A promising young actor in Hollywood, Drew Starkey, a native of Hickory, North Carolina, who was born on Nov. 4, 1993, and attended Western Carolina University after graduating from St. Stephens High School, is well-known for his role as Rafe Cameron in the popular Netflix series Outer Banks.
The actor made his acting debut in community theater before moving on to more prominent roles in cinema and television. After playing supporting characters in films and TV episodes like Love, Simon, and Ozark, Starkey finally broke out with his performance in Outer Banks.
His success in Outer Banks led to guest-starring parts on other shows like The Resident and Doom Patrol. So, here are the most notable 10 Drew Starkey roles from the big and small screens.
10. Love, Simon (2018)
Based on Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Love, Simon is a 2018 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Greg Berlanti and written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. The film’s main cast members include Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, and Jennifer Garner. The story follows Simon Spier, a closeted gay high school student who is torn between his desire to learn the identity of the anonymous classmate with whom he has fallen in love online and his need to avoid being outed to the rest of his school by a blackmailer.
Drew Starkey plays Garrett Laughlin, a classmate of Simon Spier’s, in this groundbreaking film, the first feature film from a major Hollywood studio to center on a gay teen romance. Laughlin’s classmate is the movie’s focal point; therefore, he only gets a little screen time and doesn’t impact the plot much. However, the film was lauded by critics for its diverse and talented cast and normalcy.
9. Just Mercy (2019)
Another brief appearance for Drew Starkey was as a young guard in the film Just Mercy, which dealt with themes of law and incarceration. Based on Bryan Stevenson’s memoir of the same name, Just Mercy is a legal drama film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The film follows Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan) as he attempts to secure the release of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), an African-American man from Alabama who was falsely convicted of murder and condemned to death.
McMillian was found guilty despite numerous eyewitnesses and other evidence pointing to McMillian’s innocence. Brie Larson also stars as local activist Eva Ansley, with whom Stevenson co-founded the Equal Justice Initiative. Just Mercy draws attention to the problem of wrongful convictions and the death penalty as manifestations of systemic racism in the American legal system. The film’s representation of a faulty legal system and the strength of its performers have earned it high accolades.
8. The Devil All the Time (2020)
Drew Starkey holds his own among a stacked cast in the critically acclaimed picture The Devil All the Time. Tommy Matson (played by Starkey) is portrayed as a bully, and one scene shows him and two other boys, Gene Dinwoodie and Orville Buckman, harassing Lenora (Eliza Scanlen) because of her appearance and faith. Tom Holland’s character, Arvin, Lenora’s protective older brother, intervenes to defend her, leading to a fight between him and the lads.
Directed by Antonio Campos, The Devil All the Time is a psychological thriller/crime drama film that spans the years from the end of World War II to the 1960s and focuses on the intertwined stories of several characters living in two small towns in Southern Ohio. Joining Starkey is Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke, Sebastian Stan, and Robert Pattinson, who all play key roles. The film was the most-watched on Netflix over its first two days and third overall in its first five days.
7. Embattled (2020)
In Embattled, directed by Nick Sarkisov and based on a story by Frank Ragen, Drew Starkey played the minor role of Tanner Van Holt in this film which also features Stephen Dorff as Cash Boykins, a mixed martial arts champion (heavily modeled after Conor McGregor), whose abusive parenting style causes tension between him and his son. After the birth of his second son, who was diagnosed with Williams syndrome, Boykins, raised by a tyrant father himself, abandons his family.
Boykins’ eldest son Jett (Darren Mann), ends up raising his younger brother Quinn (Colin McKenna) while he pursues a successful career as a mixed martial arts fighter and takes out his frustrations in the ring. Boykins’ son Jett also decides to be an MMA fighter, and soon, father and son find themselves battling in the ring.
6. Scream: The TV Series (2019)
The television adaptation of the iconic horror movie franchise, Scream, saw Starkey playing a character named Hawkins in the third season. Hawkins made appearances in four episodes: “The Deadfast Club,” “Devil’s Night,” “Ports in the Storm,” and “Endgame.” Scream: The TV Series follows a group of teenagers being stalked and targeted by a masked serial killer.
Hawkins is notable for being the fifth LGBTQ+ character in the series and the first male LGBTQ+ character not to be murdered. Hawkins and Manny, another male LGBTQ+ character in the series, were secretly in a relationship before Manny’s death. Hawkins has a variety of relationships with other characters in the show, including friends, classmates, teammates, and a coach at Weaver High School, as well as a cop from the Atlanta Police Department.
5. The Hate U Give (2018)
Drew Starkey played a small part in the critically lauded film, The Hate U Give. The film, directed by George Tillman Jr. and based on the 2017 young adult novel of the same name by Angie Thomas, follows 16-year-old African-American high school student Starr Carter as she deals with the aftermath of witnessing a police shooting.
Several actors perform outstandingly in The Hate U Give, including Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Lamar Johnson, KJ Apa, Sabrina Carpenter, Common, and Anthony Mackie. Critics were largely positive, with many praising the performances, especially those of Stenberg and Hornsby. The movie was up for a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Award, and Stenberg took home the Best Actress in a Motion Picture trophy at the NAACP Image Awards.
4. The Terminal List (2022)
David DiGilio’s The Terminal List is an action thriller series adapted from Jack Carr’s novel of the same name, published in 2018. The Terminal List follows Lieutenant Commander James Reece and his platoon of Navy SEALs, who are assaulted during a secret mission. When Reece returns to his family, he faces questions about his guilt and contradicting memories of the incident.
Reece learns that his life and the lives of those he cares about are in jeopardy from unseen powers as more evidence points in that direction. In addition to Drew Starkey, who portrays San Diego Police Department (SDPD) detective Junior Alba, the cast also features Chris Pratt, Constance Wu, Taylor Kitsch, and Riley Keough as the main characters. The show dominated Amazon Prime’s “Top 10” chart for new television series within the first two weeks of its release. The Terminal List ranked third on the Nielsen ranking with 1.1 billion minutes watched over all eight episodes.
3. Ozark (2018)
Drew Starkey briefly appeared in an episode of the Netflix series Ozark for one of his first acting gigs. In episode five of season one, titled “Ruling Days,” Drew performed the role of “Boy.” First seen at the beginning of the episode, Drew is a member of the armed robbery crew. Starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, the series follows a married couple (Marty and Wendy Byrde) who take their family to the Lake of the Ozarks and start a new life as money launderers.
Throughout its run, Ozark received universal acclaim from critics who lauded the show’s tone, direction, production values, and performances (especially those of Bateman, Linney, and Julia Garner). The show has been nominated for 45 Primetime Emmys, winning three times: once for Outstanding Drama Series, once for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and twice for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Woody Allen in 2019 and Jennifer Garner in 2020 and 2022). Bateman has been recognized twice for Best Actor in a Drama Series at the Golden Globes.
2. Hellraiser (2022)
David Bruckner’s supernatural horror film, Hellraiser, continues Clive Barker’s 1986 novel The Hellbound Heart, making it the eleventh installment in the Hellraiser series. The cast members include Drew Starkey, Odessa A’zion, Jamie Clayton, Adam Faison and Brandon Flynn, Aoife Hinds, Jason Liles, and Yinka Olorunnife.
In the film, a young woman with an addiction problem obtains a mechanical puzzle box with the power to call forth the Cenobites, humanoid creatures that feed on pain and pleasure. Trevor, portrayed by Drew Starkey, plays the romantic interest of Riley, the film’s protagonist (Odessa A’zion). Matt (Brandon Flynn), Riley’s brother, doesn’t like Trevor because of his habit of drinking in front of Riley. Trevor and Riley find a puzzle box crucial to the movie’s story.
1. Outer Banks (2020 to Present)
In the Netflix show Outer Banks, Drew Starkey portrays the role of Rafe Cameron. Rafe Cameron is the older sibling of Sarah Cameron and the son of Ward Cameron. His unpredictable and erratic behavior is a frequent source of drama on the show. Rafe Cameron, a member of the town’s affluent “Kooks,” has a drug and alcohol problem and suffers from addiction throughout the show.
As Outer Banks largely follows a group of friends called the “Pogues,” Rafe’s turbulent and occasionally violent behavior usually puts him at odds with them. Their community shows a distinct socioeconomic split between the wealthy seasonal residents (known as “Kooks”) and the working-class year-round residents (known as “Pogues”). Teenagers from the Pogue neighborhood of The Cut led by John B., whose father went missing, are the show’s narrative’s focus, as they find a legendary treasure with ties to John B.’s dad along the road.