Can an Actor be “Right” for True Detective? Does it Matter?


The True Detective season two casting has so far been one of the most hotly debated and anxiously awaited casting in recent memory. With Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey turning in Emmy nominated performances in the first season, all eyes are on what’s going to happen with season two. With such a varied set of actors currently speculated to be involved with season two in some way, the question of who would be the best fit seems less and less important.

It’s safe to say so far that at least the majority of casting rumors have so far been a surprise. Not many people pegged Taylor Kitsch, Colin Farell. or Vince Vaughn for True Detective. True Detective is capable of getting fantastic, searing performances from its actors regardless of their backgrounds or recent work. This is as much a support piece for Vince Vaughn as it is for, say, Jim Carrey.

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Breaking away from what we expect from a hard-boiled noir role is difficult, which is partially what made the Vince Vaughn rumor so surprising. There are actors out there would be obvious choices, but so far none of them have been chosen — except perhaps for Elisabeth Moss, depending on where you stand. And this can’t be a coincidence.

Nic Pizzolatto and HBO are skipping over the obvious choices because they see something else there, as though they want to consciously challenge viewer’s perceptions of what these actors are capable of. Watching Harrelson and McConaughey as Marty and Rust was a transformative experience.

And you might be saying that same thing about Vince Vaughn one day if he is indeed cast.

Pizzolatto has so far been able to bring out stunning performances, and if that continues then who ends up in the final cast doesn’t really matter much at all. It’s a unique case, and it’s part of what makes the waiting so invigorating.