6 Questions With ‘True Detective’ Star Michelle Monaghan: Emmy Contender Quickie

As the woman caught between two complicated men, Monaghan shares how two pivotal scenes involving both of them were the toughest and most fun thing she was tasked with doing

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson go through quite a lot over one season of HBO’s “True Detective,” but Michelle Monaghan, as the woman often caught in between, was right there with them.

Starting out as the long-suffering wife of Harrelson’s Detective Marty Hart, Monaghan’s Maggie ultimately took back control of her marriage and her life – in as cruel a way as possible.

A strong contender to be nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category, Monaghan spoke with TheWrap on Maggie’s two biggest scenes of the season, her binge-watching TV habits, and which other TV actors she worships and has a major crush on.

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1) What was the toughest thing you had to do this season?
Seducing Rust Cohle. Maggie knows how and why she has to do it — to free herself from her marriage — but the act is as devastating for her as it is empowering. It was an intense, primal, and desperate attempt to secure freedom from Marty. Matthew was a complete gentleman. As actors, we went for it. In the end, there may have been a high five and a tequila shot to celebrate Maggie’s freedom…

2) What was the most fun thing you got to do this season?
Confessing to Marty what I had done – and how much I had “enjoyed” it. It was Maggie’s revenge. Initially, the scene was just a few lines. I had asked Nic [Pizzolatto] if he would consider writing a bit more – I felt as though Maggie really needed to hand it to Marty. Nic wrote the scene over lunch, Woody was game and we shot it. It was physical, cathartic and immensely gratifying.

3) Let’s assume that somebody has never seen “True Detective.” What would you say to persuade them to watch it?
It’s the most haunting adult drama you have ever seen. Provocative and confronting, it lingers and lingers…

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4) You’re an Emmy voter. You can’t vote for yourself or your show. Who’s at the top of your ballot?
Bryan Cranston, I worship you.

5) If you could play any other role on any other show, what would it be?
Robin Wright on “House of Cards.” What a steely, sexy, smart woman. Admittedly, I have a major crush on her. Mad respect.

6) What was the last TV show you binge-watched? How many episodes did you see in a sitting?
“Breaking Bad.” I binge-watched the entire the show, nine months pregnant, so I could watch the finale in real time. It was a glorious, self-indulgent few weeks — and I ate a shit-load of popcorn.