The Stars of HBO’s True Detective Discuss Their Intense New Series

The first day of the TCA 2014 Winter Tour was a whirlwind of new and returning series, and HBO was on hand with the stars of their intense new crime drama, True Detective, which premieres tonight, Sunday January 12th, at 9pm. Here are some highlights from that panel, which featured Woody Harrelson (Detective Martin Hart), Matthew McConaughey (Detective Rustin Cohle) and Michelle Monaghan (Maggie Hart).

Matthew McConaughey commented on the remarkable year year that he had in 2013 and that has continued into this year, adding that he “hasn’t looked in the rearview mirror for a while.” These are projects he wrapped a while ago, and he said it’s always good to see new life brought to them, and that his work is peaking the audience’s interest and resonating with them.

Woody Harrelson discussed the challenges of playing his character at different ages, joked, “I just took off my wig,” to which McConaughey added, “I had to put on my wig.” On a more serious note, they said that the identities of the men at these different times was clear in the writing of the series, and they weren’t required to do “a lot of creative wondering.”

The friendship between Harrelson and McConaughey was very evident while they were on stage, and discussed the contrast between this project and their comedy work. According to Harrelson, they typically “affirm each other and one up each other,” but it was different with True Detective. There was a noticeable opposition between them for the first time in portraying these roles. Harrelson said that McConaughey was “an island and fully in character.”

Matthew McConaughey shared a fascinating story about filming True Detective: they had filmed 29 pages in one day, which was unlike anything he had ever done before and that he broke down for weeks. At the end of the filming day, they had one more angle left to shoot and although everyone was burnt out and they considered picking it up again the next say, he said no, they were going to finish it. He added, “The wine tasted really good that night!”

Woody Harrelson had worked with HBO before on Game Change and was one of the reasons he did this project, saying it’s a privilege to work with the network. Of course, he also said that the people on stage with him are what really drew him into the project, and that it was a “phenomenal script that he couldn’t put down.”

Michelle Monaghan said that she loved the format of the series, and the opportunity to develop and reveal a character over this extended period of time. Maggie is an interesting character that develops a relationship with both of the leading men, and both of those men “underestimate her.”

Matthew McConaughey was asked about doing TV versus film, and said that it’s “a different time in TV.” He is always looking for quality projects, and there was no hesitation on his part about True Detective because it was TV. The transition from film to TV, is “more seamless in perception and reality now,” and he acknowledged that some of the best drama is on TV. To him, True Detective was a 450 page film.

Take a look at True Detective in this trailer, and be sure to watch tonight at 9pm on HBO and HBO Canada!


Video Courtesy of HBO. Photo Courtesy of Reuters

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