After Outer Banks premiered on Netflix in April 2020, fans were immediately obsessed with Rudy Pankow. The actor plays John B’s best friend and trusty sidekick JJ who, more often than not, comes up with the Pogue’s elaborate schemes that always seem to get them into more trouble.

Before his breakout role, the budding star nabbed a few supporting roles in TV shows like The Politician and Solve. Since then, he’s been cast in a few upcoming projects and stolen Outer Banks fans’ hearts.

“JJ taught me things from feeling comfortable in my own skin to feeling comfortable with making mistakes,” Rudy told Boys By Girls in August 2021. “There’s a lot of things that he has been able to reveal to me about myself, but I wouldn’t say he did the work because I built it myself. He lives inside of me, but at the end of the day I taught myself these lessons by learning what kind of character he is. Like actors, we all have different characters inside of us and they change in different situations. The key is to learn the positive things about these different personas and start revealing who you are — whether it is with people or emotions you are having. Listening to them is very important in finding who you truly are and how to become the best self you possibly can be.”

Although he’s become widely known as his Outer Banks character, Rudy has explained that there’s actually a wide range of difference between himself and JJ.

“I think there’s a little bit of JJ in there, but not a whole lot,” he told the digital publication. “There are characteristics between me and JJ: he is kind of sporadic, and has a lot of energy at times. But I’m not going to a beach all the time and pulling out a gas and popping off some shots. That’s not who I am.”

While Rudy may play JJ on screen, he’s still just as invested in the show as viewers. In fact, the star is waiting to see whether his character gets a love interest if Outer Banks continues. As for whether he wants that possible love interest to be Kiara (played by Madison Bailey), only time will tell.

“I think what’s happening in season 2 is JJ is really focused on the safety of things and also restitution. So yeah, like I think there’s a lot of other factors that are going on with JJ,” Rudy teased while chatting with Us Weekly in July 2021. “I think there will be a time a place to have that talk but it’s just not yet, because there are so many other things that he’s dealing with.”

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