Joe Utichi is a contributor to Deadline Hollywood.
Tim Hanks’ job in the Louisiana State Police took him to the very locations that paint the small screen in Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective. He was the real-life Rust Cohle and Marty Hart, facing off against Louisiana’s darkest and most dangerous criminals. “I was doing pretty much just what Nic had written about,” Hanks says. “What he described, as far as the territory they worked, was my territory.” Surely the bleakness of fighting crime that is depicted in the Emmy-nominated HBO drama was more fiction than fact. “No, it’s pretty spot on,” Hanks assures. “That’s police work. You have to deal with the unpleasantness of life.”
As technical adviser on True Detective, Hanks was responsible for helping the creative team accurately capture the world of 1990s police work, which he says amounted to little more than fine-tuning. “Nic is from Louisiana, and had a lot of intimate knowledge,” he explains. “He’s brilliant, and he wrote a great story. I just helped him with the intricacies of how the troopers wore their uniforms—the pins and lapel badges they’d wear.”
Hanks’ modesty and matter-of-factness speaks to his long experience in law enforcement. He spent 22 years on the force, 15 of them as a detective, and retired shortly before True Detective started production in 2012. He now oversees security at the University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center in Lafayette. (more…)