HomeEntertainmentWoody Harrelson Remembers Wanting to ‘Slap’ Matthew McConaughey on ‘True Detective’ Set

Woody Harrelson Remembers Wanting to ‘Slap’ Matthew McConaughey on ‘True Detective’ Set

by Liz Holland
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey’s work on “True Detective” is unforgettable. The HBO series is a dark anthology crime drama, filled with plot lines and character developments that reel you in. The series follows the lives of detectives as they hunt criminals with their non-traditional methods. In the midst of it all, the detectives struggle with their own personal issues and darkness as they take on a massive case.

Matthew McConaughey portrays Louisiana state homicide detective Rustin Cohle, known for his ability to get confessions from criminals. He’s a complex man who keeps mostly to himself. He’s a recovered drug addict riddled with insomnia and a drinking problem, doing anything he can to numb the pain of losing his daughter. McConaughey loves the challenge of playing a character like Rustin. 

Woody Harrelson Says He Wanted to ‘Slap’ His Costar

According to Harrelson, McConaughey is sometimes a little too good at portraying Rustin. In a podcast interview with Jason Bateman, Harrelson reveals that he’d sometimes get frustrated with McConaughey on set, because he was just that good.

“Yeah, but, you know… there were times I’d get kind of angry with Matthew McConaughey,” the actor says. He continues, adding, “He’s one of my best buddies, so it felt weird, but he was in character and that f–king character just made me want to f—king slap him. He’s so good, but he’d stay in character — you know, not after work — but while we were working, it wasn’t like ‘Hey buddy!’ None of that. But, anyway, it turned out good.” The bluntness of the answer is beautiful, as it really speaks to the work the two both put into their characters. 

In a 2014 interview, the respect Harrelson has for the project and his coworkers is clear. The actor says, “There’s just no finer organization making amazing stuff out there than HBO. It’s a privilege to work with them. The other part of that is just the people involved. I love Matthew. He’s my brother. He’s a phenomenal, amazing person….And Nic [Pizzolatto] wrote this phenomenal script that you just couldn’t put down. His writing is so amazing.”

Matthew McConaughey Was to Play a Different Role For ‘True Detective’

Nic Pizolatto, the mind behind “True Detective”, approached McConaughey shortly after “The Lincoln Lawyer.” Pizolatto asked him to portray the other protagonist in the series. However, McConaughey was much more intrigued by Rustin’s character. He shared some insight in a 2014 interview, revealing “I wanted to get in that dude’s head… The obsession, the island of a man – I’m always looking for a guy who monologues. It’s something really important as I feel I’m going into my better work.”

Rustin works alongside his partner, Martin “Marty” Hart (Woody Harrelson). Harrelson’s character Marty is a fellow Louisiana state detective. He struggles with infidelity in his marriage, and is always going on “sexcapades” in the midst of a mid-life crisis. He does well with the political side of things at work, and is a lot more relaxed than Rustin in his approach. That being said, he respects his partner’s work and lets him do his thing. There’s a stark contrast between the two characters’ personalities, balancing out the show and making it so there’s something for everyone. 

We can’t wait to see what the next season of “True Detective” holds!