Alex Heigl
August 26, 2014 11:15 AM

“This is awesome, and I’m at a loss for words,” True Detective director Cary Joji Fukunaga said while accepting the Emmy award for outstanding directing Monday night.

He was talking about his win, but he might have unintentionally been speaking for the thousands of viewers and fans of the show who never knew that Fukunaga was, well, so good-looking. Since the world was introduced to the man behind True Detective, the Internet has been positively awash with paeans to Fukunaga – including the jaw-dropping admission that he got his start working on the music video for Destiny Child’s “Survivor,” giving the night a much-needed dose of Beyoncé.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about everyone’s new favorite half-Swedish, half-Japanese director with man-braids.

1. He won’t be directing True Detective Season 2.
Fukunaga will stay on as an executive producer, though he will not be behind the camera for the feverishly anticipated second season of the show. Rumors swirled of a bad relationship between Fukunaga and the show’s creator Nic Pizzolatto, but Pizzolatto told The Hollywood Reporter that they were simply untrue.

2. He’s done Bronte.
Fukunaga’s got a relatively slim résumé, with a few shorts and just two features to his name, though one of those features was 2011’s critically acclaimed Jane Eyre, which starred Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell and Michael Fassbender.

3. His next project stars Idris Elba.
Beasts of No Nation, based on the novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala (itself named for a 1989 album by Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti), is a drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country. It’s going to star Idris Elba, and we’re pretty excited about it. The movie is being funded in part by the Princess Grace Foundation, which recognized him in 2005 when he was starting out as as director.

4. He’s not scared of clowns.
Fukunaga’s name has been attached to a new adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel It, apparently coming from Warner Bros. Given how atmospheric and terrifying parts of True Detective were, it promises to be the stuff of nightmares for a whole new generation.

5. He originally wanted to be a pro snowboarder.
In his own words, “Every season, I’d go for the winter to train and compete. At 22, I had a good year and went to live in Japan, had a couple of magazine articles and stuff. But by the time I turned 23, I came back and looked at my friends who were 26, 27, and working as lift operators, and realized I didn’t want to be that.” From there, he attended NYU’s film school, and the rest is history.

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