Top 10... - March 7, 2015

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… True Detective
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… True Detective

During its run on TV last year, HBO’s True Detective was all anybody could talk about. Dark as the blackest night, intricately woven and superbly acted, it was critically lauded and scored record ratings across the globe.

Starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as detectives Marty Hart and Rust Cohle, True Detective is set in Louisiana, home to its creator Nic Pizzolatto, and details the story of two very different types of detective whose lives and careers become entangled during the 17-year hunt for a ritualistic serial killer.

The narrative switches back and forth between 1995, when the first murder victim is discovered, and the present day, where the two detectives have become estranged and Cohle is no longer the sharp, smart cop of old and has descended into alcoholism.

With shooting on the second season (you can find full details of that here) now underway and the first season on offer as part of hmv’s awards season promotion, we thought it was a good time to dig into the archives and present to you 10 things you didn’t know about True Detective

 

 

Matthew McConaughey was originally offered the role of Marty Hart…

It’s hard to imagine the Dallas Buyers’ Club star in any other role but that of the enigmatic and sometimes downright weird Rust Cohle, but when he was first approached he was actually offered the role that ended up going to Woody Harrelson.

The reason for this? Writer Nic Pizzolatto and director Cary Fukunaga wanted McCoughaney to take the gruff, non-nonsense role he’d played in The Lincoln Lawyer into True Detective, but he was interested in something much odder…

 

This is the third time Harrelson and McCoughaney have teamed up and by far the most successful..

The pair starred together in 1999’s charming, but ultimately unsuccessful EDtv and then in 2008’s Surfer, Dude, a film almost no one has seen. There’s a reason for that, it’s one of only five films to hold a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

It almost ended up a novel…

Pizzolatto had already written one novel set in the dark heart of America’s Deep South, it’s titled Galvaston and what became True Detective began life as its sequel. Course, when the offer came to take it to the big screen, Pizzolatto was very happy to agree.

 

It was inspired by a real case…

Not totally obviously, but the case of Hosanna Church in Tangipahoa Parish certainly bares a number of similarities to the one detectives Hart and Cohle are sent out to investigate. The case was brought to light in 2005 and involved similarly gruesome territory, with satanic rituals, animal sacrifice and sex offences all included.

 

It has one of the longest one-take shots in television history…

The ending of Episode Four sees Cole and Hart take a dangerous trip to see some bikers as they try to track down their killer, and, to give that sequence a real sense of danger, Fukunaga wanted it all shot in one take. It’s a six minute sequence, making it one of the longest in TV history. It only took them four tries to get it right too…

 

It almost cost Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu his Oscars…

Before it was settled that Fukunaga would direct the series, Pizzolatto actually approached Inarritu about taking on the series and he gave it serious thought, but eventually decided he would press ahead with BiRDMAN. In fairness, all the Oscars he has just won would suggest he made the right choice…

 

The script was a whopping 450 page long…

Everyone involved in the show said it was basically like making an eight-hour-long movie, one with a huge script and lots and lots to film. With 450 pages down on paper, all the stars revealed that they’d frequently turn in 16 hour days to get it all done.  

 

The show was almost called The Murder Ballads…

Clearly keen Nick Cave fans, both Fukunaga and Pizzolatto almost decided to give the show the same name as one of The Bad Seeds’ best albums, but ending up deciding True Detective was a broader and better name.

Fukunaga told Vanity Fair: “Nic and I both liked this one version called The Murder Ballads, but he was more in love with True Detective in terms of the broadness of the anthology. Since we were creating a brand, as much as we were creating a title for this series, we had to go more broad.”

 

The Rocky Theme Tune played a key role in the series…

With tensions bubbling since the moment they met, Cohle and Hart finally come to blows in the show’s sixth episode and slug it out. To get ready for that moment, Harrelson surprised McCoughaney and stuck the Rocky theme on during rehearsals, much to the crew’s delight. The pair performed the scene themselves and apparently a few of the punches landed for real…

 

The finale crashed HBO’s OnDemand service…

When the long-awaited and much, much discussed final instalment of True Detective was released on HBO’s OnDemand service HBO Go the service crashed under the sheer number of people trying to watch it. Let’s hope they’ve got a bigger server in for series two.

 

 

True Detective is available as part of hmv’s US TV promotion. It’s in stores across the UK now.

True Detective
True Detective HBO

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