After heading to Bon Temps for a heavily recurring role on the final season of HBO’s True Blood, Riley Smith will be heading back to the premium cable network this winter, with word that the actor has landed a part in the hotly anticipated second season of acclaimed crime anthology series True Detective.
The second season of True Detective, set in Los Angeles, revolves around three police officers (Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch) as well as a career criminal (Vince Vaughn) who “must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder.” Smith is reportedly on board to play Steve Mercier, a “boyish Sheriff’s Deputy” and the boyfriend of McAdams’ haunted protagonist.
The role will be Smith’s highest-profile to date, though some may recognize the actor from his past recurring gigs on The CW’s teen-targeted soap 90210 and Fox’s espionage thriller 24.
Smith’s casting comes on the heels of news that James Frain and Lolita Davidovich have also boarded the second season, playing the troubled mother of Kitsch’s police officer and a ruthless police lieutenant, respectively. The cast for True Detective season 2 also currently includes talented actors like Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes), Abigail Spencer (This Is Where I Leave You), Leven Ramblin (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Michael Irby (Almost Human).
HBO is right to pile on the talent for the show’s second season; True Detective will need some incredible performances if it’s ever going to rival the series’ sensational freshman run, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two tormented detectives tracking a serial killer in Louisiana over the course of 17 years.
The network is also investing in some heavy hitters behind the scenes – as with the first season, Nic Pizzolatto will be writing all of season 2, while Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin has been tapped to direct the first two episodes. No word yet on which directors will be pitching in to complete the season, but that news is sure to break soon, with HBO planning to debut True Detective either in January or the summer of next year, depending on which sources you read.