Why Mahershala Ali is a perfect fit for True Detective Season 3

The Moonlight star is reportedly poised to join the show’s forthcoming return.


Josh Howey


Season one of HBO’s True Detective revitalised the crime drama genre, so it was unfortunate that the second season failed to meet our high expectations. Thanks to the reboot-style nature of the anthology series, however, creator Nic Pizzolatto and writer/producer David Milch (Deadwood) will be hopeful of recapturing the show’s initial brilliance for the upcoming third season. Especially if reports suggesting the pair are keen to bring Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali into the fold prove accurate.

Ali’s recent performances in films such as Moonlight and Hidden Figures have further established him as a scene-stealing presence. The American actor and rapper also won acclaim for his portrayal of ruthless gangster Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in the Netflix/Marvel series Luke Cage. In it, Ali balances his trademark cool demeanour with rage-fuelled violence and a distinct maniacal laugh to help deliver some of the show’s most thrillingly tense moments.

Seeing as how the detectives in Pizzolatto’s show are often set in the flawed antihero mould, Ali’s character work would surely be even more unnerving from the perspective of him operating under the authority of the law. His central presence could be exactly what’s needed for True Detective to regain some of the fanbase which dwindled during season two.

There is currently no word on what character Ali might play if the rumoured deal goes through. But if he does end up landing a starring role our interest in True Detective will certainly be renewed.

Published 3 Jul 2017

Tags: Mahershala Ali True Detective

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