'True Detective's' Michelle Monaghan talks secrets and betrayal

'True Detective's' Michelle Monaghan talks secrets and betrayal
"True Detective's" Michelle Monaghan joins Glenn Whipp in the newsroom. Click the image above to watch the video.

Sure, we loved Rustin Cohle and Marty Hart on "True Detective." Standup guys. Well, at least at the office. Away from their police work, they could be ... well, let's just say "difficult." Just ask Maggie Hart, who was married to Marty and eventually used Rust to permanently dissolve that union.

Michelle Monaghan, who played Maggie, a woman not to be underestimated, stopped by The Times' office recently for a live Web chat to talk about her work on the HBO drama. The series was a long shoot — six months and change — and an eventful one, as midway through Monaghan discovered she was pregnant. Monaghan kept the news to herself — at least until she was five months along, at which time, she needed to tell the costume designer. Then, on her last day, she "let the cat out of the bag" to McConaughey and Harrelson.

Reaction to Marty's persistent betrayals ("Why doesn't Maggie take Marty back? He's just going through a tough time"), Monaghan says, were divided along gender lines, as were viewers' feelings toward the way Maggie decided to end her marriage to Marty.

Monaghan also talks about Maggie's emotional connection (connection, not attraction) with Rust and the tension that comes when one man mows another man's lawn ("Nobody mows my lawn" became an ongoing joke, Monaghan says). She also discussed her first foray into period storytelling and what it's like to play a character who ages physically and emotionally.

"I found I looked a lot like my mom," Monaghan says, laughing. "I was looking in the mirror as we did the aging process, I had my hair in a bob, and I thought, 'Oh, my God, I look a lot like my mom!'"