'True Detective' Anthology: 5 Things to Know
'True Detective' Anthology: 5 Things to Know
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The True Detective executive producers and cast held a panel this month at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour to discuss the new HBO series. Check out five things to know about the new series.

True Detective Season 1 is a Closed-Ended Story

Similar to American Horror Story if there is a second season, it would be a different case with different investigators.

Nic Pizzolatto (Creator/EP): One of the reasons I wanted to do an anthology format is I like stories with endings. I like a good third act. And continuing serial dramas, they tend to have really good beginnings and really long middles and then sort of have to hustle to develop an ending.  And I like the idea of telling a self-contained story.

True Detective was a unique working experience for Harrelson and McConaughy

Woody Harrelson (Martin Hart): We do have a shorthand, but interestingly, on this project we didn't use a lot of our normal kind of shorthand, the way we kind of finish each other's sentences and shit. He is one of the most gregarious, awesome guys I know, but in this he was fully in character, and he was very much an island. It was very different. And part of that complication, I think, helped.

Matthew McConaughey (Rust Cohle): Woody and I, part of why we're friends and part of why, I think, what  ... worked in comedy, is that we get on each other's frequency, and we add on, and we affirm each other, and we one-up each other.  And it can turn into an improvisation, but it can go and go, I mean, into the ether and then some. ... But this was something different. ... This is the first time we worked together where there's real opposition.

Filming Rust Cohle's Interview Scenes

McConaughy: We didn't do them all at one. ... 29 pages was one day. And that was the biggest mountain of the heap I've ever had. We had these 29 pages that I had broke down for weeks ... and then decoded everything and the little words and stuff where I could have my line, because I had all these different stories to tell. But we went in, sat down. We said, "We got enough film. Let's stay right here and do it." And we did do it in one day. 

And I remember at the end of that day, we had like one more piece, one more angle to do. And somebody was like, We're all burnt. We should really go home. I said, "No, we're not going to home now." Because I had broken a literal sweat by then and was groveling in it. It was like, "No, we gotta stick to it." So everyone stayed, and we got it all in one day. That was fun.  I remember the wine tasted really good that night.

McConaughy was Originally Approached to Play Martin Hart

McConaughy: It came in and I was supposed to look at the role of Hart. I read the role of Hart. I understood objectively why they would be coming to me with the role of Hart. I understood that, from probably closer to some of my past work.  

But Cohle was the voice that I remember writing down, "I can't wait to turn the page and hear what's coming out of this guy's mouth. It's got fire on it every time." And I was like, You know what? That I have not done, but boy, I know who this guy is. I love this guy's mind. Let me in. So I went back and said, "I'd love to, but I really would like to be Cohle." That was it.

Series Title Leaves Broad Range Open for Future Installments

Pizzolatto: Even the title, "True Detective," is meant to be, of course, purposefully somewhat generic before you even get to the deeper indications. The word "true" can also mean honorable and authentic and things like that. But all the previous incarnations of anything titled "True Detective" was an anthology; right? So as long as there is some crime in there, I think the series format can approach it. 

True Detective airs on Sundays at 9 pm ET on HBO.

(Image courtesy of HBO.)