Chase Stokes

Chase Stokes of the Outer Banks blew his Stranger Things audition.

Before he was cast in his own Netflix program, Chase Stokes sought (and failed) to get the role of Steve Harrington.

Isn’t there something unique about a slightly douchey, mostly-lovable Netflix lad with a one-syllable name and that hairdo? Chase Stokes clearly gets it, since he tried to play one of them (Stranger Things’ Steve Harrington) and now plays another (teen treasure hunter John B. on Outer Banks).

Stokes recently stated that, while he is clearly pretty excellent at understanding which jobs play to his, well, substantial aesthetic talents, the actual auditioning process isn’t always as simple.

“I actually read for Steve Harrington and completely messed up the lines. “I drove eight hours from Georgia back to Orlando, and I regret every second of my life because of it!” he told Yahoo! Life.

While the role of Steve finally went to Joe Keery (who Stokes has no ill will against, calling him “an unbelievable legend, who is as good as Steve Harrington”), the Duffer brothers definitely saw something in Stokes, who went on to appear as a character named Reed in a season 1 episode of the program. Despite the fact that the part was minor, the actor considers it to be the beginning of his career. “I’m simply grateful to the Duffer brothers for allowing me to, like, do my job,” he remarked. “I mean, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them.”

While the Duffer brothers got him started, it was a casting director named Lisa Fincannon who really pushed him to become the floppy-haired Netflix guy he was always intended to be. Stokes said in a recent New York Times interview that he first turned down repeated audition invitations for Outer Banks, mistaking it for a Goonies remake and “not wanting to besmirch a classic.”

Yet, faced with an eviction notice and diminishing cash, he began to reconsider. “I received a call from Lisa Fincannon, a fantastic casting director, and she said, ‘You need to read for this,'” he explained. He went on to detail a call he received a few days later from his agent:

“You’re boarding an aircraft tonight. These are 14 pages of dialogue. The first four episodes are available below. You’ll be in the middle seat in the very last row of a plane on a red eye, and you’ll land in Charleston. “The audition will begin as soon as you step off the plane.” And I did it, and the rest, as they say, is history.