Description: In 2012, Louisiana State Police Detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart are brought in to revisit a homicide case they worked in 1995. As the inquiry unfolds in present day through separate interrogations, the two former detectives narrate the story of their investigation, reopening unhealed wounds, and drawing into question their supposed solving of a bizarre ritualistic murder in 1995. The timelines braid and converge in 2012 as each man is pulled back into a world they believed they’d left behind. In learning about each other and their killer, it becomes clear that darkness lives on both sides of the law.
Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams
- Man is the cruelest animal.
- Touch darkness and darkness touches you back.
- We get the world we deserve.
- Time takes everything but the truth.
- To prepare, Matthew McConaughey created a four hundred fifty-page analysis, the “Four Stages of Rustin Cohle”, to study his character’s evolution over the course of the story.
- Episodes averaged 11.2 million viewers, making it the most watched first season of an HBO original series since Band of Brothers (2001).
- According to Matthew McConaughey, the entirety of Rust Cohle’s interview scenes was shot in one day; about twenty-eight pages of a four hundred fifty page season one script was filmed over the course of an eighteen hour work day.
- In the first season, Matthew McConaughey plays an Atheist, while Woody Harrelson plays a Christian. In reality, their world views are reversed, with McConaughey being a Christian and Harrelson being an Atheist.
- Christian Bale and Jessica Chastain were pursued for lead roles in the second season of the show, but both passed on the project due to the significant time commitment the show would’ve required.
- Series creator Nic Pizzolatto wrote the first season by himself, without any input from a writing staff (which is unusual for a major American television series). For the second season, he hired author Scott Lasser to help break stories.
- Rust Cohle is based on a high school teacher in Arkansas, who also worked on the police force.
- It is one of the highest rated television shows of all time, and one of the few shows that generated more than ten million viewers, despite it not being for family audiences.
- The first season was entirely shot on film.
- True detective season 1 was originally planned as an HBO original mini-series but HBO was so impressed they decided to turn it into a TV show.
- According to Nic Pizzolatto, all of the nude scenes in season one were pay cable mandated. Even stating he would be happy with no nudity.
- David Cronenberg was offered the opportunity to direct the first episode of the second season, but he declined because he felt the script was poor.
- Over the course of the first season, Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) smoked forty-nine cigarettes and drank eight beers on camera.
- The music playing underneath the title sequence in season two is the song “Nevermind” by Leonard Cohen. For each episode, the edit of the song is slightly different, highlighting various sections of the song and its lyrics that may or may not be relevant to that particular episode. One of the episodes’ title, for example, ends with the words “I live among you, well disguised.” This is different to season one, where the title music is edited the same way for all episodes.
- The city of Vinci is based on the corrupt city of Vernon.
- One of Creator, Showrunner, and Writer Nic Pizzolatto’s initial remarks about the second season were that it is set around the “secret occult history of Los Angeles’ transport system”. He later admitted that this was a joke in response to the frustration of constantly being asked the question “what is season two about” so often and so early in the writing process. He found it funny that the quote actually got traction, so did nothing to debunk it.
- Creator and Writer Nic Pizzolatto acknowledged the strong influence of Thomas Ligotti’s and Emil Cioran’s philosophical writings on the series: “I’d already been reading E.M. Cioran for years and consider him one of my all-time favorite and, oddly, most nourishing writers. As an aphorist, Cioran has no rivals other than perhaps Nietzsche, and many of his philosophies are echoed by Ligotti”. (2014)
- Several scenes of the second season had to be re-shot, due to the cast not being able to understand Colin Farrell’s speech during some of his drunk scenes. Vince Vaughn even cracked jokes about how it sounded like he was growling at a wall.
- Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are natives of Texas.
- Colin Farrell gained twenty pounds (nine kilograms) for his character Ray Velcoro.
- The title credits of the fourth season of Key and Peele (2012) directly spoof the season one title credits of this show. Also, in every episode before each skit, Key and Peele are seen driving through the desert having philosophical (albeit humorous) conversations, in another direct spoof of the long and frequent scenes of driving and conversations in season one of this show.
- Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson appeared in Edtv (1999) and Surfer, Dude (2008).
- The pocket knife Rust carries is a Smith & Wesson 1st Response.
- Jessica Biel and Malin Akerman were among the actresses also onsidered for the role of Detective Ani Bezzerides.
- In an interview, Alexandra Daddario explained why she decided to do her first nude scene with this series: “It was the first time I was nude for anything, so I was definitely unnerved by that. But I really wanted to be part of the show, and I understood why the nudity and all of that was required of the character. The character is really different from anything that I’ve done before. The nudity was just part of that.”