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Gabriel Basso's Beard Almost Sabotaged His Chances At The Night Agent

There have been a number of spectacular beards throughout Hollywood history. For examples of phenomenal facial coverings, look no further than Ian McKellan in the "Lord of the Rings" franchise or Johnny Depp in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. As Gandalf and Jack Sparrow, respectively, they sported iconic beards that have become synonymous with their characters.

But sometimes, a character just doesn't make sense with a beard. That was the case with Peter Sutherland, the FBI agent at the heart of Netflix's latest hit, "The Night Agent." When Gabriel Basso, who now plays the character, first auditioned for the role, he almost didn't get it because of his magnificent beard. In an interview with Screen Rant, "The Night Agent" creator Shawn Ryan admitted, "[In] his first audition, he had this big bushy beard, which really threw me off. I was like, 'Well, this doesn't look like an FBI agent.'"

Thankfully, Ryan later revisited Basso's audition and imagined how he might look without his scruff. Then, once Basso shaved, he finally got the role. At the time, though, Basso didn't really care if his beard ruined his audition.

Getting a role on The Night Agent was not Basso's top priority at the time

In a separate interview with Screen Rant, Gabriel Basso explained that he had to keep his beard for his audition due to him actively filming another role at the time, not because he was stubbornly refusing to shave. Still, Basso had a rather zen approach to the auditioning process. In an interview with Collider, Basso noted that the Hollywood casting process is unpredictable and uncontrollable and that he had no qualms if he got denied the part over his facial hair.

"I have a lot of other stuff I try to do with my life, and acting is pretty far down the list," he said. "So, once I send a tape off, I just forget about it and understand the nature of the beast, which is that it's out of your control and something as small as a beard can take away a role." He added that he trusted showrunner Shawn Ryan's judgment and that he had made peace with the fact that he might not get "The Night Agent" role.

In the end, Basso was quite lucky that Ryan revisited his audition before casting anyone else, and that Basso was able to give it another go, sans beard. "I just shaved and sent in a new tape. It all worked out," Basso said.