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elcome to I Heart Madelyn, a fansite dedicated to actress Madelyn Cline. You might know Madelyn from her breakout role as Sarah Cameron in Netflix's series Outer Banks. Madelyn can next be seen in Rian Johnson's Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. This fansite aims to update you with the latest news and photos on Madelyn's career. Be sure to look around the site and enjoy your stay! Thank you for visiting and come back soon!
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Mar 10 | 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party (Inside)
05 Jan 2023

Beneath the Surface of Madelyn Cline

Written by Emily

Madelyn is featured on the January cover of WhoWhatWear! She looks absolutely amazing! Check out the new photos in the gallery!

I feel a flutter of anxiety rising in my chest as I prepare to Zoom with the magnetic Madelyn Cline. It’s hard not to be awed by the actress—do a quick Google search and you’ll understand why. Whether she’s sharing how she spends 24 hours with Vogue or gracing our screens as charismatic Sarah Cameron on the hit Netflix series Outer Banks, there’s something undeniably powerful and alluring about the 25-year-old. As the video call begins, Cline shoots me a wide grin and starts off with an energetic “Hey, buddy!” Immediately, I’m put at ease. Cline sits perched in a cozy bouclé chair in her L.A. home, exuding a friendly and calm demeanor. She’s completely present despite needing to catch an 18-hour flight to Thailand immediately after our chat. Bare-faced wearing a simple white tank, leggings, and the casual shoes of the moment (platform Uggs), she fusses with her mic, and I’m struck by her strong features and confident yet serene presence.

Cline is not a face one easily forgets, and it seems the media has no desire to do so. After catching everyone’s eye in Outer Banks, she kept the attention going with a strong American Eagle partnership and a noteworthy cameo in Kygo’s sultry music video for his remix of Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff.” Not to mention her repertoire of viral looks put together with the help of stylist Mimi Cuttrell, including her custom Versace look for the premiere of her latest buzzy project, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. At only 25, Cline has been thrust into a level of stardom that I predict will soar to unimaginable heights from here on out.

Glamour and fame aside, Cline takes it back to the beginning with me. When she tells me the story of her venture into acting, it feels like I’m hearing the intro of a classic coming-of-age film. Despite enrolling at Coastal Carolina University and moving into her dorm, she says the experience never felt right. The South Carolina native was jamming the wrong puzzle piece, trying desperately to make it fit. Eventually, Cline put the whole puzzle away, dropped out of college, and made a beeline to Los Angeles. She paints a picture of a prototypical teenage move to L.A.—living in apartments filled with bedbugs, couch surfing, and, amid all that, pursuing acting. “It was like throwing the noodle against the wall to see if it’ll stick,” she says. For Cline, there was no longer a plan B. Acting was the only plan. People might perceive her rather speedy climb to success as dreamlike, but like most Hollywood stories, there’s always more to it. “I remember thinking, ‘My life is in shambles. Why did I leave? Why did I leave college? Why did I leave my home? Why did I leave my family?’ But it all ended up being very serendipitous,” she reflects.

As a writer, serendipitous is exactly how I’d describe Cline’s uphill journey. After minor parts in Boy Erased and Stranger Things, she landed the role of Sarah in Outer Banks. She may have quickly fled from her old life, but filming the show brought her right back to her home base in South Carolina. “When I saw where Outer Banks was shooting, I was like, ‘Shit, I don’t want to go home,’” she says. “When I left, I kind of ran for the hills and was so excited to build a new life and make new routes. I was a little reluctant. But at the same time, I couldn’t pass it up. I knew from the first time I read the scripts that this is just amazing.” In the end, the actress was able to reestablish her relationships on her own terms—rewriting home for herself completely. The puzzle pieces may not have fit quite right before, but they finally clicked together when Outer Banks came into her life.

The show was released in April 2020, and people were quick to use their abundance of free time to go through the adventurous series at lightning speed. (I was one of them.) Almost overnight, Cline and her co-stars were all over the internet. Scenes quickly became TikTok sounds, “ships” were immediately cast, and fan pages started coming out of the woodwork. “When it came out, it felt like it was everywhere,” Cline says. “I remember I was on my own Instagram discovery page. I was seeing tagged posts of Outer Banks, and I was like, ‘Fuck!’ and just kept clicking on ‘not interested.’ This is too much. Let me clear my feed real quick. It was a little polarizing for a second and a little overwhelming.” Cline doesn’t hold back on how surreal the experience was, adding, “We [the cast] were pushed together, and we were like, ‘Holy shit, we’re on a Netflix show.’”

Cline has, no doubt, claimed fame for her Outer Banks role, but this past fall, the stakes were raised even higher. The actress is now facing a momentous shift in her career after joining the cast of Glass Onion. Inevitably, there will be doubts about sequels, but the second installment of Rian Johnson’s whodunit franchise quickly broke records. With its weeklong theatrical release, it smashed the box-office record for a Netflix pre-streaming movie, earning $13.3 million in the first five days. For Cline, the essence of the film lies in escapism. This idea of escapism is a theme that shows up multiple times throughout our conversation, mostly because that’s how her younger self fell in love with storytelling. She tells me fondly about how she used to skip homework to watch The Vampire Diaries, dive into books, and post about her character obsessions on one of her several Tumblr fan accounts. With immense gratitude in her voice, she tells me what her role has meant to her: “I found it to be cathartic because it was [the] kind of story that I know I would’ve been obsessed with as a teenager.”

Even before she was cast, Cline knew this project was on the brink of something monumental. “I had the Deadline notifications on my phone. I remember sitting on my couch, and I’d get the little ding, and I would look at my phone and [say], ‘Oh, Janelle Monáe has been cast in the Knives Out sequel.’ And then it would be Kathryn Hahn and then Leslie Odom Jr. or Kate Hudson,” she says. “And it was like, ‘Jesus, who else? How can this get even more stacked?’ And then I got cast, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m in.’” The project took her to the shores of Greece, where she worked with a cast that seemed like it was conjured up in a game of “Who would you love to have dinner with, dead or alive?”

“I had an [imposter syndrome] flare-up with Glass Onion because I was surrounded by the likes of Daniel Craig, Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, and Kathryn Hahn. It was like you were in a locker room. You walk in and don’t even know where to look,” she says. Despite being put on a level with Hollywood legends and having accredited Netflix success, Cline couldn’t help but feel an immense sense of self-doubt looming over her. Even on the flight to Greece, she couldn’t help but nitpick at her preparation and schedule. But in that theoretical locker room, she had a pretty great teammate to help snap her out of it. “Kathryn Hahn told me … ‘Whatever is in front of you, just lean into it. You’re only going to experience things once.’ I have to rewire self-talk in my mind and reroute it to positivity, but it’s not easy. [Imposter syndrome] is a daily journey,” she says. For Cline, an actress still relatively new in her career, filming her biggest project to date was an experience she holds dear to her heart.

At this point, I’d become quite acquainted with Cline’s on-screen lives, but I was still itching to know more about the actress—unfiltered. Who really is Madelyn Cline behind the cool-girl persona the internet has fallen in love with? For so long, the conversation has been surface level, largely focusing on the off-screen relationship she had with Outer Banks co-star Chase Stokes. I was more curious to learn about her feelings and fears of stepping so quickly into the spotlight. To my surprise, she opened up right away, sharing the self-conscious thoughts that run through her mind. “I feel like I’m in therapy right now,” she laughs before delving into a lengthy answer. “I’ve observed that people don’t separate me from my characters. It’s a funny phenomenon to experience firsthand because sometimes I’m like, ‘Am I different from my characters? Am I not self-aware?’” I can’t help but smile as she goes into Harry Potter references, comparing herself to a Hufflepuff and her on-screen characters to Gryffindors. In Glass Onion, Cline’s character, Whiskey, is multifaceted, relaxed, and fiercely confident. In Outer Banks, Cline plays Sarah, a remarkably fearless woman. While an outsider may think that the actress pulls from her own inner qualities, she’s quite the opposite. “I can be reserved and in my shell. I’m a little timid sometimes and a bit more of an introvert,” she shares.

When Cline isn’t filming in South Carolina or Greece, she’s dabbling in the odd hobby. “I’m currently learning how to play tennis, and I’m awful at it,” she laughs. “I want to be a hot mom playing tennis. I want that for myself at some point in the future.” Cline also mentions she’s keen on playing video games: “I love sitting and locking myself in a room, putting headphones on, and letting my mind go mush. It pleases my introverted soul.” At this moment, I feel like I’m talking to one of my 20-something friends, especially when she goes into her TikTok habit. “It’s really bad. I’m violently addicted. Sometimes, it’s an inordinate amount. I do have a public account, but I’m never on it. I’m always on my little ghost account,” she says. “I feel like I’m just too scared to post anything because there are so many funny people on TikTok, and it’s nerve-racking. I want to post more, but I just need to get over my fear of it.” As she’s someone who’s had to act alongside Kate Hudson and Daniel Craig, you’d think a 60-second TikTok would be insignificant in comparison. But that’s exactly what surprises me about her. With Cline’s on-screen persona, you wouldn’t assume she’s an introvert at heart, but there’s a reason you should never judge a book by its cover. All in all, if there’s anything I learned from our conversation, it is that there’s more than meets the eye with Madelyn Cline.

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05 Jan 2023