Entertainment Weekly recently spoke to Adam Basil, a veteran stunt performer from the UK, who gained a lot of attention for his role as the Bloater, a grotesque zombie-like creature in HBO’s The Last of Us. Basil has provided physical performances for various well-known productions, including Game of Thrones, Venom 2, and Beauty and the Beast. However, it’s his part as the Bloater that has made him an unexpected sex icon, with fans sending him love messages and even a wedding invitation.
Basil worked with Barrie Gower, a prosthetics designer, to create the look of the Bloater, which involved a full-body mold and multiple sets of prosthetics. Basil spent several weeks in movement training to portray the character realistically and differentiate it from traditional zombies. The Bloater suit was heavy and added around 40-80 lbs. of weight, making it challenging to move.
The Infected swarm scene in The Last of Us was shot over the course of a week, with the crew tackling the sequence in chunks. It was all night shoots with the weather up north in Calgary, Canada, dipping to -8 degrees Fahrenheit. Basil was in the thick of it, being led by the hand to his marker since the Bloater suit blocked off part of his vision.
Basil is the kind of stunt performer who thinks more in terms of character. He got his start performing in theater in England, hustling to land auditions to pay his rent. Since joining, he has worked on various productions, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Wonder Woman.
Basil hopes the Bloater will return in season 2 of The Last of Us, which has been renewed for another season. He’s unsure how he can top his performance as the Bloater, which has captured everyone’s imaginations and made him a sex icon. He’s grateful for the unexpected attention and DMs he has received, noting all the memes and GIFs this creature has spawned since debuting on Sunday.