Few can argue that there was a more arresting presence on TV in 2014 so far than that of Rustin “Rust” Cohle, played by Matthew McConaughey, in HBO’s anthology series True Detective. Rust’s “time is flat circle” comments (among so many other) captured the zeitgeist alongside the performance of his co-star Woody Harrelson (“what is ‘scented meat?’”) and the show’s exceptional writing and directing (by Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Fukunaga respectively).
But McConaughey’s role as Rust has also been an integral part of the “McConassaince,” which started with Magic Mike and Dallas Buyers Club, and has included films like Mud and presumably the upcoming Interstellar. Still, his turn in True Detective was one that really resonated with TV audiences in a way few expected. Might he do it again? Hit the jump for more.
In a fantastically in-depth interview with Deadline (in correlation with the show’s ongoing Emmys campaign), McConaughey speaks at length about the process of filming True Detective. He states that the limited engagement was what appealed to him initially:
“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.”
He went on to say that,
“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. At the time, I was looking at six months and not beyond that. I don’t know of a feature film I’d sign for where I’m going to say, “If this works, you’ve got me whenever you want me for the next three years.”
The exact meaning of the quote could be debated — is McConaughey saying he would return to True Detective, or that he would be open to another limited engagement series? And would that mean a return as Rust, or another character? (Please, Nic, if you’re listening, give us The Rust Cohle Chronicles, focusing on Crash — his 1995 alter-ego — or an odd couple series with Rust and Marty living together post-hospital. Please.)
So far, very little is known about the next season of True Detective, except that it will feature three leads, at least one of whom will be female, and that it will take place in California, focusing on “the occult history of the U.S. transportation system.”
For fans who were drawn in to True Detective‘s world because of its Southern Gothic style and story, this may not be as appealing, but the fact that Pizzolatto is still in control of the story is a great sign (even though there will not, as far as is known, be a single-director scenario again).
If you were a fan of the series, or are just interested in the 180 turn of McConaughey’s career and don’t believe that human consciousness is just a tragic misstep of evolution (to quote Rust), I urge you to read the full interview. There is a lot of insight there not only into the character of Rust, but into the process of making a series like True Detective, and what it shares (along with how it differs) with traditional moviemaking. The light is winning.