McAdams talked about being a strong female character in the new season of HBO's show

By Drew Mackie
May 11, 2015 09:20 PM
Credit: Jan Welters/Marie Claire

When the new season of True Detective kicks off June 21, Rachel McAdams will be playing one of the leads. But don’t expect her character to have much in common with the types she plays in movies – or, for that matter, with female characters in the first season of the show.

“I love that she’s not the girlfriend or the wife,” McAdams, 36, says in the June issue of Marie Claire about her character, a Ventura, California, police officer named Ani Bezzerides. “She doesn’t really care what everyone thinks; she feels no responsibility for other people’s feelings. She’s not trying to be charming, which isn’t always the case with a leading lady.”

McAdams’ mention of her character not being the love interest of a more prominent male character could be interpreted as a response to criticism of the show’s first season for not featuring complex female characters. The most prominent female character, played by Michelle Monaghan, was the wife to Woody Harrelson‘s Detective Marty Hart. The new season focuses on McAdams’ Bezzarides as she investigates a murder.

“I love the exploration of someone who has such a different background from you,” McAdams said of her “hard-drinking, hard-gambling” character. “That exploration runs to compassion, and to cracking yourself open and creating more understanding of how weird and amazing life is.

To prepare for the role, McAdams spent time with actual officers in the Ventura County Police Department. “I don’t know how they do it every day,” she said of real-life cops. “I was like, ‘I’m going to get a hash brown from McDonald’s and go to bed.’ ”

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It remains to be seen what fans can make of one final quote McAdams offered and the fate of her new True Detective character: “I prefer to be a villainess. There’s something a bit more delicious about their wickedness.”

The new season of True Detective also stars Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn and Taylor Kitsch. The trailer was released April 9.