Call it coincidence or just Oscar’s great luck.
The same year that Matthew McConaughey took home a Lead Actor Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club in 2014, he found himself with an Emmy nomination in the Lead Actor Drama Series category for HBO’s True Detective series. This year, history repeats itself for Mahershala Ali who after winning a best supporting actor Oscar (his second) for Universal/DreamWorks/Participant’s Green Book, finds himself with an Emmy nom in the Lead Actor Limited Series/Movie slot for the same HBO series.
True Detective‘s season 3 takes place within three different timelines: In 2015 with retired detective Wayne Hays (Ali), his memory failing, looking back at the disappearance of 12-year-old Will and 10-year-old Julie Purcell. He reflects on the days and weeks immediately following the 1980 crime, as well as developments in 1990, when he and his former partner, Roland West, were subpoenaed after a major break in the case. The finale aired Feb. 24, the same night as the Oscars, when Ali took home the Oscar for Green Book. Ali originally pitched himself for the role to True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto.
“My only insecurity was if the story would be fundamentally changed by changing the race of the lead character,” said Pizzolatto, who was joined by Ali at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys back in April. “Mahershala assured me he didn’t want the story changed and he didn’t want the character defined by his race but to be, as he was on the page, something of a broader, more dimensional leading man than just someone whose defining characteristic would be race.”
Now, the trick is for Ali to win at the Emmys. McConaughey lost to Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad that year with True Detective taking five Emmy wins including best director for Cary Joji Fukunaga. He’s now helming the latest 007 film.
In total today, for season 3, True Detective received 9 nominations, but was overlooked in the limited series category.