Making of True Detective: Night Country: Discussion Series with Jodie Foster

We often talk, even too much, about place as a character in literature, cinema and television. And while it can be argued that the fictional town of Ennis, Alaska, was the real leader of the True Detective: Land of the Nightthose who made the HBO series credit an even larger entity with putting itself at the top of the proverbial call list: the temperature.

“I saw that thermometer go from 4 degrees to 1 to 0 to -18,” says Kali Reis, who plays soldier Evangeline Navarro, about one of the most grueling days of filming in the film. mystery in six parts. “It was the first and only time I was harsh with [creator and showrunner] Issa Lopez. I had this hood on and she said, “You can’t wear that, we have to see your face.” I looked at her and said, ‘It’s episode five, everyone knows what I look like now and I’m freezing.’ No.’ »

The hood remained. Reis, López and star and executive producer Jodie Foster all laugh now as they recall some of the grueling moments of the six-month shoot – not least because the Icelandic location was chosen for its reputation for approximating the Arctic Circle aesthetic of the Alaska with the advantage of more hospitable weather. But timing is everything. The Icelandic team and extras frequently informed their visiting collaborators that they were experiencing record levels. López, originally from Mexico City, was particularly out of his element. The filmmaker, who wrote and directed every episode of Nic Pizzolato’s bizarre update of the crime anthology, had visited Alaska on research trips. But that was during the warmer months. Iceland presented a myriad of unforeseen challenges. “One night the monitor was a few frames behind,” says López. “No one could understand what was happening until we realized that the crystalline liquid inside the monitor was freezing. During this time, I was wearing eight diapers and was dehydrated because I didn’t want to go to the bathroom.

In the end, this deep cooling provided invaluable service. Night Countrywhich eclipsed the previous three True Detective iterations with 12.7 million viewers tuning in to each episode, takes place at civilization’s northernmost outpost. As Ennis and its residents are plunged into the long sunless night of winter and hammered by falling snow, the frozen bodies of seven scientists are discovered on the ice – and new clues emerge about the unsolved murder of ‘an indigenous woman several years old. These are not ideal circumstances for solving multiple homicides. But they’re perfect for creating mood, fueled by cold casting and icy blue hues that permeate almost every frame.

The “corpse”, a mass of seven frozen bodies, required the casting of the faces, hands, legs and torsos of the various actors.

Courtesy of HBO

“The filming in Alaska never happened”…

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