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Who Are Those Guys: True Detective, Season 1

14 Mar

Tree of Life

Episodes of TV shows are filled with tons of “that guys” – character actors, tv veterans, up and coming actors, main characters from other shows looking to branch out.  At “Who Are Those Guys” we’ll go through a season of a show and point out notable actors and actresses who appeared in that show over the course of the season, what role they played in the show, and where you may have seen them before.  There’s obviously going to have to be some discretion in the choices, as there’s more than enough noteworthy actors and actresses in any season of a show to write about, so please let me know if I miss a personal favorite in the comments.  Because there are so many, we’ll focus only on actors appearing for the first time in the season, and we’re not including main cast members.

This time it’s True Detective, Season 1. Before we get going the only note I want to make is that, a high proportion of these actors have appeared on HBO before, which I feel like is probably not a coincidence. Let’s get to it.

Episode 1 – “The Long Bright Dark”

Alexandra Daddario – She’s court reporter Lisa Tragnetti, who’s having an affair with Marty and eventually breaks it off only for him to drunkenly accost her and a dude she goes home with. White Collar fans know her as Neal Caffrey’s long-lost love Kate, and she was Annabeth in both of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians movies. She also appeared in the video for Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.”

Kevin Dunn in Veep

Kevin Dunn – Dunn is Ken Quesada, Rust and Marty’s boss with the Louisiana State Police. Dunn has a long, long career that could be described over pages. He appeared in the Transformers movies as Ron, as Charles Colson in Nixon, in Dave, in Godzilla, and most recently as White House Chief of Staff Ben Caffrey on Veep.

Clarke Peters – Peters plays a rural minister who identifies the devil’s nets. Peters is an HBO veteran best known for his turn as Lester Freamon in The Wire, and also as Big Chief Albert Lambreaux on Treme. He also appeared as Dave Pell in the second season of Damages and as recurring Mayor’s Chief of Staff Alonzo Quinn in Person of Interest.

Jay O Sanders – Jay O. Saunders plays Reverend Billy Lee Tuttle, who wanted to form a special task force to go after faith-related crimes. Sanders is a veteran character actor who has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows. Recently, he’s had recurring roles as Special Counsel in Person of Interest and as Captain Joseph Hannah on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In the recent Green Lantern adaptation, he plays Carl Ferris, Blake Lively’s character’s dad, and he played scientist Frank Harris in The Day After Tomorrow.

JD Evermore – He was Detective Lutz, another one of the seemingly incompetent detectives in Hart and Cohle’s unit. He’s been in a number of small roles here and there. He was the Sheriff on Rectify, a biker named Harley on this season of The Walking Dead, and Detective Thomas Silby in six episodes of Treme,

Michael Harney in Orange is the New Black

Michael Harney – Harney played Steve Geraci in True Detective, a detective who Cohle got into a spat with early on,and who Hart and Cole held at gunpoint much later on. Harney plays Piper Chapman’s bane, correctional officer Sam Healy, in Orange in the New Black, he was Detective Mitch Ouelette on Weeds, the drunkard Steve in Deadwood, and Detective Mike Roberts on NYPD Blue.

Episode 2 – “Seeing Things”

Lili Simmons – Beth, the hooker who Marty donates to; she later repays him back in full, and more. She’s made a few one off TV appearances, but her other current prominent role is as Rebecca Bowman on Banshee, where she portrays an Amish girl by day, but an adventurous party girl by night.

Mrs. Pinkston

Tess Harper – She played Dora Lange’s fingernail obsessed mom. Harper has had an impressively long career as a character actor, and was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for 1986’s Crimes of the Heart (10 points if you can tell me anything about that movie). Honestly, her appearances are too numerous to even attempt to begin to summarize or chroncle here. However, most importantly, what viewers may recently remember her from is her four appearances as Jesse Pinkman’s mother on Breaking Bad.

Episode 3 – “The Locked Room”

Shea Whigham – Whigham plays Joel Theriot, a revivalist preacher in 1995, and a drunk former preacher later on. He’s yet another example of True Detective digging into the HBO well of actors, as Whigham is best known for his role as Eli Thompson in Boardwalk Empire, main character Nuckie’s younger brother. He also appears in small roles in a billion movies, like American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Silver Linings Playbook, Non-Stop, and more.

Glenn Fleshler – The green-eared spaghetti monster, the man with scars on his chin, serial killer Errol Childress. Like Whigham, he’s best known by viewers for his recurring role in Boardwalk Empire as third-person using bootlegger George Remus. He also had a recurring role in season 3 of Damages.

Episode 5 – “The Secret Fate of All Life”

Elizabeth Reaser – Laurie Spencer, Cohle’s girlfriend of several years, after being set up with one another by Maggie Hart. Reaser prominently played Esme Cullen in all five Twilight movies. She was in The Ex-List, and appeared as Tammy in seven episodes of The Good Wife. She was also in 18 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy as a patient from a ferry accident named Rebecca Pope.

Brighton Sharbino – She’s the older version of younger Hart daughter Macie on True Detective. Walking Dead fans know her as Lizzie, the older of two blonde sisters at the prison.

Episode 6 – “Haunted Houses”

Spiros Vondas

Paul Ben-Victor – Ben-Victor is Hart and Cohle’s supervisor in 2002, Major Leroy Salter. He’s probably best known as drug supplier Spiros Vondas from The Wire. He’s also been a main cast member on In Plain Sight, and appeared in recurring roles in Entourage, John From Cincinnati, and Everybody Hates Chris.

Episode 7 – “After You’re Gone”

Jay Huguley – A consummate character actor, Huguley has a brief scene in True Detective as Jimmy LeDoux, the non-psycho relation to Reggie and DeWall. Huguley appeared in six episodes of Brothers & Sisters and six of Treme as Will Branson, a power broker who tried to persuade Delmon Lambreaux to come aboard and help with the New Orleans Jazz Center project.