Gabriel Basso & Luciane Buchanan Interview: The Night Agent (2024)

The Night Agent is veteran showrunner Shawn Ryan’s new foray into the world of streaming television. Well-known for his work on The Shield and S.W.A.T., Ryan has turned his lens higher up the rungs of government, crafting a tense political thriller with a story that reaches the Oval Office itself. The Night Agent was adapted from a book by the same title by Matthew Quirk, though Ryan has combined the idea with others he had been developing at the time he read the book, ultimately creating something new.

The success of The Night Agent hinges on its winning cast, led by Gabriel Basso as low-level FBI agent Peter Sutherland and Luciane Buchanan as young tech CEO Rose Larkin. Basso and Buchanan have fantastic onscreen chemistry, and The Night Agent is one of the largest projects undertaken by either actor to date. Despite the fact that Gabriel Basso's beard almost cost him the role, Ryan has sung the praises of both actors, claiming that he “bought two stocks at a great price” and expects great things from both Basso and Buchanan.

Related: 6 Clues You Missed To The Night Agent's Big Peter Twist

Gabriel Basso and Luciane Buchanan spoke with Screen Rant about getting cast in the series, building their relationship with each other, and more.

Gabriel Basso & Luciane Buchanan on The Night Agent

Gabriel Basso & Luciane Buchanan Interview: The Night Agent (1)

Screen Rant: I spoke with Shawn Ryan a few days ago, who said you almost lost out on the part because you had a beard in your audition. Obviously, it all worked out. How long did it take you to be able to laugh at that?

Gabriel Basso: Immediately. Growing up in this business, I just knew that that was part of it. The producer got picked on by a redhead, so he doesn't want to work with redheads or whatever. Petty levels of stuff [exist]. It wasn't that in this case, but it's out of your hands once you send the tape.

I had been doing a movie, and I was on set, and I couldn't shave my beard for continuity. I was like, "Make sure to tell them that I can't shave. I'm not being unprofessional, I just can't shave." Afterwards, I sent in a tape again, because I asked if [the role] had been cast. And [my agent] was like, "No, nothing had been cast yet," so I just shaved and sent in a new tape. It all worked out. It's out of my hands, so I'm relaxed about it.

A lot of this show hinges on how well the two of you play off with each other. How long did it take for you to find that onscreen relationship comfort level?

Luciane Buchanan: It was really easy.

Gabriel Basso: Yeah, not long. We were both away from home, and we both were just sort of thrown into this, so we both bonded over that. Also, I think the way it was written was really gradual. It would have been a lot more difficult to portray had they been like, "Oh, you save her; now you're together." It felt really grounded and realistic, and all my strengths were her weaknesses, and her strengths were my weaknesses. It was very complimentary, and we never felt like we were competing for anything narratively. We just sort of helped each other's characters.

Luciane Buchanan: It's all we had going; just work. We talked about all day. We were so far away from home, and there was a pandemic. We couldn't do much.

Luciane, you're from New Zealand. There are so many amazing actors and actresses from New Zealand who come over here and crush it. Are there any that you would like to see on the show in a future season?

Luciane Buchanan: Oh, gosh. I mean, I obviously would want my friends to be on the show.

Gabriel Basso: Nepotism. [Laughs]

Luciane Buchanan: Well, the lady who plays my aunt is from New Zealand, Simone Kessell. It was really cool, early on; Shawn and the writers were like, "Do you have anyone in mind who could play your aunt?" I was just like, "This is so cool. I feel like I've got some power here." But I couldn't think of anyone. I was like, "Oh, gosh." She lives in Australia, so she wasn't even on my list of people to think of. If we could have some flashbacks [with her], that would be cool. I don't know if they're necessary.

Shawn Ryan is a legend; he's created all these shows. In preparing for this role, did you look back on any of his other projects to get a taste of the writing? Or were there other things that you did to prepare?

Luciane Buchanan: I actually haven't seen any of his stuff. They're more network stuff, right? We don't have that at home.

Gabriel Basso: I didn't really. I was sitting down with Shawn when I agreed to do it, [but] before it was officially offered to me. He sort of pitched the job to me, and there was a movie or something that was filming up the street, and one of the actors came over because he was close by and he'd worked with Shawn. He shook Shawn's hand, and he shook my hand. He was like, "If you're going to work with him, you're in good hands." That means a lot; this guy telling me this [unprompted].

Also, Shawn was saying that this was different than anything he's done. It was kind of cool; I didn't feel like I had to watch anything, but I also knew he had the capacity to make a great show.

What were your favorite parts of shooting this, and what were your favorite kinds of scenes to get into?

Gabriel Basso: The stunts, for me. I did all the fighting and stuff [myself]. I think just doing it was really cool, because I had been in movies as a kid and stuff, but I had to be a kid. There was no, like, fighting stuff for me to do so. I think that was the most exciting prospect, was [that] I actually get to do this stuff.

Luciane Buchanan: I think some of the stuff in the hotel in episode two was quite fun. What do you call those things that blow up? Fake gunshots? I can't remember.

Gabriel Basso: Charges?

Luciane Buchanan: Yeah, those things. I was actually reacting to them. I was like, "Oh, gosh!" And then Gabe falling through the -

Gabriel Basso: Oh, yeah.

Luciane Buchanan: I was like, "Production-wise, how do you plan that, and make that work, and ask a hotel like, 'Hey, can we break a window?'" It's pretty crazy, and then the way it was cut together is pretty seamless. It turned out really good.

About The Night Agent

Gabriel Basso & Luciane Buchanan Interview: The Night Agent (2)

Based on the novel by Matthew Quirk, The Night Agent is a sophisticated, character-based, action-thriller centering on a low-level FBI Agent who works in the basem*nt of the White House, manning a phone that never rings -- until the night that it does, propelling him into a fast-moving and dangerous conspiracy that ultimately leads all the way to the Oval Office.

Check out our other interviews for The Night Agent:

  • Creator Shawn Ryan
  • Hong Chau

The Night Agent is streaming now on Netflix.

Gabriel Basso & Luciane Buchanan Interview: The Night Agent (2024)
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