Mys­te­ri­ous world

Ac­claimed crime drama True De­tec­tive re­turns with a new cast, macabre case and evoca­tive set­ting…

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True de­tec­tive

mon­day, Sky at­lantic Hd, 9pm

WHEN THE FIRST sea­son of crime an­thol­ogy True De­tec­tive hit our screens, it was in­stantly hailed for its sear­ing por­trayal of two flawed de­tec­tives in­ves­ti­gat­ing child abuse and mur­der in the swamp­lands of Louisiana over a pe­riod of 17 years.

Quite rightly, the drama picked up a BAFTA for Best In­ter­na­tional Pro­gramme, while its lead­ing men, Matthew Mcconaughey and Woody Har­rel­son, both re­ceived Emmy nom­i­na­tions for Best Ac­tor (though they lost out to Break­ing

Bad’s Bryan Cranston).

Al­though sea­son two – star­ring Colin Far­rell and Vince Vaughn in a story of vice and cor­rup­tion in Cal­i­for­nia – didn’t scale the same heights, there are high ex­pec­ta­tions of the third in­stal­ment, which be­gins with a dou­ble bill on Sky At­lantic this week, as it re­turns to the win­ning for­mula of sea­son one.

Cre­ated by writer-pro­ducer

Nic Piz­zo­latto, the eight-part se­ries fea­tures mul­ti­ple time­lines and fol­lows Arkansas de­tec­tive Wayne Hays, who’s played by Os­car­win­ner Ma­her­shala Ali, as he in­ves­ti­gates a macabre case in­volv­ing two miss­ing chil­dren in the 1980s, with the mys­tery play­ing out over three decades.

The se­ries is set in the Ozarks, a moun­tain­ous re­gion that spreads over Mis­souri, Arkansas and Ok­la­homa, and Piz­zo­latto says the back­drop is vi­tal to the drama.

‘Hav­ing lived in the Ozarks for four years, I know the area to be ex­tremely evoca­tive, and I wanted to film there for a long time,’ he says. ‘I re­alise that Net­flix drama

Ozark is set in the re­gion, but it’s ac­tu­ally filmed else­where, so this

was our chance to show the place to the world – a bit like we did with Louisiana in sea­son one.

‘I al­ways feel that land­scape is a char­ac­ter in its own right. It re­flects and in­flu­ences the hu­man char­ac­ters. Ev­ery place tells a story about the peo­ple who are there and who have been there, and there is some­thing very pow­er­ful about the Ozarks, with the mys­tery of the deep-wa­ter lakes, and the fog over the moun­tains.’

Tv&satel­lite Week met up with Ali, 44, who won the Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor Os­car for

Moon­light, to learn more…

WHAT IS IT ABOUT True De­tec­tive

THAT HAS CAP­TURED THE IMAG­I­NA­TION OF VIEW­ERS?

I’ve al­ways loved the pace of the show, its dark tone, and how the mys­tery un­folds very slowly and very de­lib­er­ately. To me, each se­ries feels like an eight-hour movie. And I love the fact that Nic Piz­zo­latto is not afraid to tackle dif­fi­cult sub­ject mat­ter.

IS IT TRUE YOU GOT THE ROLE IN AN UN­USUAL WAY?

Af­ter I watched the first sea­son, I thought, ‘I would love to be one of those cops.’ Then I read the script for sea­son three and asked Nic if I could play the part of Wayne. I sent him some pic­tures of my grand­fa­ther, who was a state po­lice of­fi­cer in Cal­i­for­nia in the 1960s and 1970s. I wanted to show him how good I felt the story could be if that char­ac­ter was African-amer­i­can. He re­sponded re­ally pos­i­tively.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PLAY­ING A DE­TEC­TIVE?

I’ve al­ways wanted to play a de­tec­tive. I’ve al­ways wanted to play a guy who has the abil­ity to stick to a mys­tery and re­ally work to solve it slowly and metic­u­lously. At one point, there was the chance of star­ring in a pos­si­ble US re­make of

Luther, but noth­ing ma­te­ri­alised. So to have an op­por­tu­nity to do this is re­ally in­cred­i­ble.

WE SEE WAYNE AT VAR­I­OUS STAGES OF LIFE. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO AGE YOU?

In terms of the make-up, I had to be on set four or five hours be­fore ev­ery­one else started – and then you work your 12-hour day. Also, through­out the day, they had to touch up the make-up a lot be­tween scenes. There was al­ways a paint­brush in my face.

DID THE MAKE-UP HELP YOUR PER­FOR­MANCE?

I felt re­stricted in some ways, but at a cer­tain point it be­comes a part of you. When I put on the heavy suit and all the make-up and all the dif­fer­ent pieces, it def­i­nitely helped to in­form the per­for­mance.

HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE YOUR EX­PE­RI­ENCE ON THE SHOW?

It was the hard­est thing I’ve ever done in my life. I think it aged me. I cer­tainly feel older. I have sev­eral more grey hairs now – but it was worth it. The fi­nale of the show is amaz­ing. I hope it re­ally res­onates with peo­ple, be­cause I think Nic has done some­thing spe­cial.

YOU WERE FA­MOUSLY IN­VOLVED IN THE 2017 OS­CAR MIX-UP WHEN THEY AN­NOUNCED La La Land

AS BEST PIC­TURE IN­STEAD OF

Moon­light. HOW DID THAT FEEL?

Our feel­ings were very mixed, be­cause our joy felt like we were tak­ing some­thing away from some­one else – es­pe­cially be­cause they were in the mid­dle of their cel­e­bra­tion. I felt bad for them, but I also felt good that we won and I was happy to be recog­nised.

Moon­light is an ex­traor­di­nar­ily spe­cial film that will stand the test of time, but it was a con­fus­ing mo­ment, for sure.

WHERE DO YOU KEEP YOUR OS­CAR?

It’s bub­ble-wrapped right now.

I’ve just moved house and I haven’t put it out yet.

HOW MUCH HAS IT HELPED TO RAISE YOUR PRO­FILE IN HOL­LY­WOOD?

Now, when I step on a red car­pet, the cam­eras keep flash­ing a lit­tle longer. In the past, I re­mem­ber so many times where I’d get on the red car­pet and the cam­eras would stop when I walked past, whereas for some­one like Julia Roberts, there would be flashes ev­ery­where. But a lot of peo­ple have ex­pe­ri­enced that.

‘I love how the mys­tery un­folds very slowly and very de­lib­er­ately’

ma­her­shala ALI

MA­HER­SHALA ALI HEADS UP THE NEW CAST

MA­HER­SHALA ALI AS WAYNE AMELIA (CAR­MEN EJOGO) IS LINKED TO THEMISS­ING CHIL­DREN STEPHEN DORFF PLAYS WAYNE’S PART­NER, ROLAND

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