True Detective: What Did You Think of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson's HBO Detective Drama?

The two A-listers talk about their decision to come to TV and how their on-screen dynamic impacted their real-life friendship while filming

By Tierney Bricker Jan 13, 2014 6:40 AMTags
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, True DetectiveHBO

The Golden Globes weren't the only TV program packing major star power on Sunday night.

While Matthew McConaughey was busy accepting the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama for his amazing turn in Dallas Buyer's Club, his new drama True Detective was debuting on HBO. Talk about pulling double duty!

The series, which spans 17 years and costars his longtime friend and Edtv costar Woody Harrelson, who recently starred in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, centers on two extremely different Louisiana detectives working together on a grisly murder investigation. 

At the 2014 Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena, McConaughey and Harrelson took the stage to talk about their decision to come to TV in the dark detective drama, despite their recent film successes and their friendship...

When asked about coming to TV, Harrelson said his previous experience working with HBO on the film Game Change made his decision to join True Detective an easy one. "There's just no finer organization making amazing stuff out there than HBO. So it's, like, a privilege to work with them," he explained. "And, you know, the other part of that is just the people on this stage, you know. I really I love Matthew. He's my brother. Phenomenal, amazing person."

As for McConaughey, who has made quite the successful string of films come out in the last year, including Dallas Buyer's Club, Mud and The Wolf of Wall Street, he said he has no ill will towards TV.

 "It's a different time in television. It's not there's not that feeling of if you're having a successful film career and somebody brings up something on television we didn't know, at the time when I got it, where it was going to be. All I knew is I read the first two episodes, and I was in. And I was just, at the time, looking for quality."


On True Detective, McConaughey and Harrelson take on polar opposite roles; while the former plays Rust Cohle, a divorced loner, while Harrelson plays against type as Martin Hart, a straight-laced family man.

Harrelson admitted that their on-screen dynamic impacted their real-life friendship while filming. "With 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," Harrelson explained. "He was an island. And 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."

And McConaughey revealed that he was originally approached to take on the role of Hart, but found himself drawn to Cohle's intensity. "It came in, and I was supposed to look at the role of Hart. I read the role of Hart. I was like 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," he said. "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.'"

What did you think of True Detective's series premiere? Will you tune back in? Sound off in the comments!

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