Are you foaming at the mouth yet in anticipation for this Sunday’s premiere of True Detective? You should be.
Not only because it stars two of Hollywood’s biggest actors hot off prime cut roles. Not only because it generated some serious bidding. Not only because HBO gave the show’s creator full freedom, allowing him to write the cop drama completely by himself. But also because of the series’ structure itself. Taking a cue from American Horror Story, the first season will tie-up the mystery and start with a new storyline and characters in subsequent seasons (assuming it gets picked back up). It’s the kind of shakeup the cop genre desperately needs.
Before immersing yourself in the story of two Louisiana detectives tracking down a serial killer, immerse yourself in the crossover between True Detective’s detectives. The recently power-ranked Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson have more in common than you might think.
1. They’re both from Texas. McConaughey was born in the small Texas town of Uvalde before his family moved to the Dallas suburb of Longview, where he would graduate from Longview High School after claiming the superlative of “Best Looking.” Harrleson was born in Midland, Texas, but later moved to Ohio with his mother.
2. Harrelson was already a well known star at the time of McConaughey’s debut. While McConaughey was getting his first TV exposure on Unsolved Mysteries in 1992 and later picking up freshman girls in 1993’s Dazed and Confused, Harrelson was already a household name for Cheers and White Men Can’t Jump.
3. True Detective is the third project the two actors have worked on together. You probably remember Ron Howard’s EdTV, but what may (hopefully) come as a surprise is both actors appeared in the 2008 stoner comedy Surfer, Dude. And in case Matthew McConaughey as a hot shot surfer and Woody Harrelson as his manager wasn’t enough, it also features Willie Nelson playing the role he was born for — (pot) Farmer Bob.
4. Both actors were dancing at the time of their arrests. Talk about brother from a different mother, McConaughey and Harrelson have so much in common that they even get arrested the same way. Here’s the rundown, Harrelson got himself arrested in 1982 for disorderly conduct when police found him dancing in the street. After running from the arresting officer, he got an additional charge of resisting arrest slapped against him.
Matthew McConaughey had the police called on him by a neighbor complaining about loud music in 1999. Upon arriving at party boy’s house, the cops found McConaughey dancing in the buff and playing a bongo drum. What landed him in cuffs was the marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the actor’s home. Which leads us to…
5. They’re both fans of nature’s miracle herb. Both actors have been known to partake in marijuana use from time to time, with Harrelson being particularly vocal about the plant’s values.
And just because it’s great, here’s Jonah Hill’s Woody Harrelson impression.
6. Both actors were fraternity men in college. Harrelson went Greek at Hanover College, pledging the Sigma Chi frat, and McConaughey joined Delta Tau Delta at his beloved University of Texas.
7. Woody was supposed to play Matthew’s part in A Time to Kill. Joel Schumacher’s film adaptation of the John Grisham novel, A Time to Kill, was McConaughey’s first lead role in a drama, but Woody Harrelson was initially up for role of Jake Brigance. Grisham objected to the casting of Harrelson and McConaughey was given the part.
8. A McConaughey/Harrelson jam band could totally happen. So we know that Matthew McConaughey plays the bongos but he’s also been known to jump on stage with The Cult for bongo duties as he did at an Austin show in 2012. Meanwhile, Harrelson moonlights as the lead singer of a group called Manly Moondog and the Three Kool Hats.
9. Both actors are inductees in the Texas Film Hall of Fame located in Austin, Texas. Harrelson was inducted in 2003 and McConaughey secured a spot in 2006.
10. And finally, just because, here’s each actor’s Bacon number. While Woody Harrelson has a Bacon number of 1, having appeared with Kevin Bacon in She’s Having a Baby, McConaughey has a 2, linking him to Bacon through Sandra Bullock who worked with Bacon in Loverboy. Now if Kevin Bacon could just squeeze in a True Detective cameo, this whole Bacon number thing could be evened up.