After its widely acclaimed first season, HBO's True Detective inspired a completely different set of reactions with its star-studded second batch of darkly disturbing installments. As such, it took a couple of years for Season 3 to get off the ground, but it's now moving full steam ahead, with creator Nic Pizzolatto having brought Deadwood's David Milch into the writing team. The casting process for Season 3 is ongoing, and since True Detective immediately became known for its talented ensembles, we're going to keep an updated tally on everyone added to the highly anticipated third season.
To offer up a brief synopsis before diving into the awesome stars and their characters: Season 3 will be set in the Ozarks, where a morbid crime is at the center of a decades-long mystery that deepens over time. The story will take place over three separate time periods, so we can expect to see at least some of these characters during very different points of their lives.
Mahershala Ali - Wayne Hays
The first cast member to be announced -- which coincided with the general Season 3 announcement -- Mahershala Ali can boast True Detective as his latest must-watch series after having starred in House of Cards and Luke Cage. Character information isn't exactly overwhelming at this point, but we know that the actor will play titular detective Wayne Hays, who works for the state police in Northwest Arkansas. As we've seen in seasons past, just because somebody is on the right side of the law does not mean they are free from making terrible decisions that unleash horrifying circumstances. In that way, Ali could be in for quite the challenging performance.
Stephen Dorff - Roland West
Currently playing quite the wicked character on Fox's Star, actor Stephen Dorff is heading to True Detective for a role that will hopefully be a little more empathetic to his fellow human beings. As Roland West, Dorff will be the Arkansas State Investigator partner to Mahershala Ali's Wayne Hays. The lives and careers of both men, along with those of others, have been heavily affected by the aforementioned crime at the heart of the season. After having not taken a lead role on a proper TV series in almost three decades, Dorff is certainly making up for lost time, and we're hoping to see the actor put all his talents on display for HBO.
Carmen Ejogo - Amelia Reardon
Perhaps some clues to the big mysterious crime lie with the character being played by Alien: Covenant andFantastic Beasts star Carmen Ejogo. For True Detective, Ejogo will portray Amelia Reardon, an Arkansas schoolteacher who shares a noteworthy connection with two children who went missing in 1980. How important are those children, and what does Ms. Reardon know that no one else does? TV fans will also recognize Ejogo from recent roles, as she led Season 2 of Starz's The Girlfriend Experience, and also starred in ABC's short-lived Zero Hour a few years ago.
Scoot McNairy - Tom
2017 was a huge year for Scoot McNairy's television career, with new roles on Fargo Season 3 and Netflix's Godless complementing his excellent swan song as Halt and Catch Fire's Gordon Clark. Don't expect any big laughs from the actor in True Detective, where he'll play Tom, a father who faces a heartbreaking loss, and it's one that just so happens to tie into both of the aforementioned state detectives. Are those missing children his? That seems likely.
Ray Fisher - Freddy Burns
Most actors would love to have the success that Ray Fisher has been building up, having jumped from a winning stage career into the mega-blockbuster world as Justice League's Cyborg, and he's now been added as a series regular for True Detective. (It's only his second TV gig, following an appearance in the short-lived The Astronaut Wives Club.) For the HBO thriller, he'll star as Freddy Burns, the son of Ali's Wayne Hays. Deadline didn't have any other details to offer, so we're not sure about the specifics behind him having a different last name from his dad. We expect the reasoning to be depressing, though.
Rhys Wakefield - Henry Hays
We've got another interesting name situation happening with recurring character Henry Hays, who will be played by actor Rhys Wakefield, perhaps best known here in the U.S. as the polite leader from the original The Purge film, though Australian audiences likely recognize him from the long-running Home and Away. Unfortunately, we're not sure at all just yet who Henry Hays is, or how he will factor into the overarching story. It seems mighty likely he and Wayne Hays will have some kind of history together, but how deep and dark that history is, we can't yet guess.
Michael Greyeyes - Brett Woodard
Veteran actor Michael Greyeyes landed arguably the biggest role of his career as the pragmatically vengeful Qaletqa Walker in Fear the Walking Dead Season 3. That character's future is uncertain at this point, but we do know that Greyeyes landed a brilliant follow-up gig with True Detective, and we're hoping this third outing is as good as Fear's was. As Brett Woodard, Greyeyes will...well, we're not exactly sure yet. All we really know is that the actor has joined the season in a recurring capacity, and we're expecting he'll deliver some powerful performances, limited though they may be.
Jon Tenney - Alan Jones
Jon Tenney has been a TV mainstay for years, with his long-running stint as The Closer's Fritz Howard serving as one of his biggest roles. Most recently seen in shows such as Major Crimes, Longmire and Scandal, Tenney will jump over to HBO in a recurring capacity to play Alan Jones. Similar to how it's gone with the other recurring characters, HBO has yet to release any information about who Alan Jones is, or what we can expect to see from him. Tenney has good eyebrows for intense scenes, so here's hoping they get utilized.
Currently, no release date has been set by HBO for True Detective Season 3, which will be directed by Nic Pizzolatto and Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin). Be sure to keep checking back to see all the exciting new cast members joining the HBO crime drama. While waiting to learn when we'll finally get to watch, head to our midseason premiere schedule to learn the dates for other new and returning shows.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.