The Night Agent is Netflix’s newest hit. The action thriller has risen to the #1 spot of the top 10 TV Shows in the U.S. within days of the show’s release. The suspense-filled series follows low-level FBI agent Peter Sutherland as he seeks to protect cybersecurity expert Rose Larkin after she places a call to the Night Action line.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Luciane Buchanan about the jaw-dropping first season that was full of twists and turns, Rose’s “full circle” moment with Diane Farr, Peter and Rose’s fate following his promotion, and working alongside Gabriel Basso. Read our full Q&A below:
I loved the character of Rose. She never let any situation make her a victim. Why were you drawn to the character initially?
Luciane Buchanan: I got just the audition scene. I never got a full script. I didn’t read the book, so I had to find the audiobook wherever I could online and quickly listen to that for my next audition to kind of get a sense of her. Just in the same way that you said, she’s not a victim at all. She is seeking justice on her own accord, and she’s doing it her way. She’s not going to trust Diane Farr, and she kind of has Peter wrapped around her finger but also in a way that no one’s really the leader. They’ve both got qualities about them that help the situation. That was really cool. I felt like we were on an even playing field, Peter and Rose.
Rose gets thrust into this crazy conspiracy after her aunt and uncle are killed. There’s a moment after the vice president’s daughter is kidnapped, and it’s all hands on deck. Rose is left in the car, but she comes in clutch and is able to kill Helen, the assassin, before she can kill Peter, Maddie, and Chelsea. That was a huge moment for Rose in the midst of all that was going on. What’s going through her head in that moment?
Luciane Buchanan: I remember this going through a lot of edits. I was just like, ‘I don’t want to sit in the car and just do nothing.’ But again, she’s not trained to navigate the container field, so we talked about it a lot. They were like, ‘No, you do need to be involved in some capacity.’ I just remember the way that I felt as an actor in that situation was like, I feel helpless and I’m listening to everything over the radio, and it sounds pretty dire out this. It was the same way that I felt as myself being like, I need to be involved in this. I can’t be a passive participant. If there’s something I can do to help, then I want to do it.
Everyone has differing views of justice. When Rose is attacked by Dale, Peter is able to save her before she’s killed. When Peter has the opportunity, Rose urges him to kill Dale. When things escalate, Peter does end up strangling Dale. Do you think Rose was ever afraid of Peter as she watched him do that?
Luciane Buchanan: I think it was a lot of anger. I think for Peter, he has never killed someone before and definitely this is going outside of the lines of his job, right? It’s not like he was ordered to kill this person. He’s just like, ‘No, we’ll get help.’ So for Rose, it’s just pure anger. She did want to seek justice in that moment. It’s just like, you killed my family and I want justice in that respect. And then I think it shocks Rose to see Peter cross that line eventually when he does go to that point, but it was out of love for her and protection over her. So it’s a mixed bag of emotions. I just remember shooting that on the day. It was so intense. Phoenix [Raei], who plays Dale, and Gabriel [Basso] were just going for it because they are both fighters in real life.
One of my favorite scenes in the finale is Rose’s conversation with Diane Farr. She tells Diane that she can’t wait to see her pay for what she’s done. How do you think this whole experience has changed Rose and her whole viewpoint on the world?
Luciane Buchanan: I think she always had her suspicions about this woman. And to have that moment with her was like a full circle moment. It was so cool to work with Hong [Chau]. There’s something about justice in there as well, because it’s just like, I don’t want you to die right now. I want you to pay for what you did. She was pretty open about the way she feels about the whole thing. I think Rose has grown in that sense because she was also like kill Dale and learning what role Farr’s played throughout the series, she kind of has a shift in her energy of like, ‘No, people need to pay for what they did. This is not the answer. Death is not the answer.’
Peter and Rose’s relationship eventually develops into a romance. When do you think Rose’s feelings changed for him?
Luciane Buchanan: I did map this out in the script, so I’m trying to think back. There were little things. Gabe and I made a decision early on that we want it to feel organic. We don’t want it to feel like a ‘90s action thriller rom-com where it’s so on the nose. We just want it to be like little moments where we’re like, oh, okay. That was interesting. To me, my number one thing is seeking justice for my family, and I can’t forget that. And here are these feelings that are coming crashing from the other side. That was this push and pull for her. Gabe’s so easy to work with, and we just wanted it to be organic and real. I guess maybe the chicken and waffles scene. That’s when they kind of have some quiet time together.
Peter becomes a full-fledged night agent at the end of the season. Peter promises Rose that he’ll call her. Do you think they can make a long-distance relationship work?
Luciane Buchanan: I mean, some people can. I’m like such a cynic. I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure. Maybe.’ Maybe a FaceTime relationship. Maybe that’s going to be me In New Zealand filming just on FaceTime for season 2, but hopefully, she can find her way back. Maybe he needs her help later on down the track and flies her out wherever.
We can’t be done with Rose. She is not going to sit idly by waiting for a FaceTime call. Peter is eventually going to need her help, right?
Luciane Buchanan: I think she’s a bit of a psycho that she’s got him tracked or something.
Has there been a discussion about what a second season would bring?
Luciane Buchanan: It was so open-ended like back in whenever we shot it like a year ago. So I mean, I think the way that it’s ended, it could go anywhere. I‘m not privy to that information. I’m sure it’ll be great whatever they choose.
Is there anything you would like to explore with Rose?
I have no idea. Maybe she follows in her family’s footsteps and wants to get into that, too. But I mean, I don’t know what it’s like working with your partner.
What was it like working with Gabriel and establishing that easy chemistry between Peter and Rose?
Luciane Buchanan: We just had so much downtime on set as well where it was just us. The scene when I’m in the hotel, and she calls him because she remembers the number early on… The way that they wrote it was that Rose is actually falling asleep. It was Gabe who was like, ‘What if she’s not falling asleep? What if she’s trying not to cry because she’s so alone? It was Gabe’s idea. Again, he came in when he wasn’t working, but he read his off-lines on location. He was doing it right by the camera, and he just really guided me through that scene. He’s just like, there’s no opportunity for you to grieve your family, so this is kind of a nice spot to put it in. I was just like, ‘Amazing.’ We really leaned on each other in those creative ways.