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For his first major television role in the freshman season of HBO's True Detective, Matthew McConaughey delivered a performance that was more effective than the entirety of some actors' careers. He chose not to return for the uneven second season, causing many to think he was done with the show for good. But even though news on a potential Season 3 has been largely on the negative side, McConaughey might have unwittingly jump-started conversations back up when asked by talk show host Rick Eisen if he would want to return to that world.
Yeah, I would. I miss Rust Cohle, man. I miss watching him on Sunday nights. I miss watching True Detective on Sunday nights. I was a happy man while we made that for six months, because I was on my own island.
Someone pick up the phone and then hold the damned phone! That wasn't quite the answer I expected from Mathew McConaughey, a thesp not known for making sequels. I even would have gladly accepted an excessively vague response, like "Well, we'll just see how things play out, because you never know." But the man is saying that he does want to return to True Detective, and I'm pretty sure that equals out to him returning to True Detective after HBO and show creator Nic Pizzolatto get on the ball in ironing out a brainy plan.
But even though the question was only about a general return to the dark and gritty drama, McConaughey seems like he's got blinders on coming back for anything other than another round of Rust Cohle's smoke-hazed nihilism. Hard to fault him for that, though, since the character is responsible for some of the most amazingly confounding and circular dialogue put to script, inspiring no less than a bazillion parodies and Internet memes. I'd definitely be down for catching up with Rust during another particularly brutal and soul-sucking crime investigation, regardless of if any of the other Season 1 staples would return.
But perhaps he would be willing to take on something new if it suited him. Though HBO is presumably still willing to get Season 3 produced before the next millennium, the non-steady communication between the network and Pizzolatto implies a continuation is all but probable in that current model (though HBO hasn't always sounded too against moving on without him). But apparently Matthew McConaughey doesn't need HBO to be the middle man there, as he also said this on The Rich Eisen Show,
I talked to Nic about it. It would have to be the right context, the right way. That thing - when I read it, I knew in 20 minutes if I can play this guy, Rustin Cohle, I'm in.
While the finale for Season 2 showed signs of the killer storytelling that made the Louisiana-set first season such a gripping and intense journey, the episode couldn't recoup for the downward spiral of criticism that plagued the whole year. Decent ratings always help, but if True Detective does get renewed for Season 3, it should be because the story is so flawless and impressive that Rust Cohle would be required to arrest someone for not producing it. I'm not holding my breath, but I might go back through my dog-eared copy of The King in Yellow to see if Robert W. Chambers left us any clues about Rust Cohle's future.
Would you guys want True Detective Season 3 if it meant Matthew McConaughey was coming back?