In 2020, an unsuspecting show about a group of friends who embark on a legendary treasure hunt in their coastal town of North Carolina premiered on Netflix. It quickly became a massive hit, changing the lives of its young cast practically overnight. Now in its third season, Outer Banks still remains one of the streamer’s most popular and anticipated shows. It’s the adventure-filled gift that keeps on giving, especially for star Madison Bailey.
Kiara—or Kie, as she is affectionately referred to by her friend group, the Pogues—isn’t just another character on Bailey’s ever-expanding IMDb résumé. The 24-year-old has literally grown up beside her passionate and loyal on-screen counterpart, and there’s a level of comfort in quite literally stepping back into Kiara’s shoes each season. But it’s not just the familiarity that makes her so special to Bailey. It’s what the character and the show have done for the actress personally. “Obviously, all my opportunities at the moment are stemming from this blessing of doing Outer Banks and the timing of everything, but it’s also turned my eye to action,” she shares with us on a Zoom call. “It’s showing me what I’m interested in and that I don’t want to do comedy as much as I thought I did.” Action-adventures, thrillers, and dramas come more naturally to Bailey. When season one of OBX premiered, people started comparing the actress to the likes of Michelle Rodriguez, which was a pleasant surprise for the North Carolina native. “I was like, ‘Wait, I do like that for myself.’ It opened my eyes,” she says.