Matthew McConaughey in ‘True Detective’: Everything to Know About Rust Cohle

by Chase Thomas

There are not many characters out there like Rust Cohle. The character played by Matthew McConaughey in “True Detective” Season 1 was one folk will never forget. His cynical view of the world was both chilling and interesting to millions of viewers. It was a very different role for the iconic actor. He starred as Rust alongside fellow superstar actor Woody Harrelson who played his detective partner for the Louisiana Police Department.

Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle on “True Detective”

The show is still regarded as one of HBO’s best. Some folks even see Rust Cohle as the strongest performance for McConaughey in his illustrious career. It’s a season of television that will continue to be as highly regarded as they come.

McConaughey appeared in all eight episodes of the first season of the program. Each season a new cast of characters comes in and a new story is told. New episodes were released each week on HBO from January-March in 2014. McConaughey is credited as an Executive Producer for all eight episodes he was on the show as well.

The most memorable part of Matthew McConaughey playing Rust Cohle on “True Detective” was his quotes. To know everything about who Rust Cohle was as a character all one has to do is look at his three biggest quotes on the show.

Rust Cohle Quotes on “True Detective”

“The world needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door.”

This was one of Cohle’s more straightforward quotes. In his line of work, and what police detectives come across, you can see why folks grow frustrated with the never-ending presence of bad men in the world. You catch one bad guy, then another appears. However, human beings are not perfect. Rust understood that. He did not see himself as a good man, but he recognized bad men when he saw them and he used that vigilance to protect the good folks in the process.

“*****, I don’t want to know anything anymore. This is a world where nothing is solved. Someone once told me, ‘Time is a flat circle.’ Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again. And that little boy and that little girl, they’re gonna be in that room again and again and again forever.”

Time is a flat circle is what most folks think of when they think of Rust Cohle. That quote sticks over a decade later. The job is not everything. For police detectives, though, it is especially hard to deal with the fact that there will always be another case. Another bad situation after you solve the last bad one. It’s a never-ending cycle that can lead you down the road where Rust went. Rust sees the world as replaying itself over and over again, but most folks don’t recognize that in his estimation.

“I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight – brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”

In Episode 1, Rust drops this bomb. It’s a funny scene because Woody is horrified at the answer from his new partner as to how he sees the world. It’s a sad, pessimistic outlook on the world. Rust is sad that he is aware of his surroundings. He does not have a good view of humanity and where it’s headed. It’s overwhelming for him and as he mentions, though, this is why he is not so good at parties. It’s an extremely pessimistic outlook on life, but it was Rust being Rust.