‘Outer Banks’ Star Chase Stokes Wanted ‘Stranger Things’ Role But ‘Effed Up’ Audition

Chase Stokes and Joe Keery
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix; Netflix

Stranger Things could have had a different-looking Steve Harrington had Chase Stokes not “absolutely effed up” during his audition for the hit Netflix series.

The Outer Banks star opened up about his failed audition during a fan event in Huntington Beach, California, telling Access Hollywood, “So I actually read for Steve Harrington and forgot all the lines and absolutely effed up the audition.”

He continued, “I drove eight hours from Atlanta back to Orlando regretting every moment of my life on that.”

The role of Steve ultimately went to Joe Keery, who has become a fan favorite over the show’s four seasons. Steve starts out as the boyfriend of Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) in the first season and is portrayed as a jock who loves to torment and bully others. However, he has a redemption arc in Season 2 and eventually becomes a core part of the main group.

Stokes had high praise for Keery, calling him “an absolute legend” before adding, “He’s so damn good as Steve Harrington. I’m super proud of him. I’ve talked to him a little bit throughout the years.”

Even though Stokes didn’t land the role of Steve, the Duffer Brothers did give him a brief appearance in the first season. In a short scene in the sixth episode, Stokes can be seen leaning out of a car window, shouting an insulting remark to Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) about Nancy.

“I’m just thankful for the Duffer brothers for giving me an opportunity to do my job and to start my career,” he shared. “I mean, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here and the executive producers and the Netflix people who are part of that show were also part of Stranger Things. It’s a very full circle moment for me.”

Stokes plays the lead role of John B. Routledge in Outer Banks, which follows a group of teenagers on the hunt for a legendary treasure linked to the disappearance of John’s father. The third season lands on Netflix today, Thursday, February 23.

Outer Banks, Season 3, Now Streaming, Netflix

Stranger Things, Seasons 1-4, Streaming, Netflix