“Mads and I have been working together now for 30 episodes, and we made a promise to each other before we even started dating that the work was always going to come first,” Stokes, 30, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Friday, February 3. “No matter what happens in our personal lives, and the ways that life sometimes takes you in different directions, that we’re always going to honor the work.”
Stokes and Cline, 25, who have starred as John B and Sarah Cameron, respectively, on the Netflix series since its premiere in April 2020, began dating just a few months after the show launched on the streaming service. While they ultimately called it quits in November 2021 — just a few months before they began filming season 3 — the twosome have worked hard at remaining professional on set.
“We had a working relationship before we had a personal relationship, and our job from day one has always been to leave the show better than we found it,” Cline told the outlet on Friday, echoing her ex’s sentiment. “I’m really, really happy and I’m very proud of the work this season, and I’m incredibly grateful for my costars and their professionalism and just how talented each and every one of them are.”
The Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery star added that she and the Stranger Things actor have “always shown up for each other when it comes to work and this show” despite what was happening in their personal lives.
Season 3 of Outer Banks, which premieres later this month, will meet back up with the Pogues as they figure out how to move on after being forced to flee North Carolina — a situation that won’t be easy for any of the characters to navigate.
“Love isn’t supposed to be easy,” Stokes shared, adding that John B and Sarah’s romance will be “tested” once again. “It’s not supposed to be something that comes naturally. Part of me wants to continue down the road of peace for John B and Sarah, but if there’s anything we know about this show, it’s that it’s going to take you for a wild ride.”
While the duo work at maintaining their professional relationship off-screen, Stokes has seemingly moved on with a new love. The Maryland native and country crooner Kelsea Ballerini were spotted at the College Football National Championship Game in Los Angeles with a group of mutual friends in January 2022.
Later that month, Stokes posted a “lil recap” via Instagram that included a pic of himself and the “Heartfirst” singer, 29, from the game. In the snap, taken from behind, Ballerini and the Tell Me Your Secrets alum could be seen cozying up together in the stands.
The pair have since exchanged several flirty social media messages back and forth and were spotted at Robert’s Western World bar in Nashville earlier this week.
While the twosome have been coy about their relationship status, they’ve continued to fuel rumors of a romance — even packing on the PDA while flying out of LAX on January 28, per photos obtained by TMZ at the time.
When asked about Ballerini in January, Stokes told TMZ, “She’s a sweet girl. We’re having a good time and that’s all I’ll say.”
Cline, meanwhile, has been linked to Zack Bia following her split from the Beach House star. However, the DJ, 25, swiftly shut down dating rumors in January 2022.
“We are not dating. We hang out all the time,” Bia said on the “BFFs with Dave Portnoy and Josh Richards” podcast. “I think as someone like herself who is extremely busy and is going to start traveling — she’s on set five months out of the year — she has such a busy schedule and I think I have such a busy schedule. It is one of those things where we really enjoy hanging out and enjoy going to dinner. … We’re not thinking about what it is.”