(VanityFair) — If you’ve missed the haunted musings of a certain handlebar-mustachioed homicide detective on HBO, you are not alone. On Wednesday, Matthew McConaughey confessed that he too misses his True Detective character and flat-circle prognosticator—so much so that he would consider reprising the role of ol’ Rust. “I miss Rust Cohle, man,” McConaughey admitted on DirecTV’s Rich Eisen Show. “I miss watching him on Sunday nights.” The sentiment is not only shared by first-season True Detective viewers, but by HBO, which dealt with disastrous reviews when the second season of the Nic Pizzolatto-created drama, starring Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn, and Colin Farrell, failed to live up to the first. In fact the feedback to the sophomore season was so troubling that HBO reportedly only agreed to grant the show a third season if Pizzolatto changed the way he runs the series. Pizzolatto and HBO are presumably looking for a season-three Hail Mary, and McConaughey hinted that he reached out to his former collaborator to discuss the possibility of returning, despite the show’s anthology format.
Time is a flat circle, motherfuckers!
I rarely like to get excited about statements of “I miss this character” or “I miss that guy.” Ninety percent of the time it’s mostly just pandering to fans, keeping them on a hook, and nothing ever comes of it. It’s usually just celebrities saying, “I also love that thing you love , so continue to love me.”
But this one? I’d say this one is a done deal. I really would. First of all, HBO obviously very much wants this. Season two of True Detective was dogggggshit and I think the only way they’re going to be able to convince fans to come back would be a return of the original cast. I don’t think a majority of people have faith strictly in Pizzolatto’s writing anymore and will blindly return to their TVs on Sunday night to see just anybody in the dark and brooding role. It needs to be McConaughey and Rust Cohle. It probably needs to be Woody Harrelson and Marty Hart as well, just because they play off each other so excellently.
Secondly, I genuinely believe that McConaughey means this. It wasn’t one of those aforementioned, “haha oh yeah I miss playing that guy too,” throw away statements. He talks about the experience of playing Rust Cohle for five minutes….
He talks about “Rustin Cohle” like he’s his friend and how much he genuinely enjoys playing him and misses him. (sidenote: When Eisen asked if Rust would be a sports fan McConaughey gave a perfect answer. He wouldn’t go to football games, he’d just listen to Joe Morgan on Sunday Night Baseball in the background. I’m not sure if that shows McConaughey’s understanding of the character or just my belief in the idea that he does, but that’s 100% spot on if you ask me. I can picture him in that storage container, pinning clues to the wall, with a monotone voice in the background describing a game Rust doesn’t really care about.) The whole segment plays like a guy who really, really misses Cohle and wants to come back. As if McConaughey is Jack and Cohle is his Lost island.
Pizzollato would probably be the only person to hold out on this, or at least attempt to, since the whole anthology bullshit is his art and he’s such an “I’m smarter than you” little fuck weasel that I feel like he’d have a hard time admitting his idea failed. But, if HBO tells him it’s the only way he gets to keep his precious baby then he’s absolutely going to do it. It seems like he and McConaughey are still close, Mc was an executive producer on season two after all, so I don’t think it would be too hard for him to accept an ultimatum like this from HBO. Even Pizzollato must have realized that the folks from season two couldn’t do his writing justice. I thought Vince Vaughn was the only one who truly stunk, but no one was great. Certainly not at McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s level. I’m sure Pizzollato wants to be referred to as a genius again, like he was after season one, rather than an annoying gas bag, like he was after season two because no one could convincingly deliver his ridiculous lines.
For all those reasons, I think Rust Cohle is back. Cheers!