Mahershala Ali said during Variety’s Actors on Actors series that he had to fight to play the lead character on Season 3 of HBO’s “True Detective.”
Ali also told show creator Nic Pizzolatto that with a black lead, the show would be able to explore the ways a black detective in 1980 Arkansas experienced racism.
“You’re asking someone questions, and [you’re] the lead detective. If [they’re] white, they might not look at me. When I ask them a question, they’re addressing [the white detective]'” Ali said. “Racism is not experienced as the n-word, all the time. It’s more like, ‘Yo, you wouldn’t even look me in the eye.’ Or I said thank you and he just brushed me off.”