The way HBO’s True Detective was presented to everyone (including its leads) was as a series that essentially reboots itself each season, with a new story and new actors. Whereas American Horror Story changes up its plot completely and uses many of the same actors (playing different roles), no one ever expected to see Matthew McConaughey or Woody Harrelson again. So, it’s a little surprising to read that like his character, Rust Cohle, McConaughey has had an epiphany. When asked if he’d always expected to do only one season, the actor replied:
“That was always how I saw it. One season, eight episodes, a finite beginning, middle and end, goodbye, look forward to watching it. If HBO had wanted an option on me for a Season 2 or 3, I wouldn’t have done it. I wouldn’t have walked into something where they could say, “We’ve got you for the next three years.
…I liked True Detective, the whole series and the experience of making it, so much that I’d be open to doing another one now.”
McConaughey also talks about what drew him to the character, about being chosen to play Marty, but drawn to Rust, and the process of mentally preparing to go from 1995 Rust to 2002 Rust:
“We are doing 1995, and my character is very stoic, almost monk-like. We got five weeks into shooting and I found myself getting very nervous, asking myself, “Is what I’m doing going to be boring?” Because I feel like I’m not doing anything, and I had that urge to pizazz it up. I had to remind myself to be much more patient as an actor and say, “Trust this guy.” The 2012 Cohle, he’s coming, and the 1995 Crash [his alter ego, a reckless undercover narcotics agent] version of his character is coming. Those more eccentric or wild characters are going to reveal a dynamic, so just be patient and save the wild for later. Stick to this guy, this stoic Cohle, and let’s trust and hope that you’ll see how he is really boiling underneath, trying to keep his shit together. I am so happy I stuck with my patience, because I got a little antsy after five weeks.”
The full interview includes his take on what happened between Rust and Maggie (Michelle Monaghan), how television is evolving, and McConaughey discusses his film work as well.
Personally, I’d love to see him come back down the line a season or two — just not right away. I’ve already got it stuck in my head that we’ll see some different, equally talented people (at least one lead female, I hope), and I really want to see how the series will handle itself with everything completely changed.