“I already was in shape because I fight and stuff in real life and I compete and train. But I think the biggest thing for me was going back to early 1900s where their approach to health was health first, rank second and looks third. And sort of the aesthetic and looking good is a byproduct of the first two. It’s not the emphasis,” the Missouri native, 28, exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the show’s Netflix premiere. “I wasn’t, like, starving myself or doing pushups before a scene to look big.”
Basso mainly “wanted to be strong and look strong” for the action sequences in the 10-episode freshman series, which debuted on March 23.
“I was doing all the fighting in the stunts. Everything was something that I could do realistically,” he explained. “I try not to put too much importance on that stuff. I wasn’t dehydrating myself so I could look a certain way.”
For Basso, his most challenging fight on set was his “most rewarding” for him. “I have a scene where I picked some guy up [stuntman Matthew Mylrea] and he puts me in a triangle choke, and I have to pick him up and there’s no way for them to cheat that. I actually had to pick the dude up and he was close to my body weight and it’s tough. It was a tough thing to do over and over again, but we made it work,” he recalled.
“I pick him up and I slam him to break his choke. But that was the most rewarding for me because I was like, ‘This is awesome.’ There’s no way for him to help me and pop off the ground,” he continued. “I was actually having to deadlift the guy off the ground and slam him. It was pretty fun.”
Basso stars alongside Luciane Buchanan in the drama, which was created by Shawn Ryan (S.W.A.T., Timeless, The Shield). It focuses on low-level FBI agent Sutherland who oversees a phone in the White House basement that never rings — until it does. The desperate ask for help from Rose Larkin (Buchanan) kicks off an investigation into who is the Oval Office traitor, a fight to outrun their enemies and a romantic connection between the two.
Although the drama recently was renewed for season 2, Basso doesn’t think Sutherland will survive a series finale.
“I would want to die at some point just because it has to happen,” he told Us. “Peter has his values, and his objective is sort of good put over the subjective good. And that sort of thinking, if he keeps that, he’s not gonna stay alive and work in espionage and stuff. I think it’s a natural sort of arc for him to put himself in the crosshairs of somebody that thinks a lot like politicians think.”
The Night Agent also stars Hong Chau, Chelsea Evans-Akingbola, D.B. Woodside, Eve Harlow, Phoenix Raei, Sarah Desjardins and Christopher Shyer.
All 10 episodes of The Night Agent are now on Netflix.