnessed, if we are all together, sometimes it becomes pandemonium, ”she said. So, is she nervous? “I think I’m ready, but it’s also something you can’t be ready for.”

Then, as if to reconsider, she shrugs her shoulders. “I think I’m going to do well.”

She is too focused on what is already on the horizon to worry much about the pandemonium of the present. In season 3 – if the show is renewed, which seems likely – she wants a love story for Cleo: “I’m really interested to see this whole Cleo and Pope thing happen, if it does,” lets she hears. She also wants flashbacks to Cleo’s past: “I would love to see more of Cleo’s story. Personally, I really want to see her more, more of where she came from. And I want her to be more badass, definitely more badass.

When asked if she thought the girl from Nassau would enjoy Pogue’s life in America, she replied, “I think she’s going to have a few hiccups. I think not being able to carry a knife on his waist might be [a struggle]. “But given JJ’s attachment of the gun to her hip, she might not have such a hard time after all. Even a year after the series’ meteoric rise, External banks is just as fun, just as wild, because it’s powered by the same thing that made the first season a phenomenon: a charismatic ensemble. Lucky for her, Grant fits in perfectly.

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