Agnes Olech, who is playing the mayor’s wife on this season of True Detective, is an aspiring actress from Poland who immigrated with her family to the United States in April of 1994.
She recently appeared on CBS’s acclaimed show “Intelligence” and previously appeared alongside Anthony Geary on “General Hospital”. She has also been seen on CBS’s “Rules of Engagement” and Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” and “Reno 911.”
Check out her interview with us below!
What drew you to audition for your part and what was that process like?
“The audition came in, and they were going under a different name at that point, but right away I figured it out. I loved the role right away. There wasn’t much on her. The breakdown didn’t say much. Everything was very hush-hush with season two from the get go because, due to their huge success, they didn’t want anything leaking. So basically all it said for my role was “mayor’s wife” with an Eastern European accent. So that’s all I had and then I got the sides and they were where we see her in episode three when she’s really intoxicated and a bit in her own world, clipping up fashion magazines, kinda in her own little trance…so when I saw the sides, I could see that this was a really juicy role and I’d have to bring it with this one. Which makes it such a dream role, something where you can actually bring a lot to it, really play with it. There’s just so many layers to her. I don’t want to give too much away but there’s a reason she is the way she is. The mayor’s obviously a lot older than her and there’s some tension there and then there’s the mayor’s son who is clearly her step-son and we’ll figure all that out at the season’s conclusion.”
In spite of all the addictions and everything, is there any part of this character that is like you? Something that you’re expanding on?
“No. Not at all. I mean, I get my high going for a good run. I don’t know. Maybe in a past life I was a druggy or something. I’m not really a method actor so when I’m asked how I got there, it’s like…I don’t know. Maybe in a past life I tapped into that. It’s just a way of demonstrating who this girl is. I don’t know if there’s a part of me that’s like her. I don’t think so but I think that’s better for me, because if it’s something that’s too close to home, that’s almost harder to play. If it’s something that’s the opposite of who I am, I feel much more comfortable, like I have nothing I need to hide.”
Of all the big name actors you’ve been working with on this project, who has been the most interesting to meet and who were you most excited to get to work with?
“I think the most interesting was Taylor Kitsch. He’s super down to earth and super easy to talk to, really funny, and just, not how you might think at all. You could just have a normal conversation with him. He was giving a lot to us when we were acting, which was nice. It was really fun. He was really funny. I dare say that the person I was really really excited about was Rachel McAdams. I was really excited to meet her and work with her. I admire her career and all the work she’s done and she’s just really talented so I was actually really pretty nervous to work with her. But she was so sweet. In a way, she took me under her wing. She kept complimenting my work throughout the day and that just really meant a lot to me because I really look up to her. And really, if I could just have her career…that would be awesome. (laugh).”
What was it like going into a show that had made such waves and had such high expectations after the success of the first season?
“It’s scary. Definitely scary, because I mean, first season I was a huge fan of it and I knew it had such a huge fan base, a major fandom, who know absolutely everything about the show, more than the people behind it, more than I did going into it and that’s just…whoa. It was hard. I definitely just wanted to do the best I could. The first season set the bar so high. I wanted to do my best and that’s really all I could do. I didn’t get to see all the scripts. I only got to see my scenes so as I’m watching the show right now, I know what happens toward the end because I come back in episode eight. But other than that, I’m just blown away with everything that’s going on, watching everything come together.”
Do you think that viewers’ expectations for the season will be met?
“I don’t know yet because I think people are still comparing it to the first season, which, it’s completely different from the first season. New storyline, new characters, and everything. And I think those hard core fans from the first season are really wanting the second season to be like that. But we’re here now and it’s different. Now that we’re really into it and all the characters are starting to be involved, I think people are gonna be really happy. Now they’re seeing what’s really going on there after all these layers are already set. So I think people now are starting to say, “Whoa, now I really get it.” Because this time we have our four big leads that you’re following. There’s three detectives, there’s Vince Vaughn’s character. There’s a lot going on. You have to give it time, let the story unfold, get to know who these people are. I think that’s the biggest difference between this one and the first one. There’s just so much more going on.”
Considering how much is going on, do you think the eight episode season is enough or do you think it could have used to be expanded maybe?
“Oh gosh! I don’t know. I don’t think so. I mean, Nic (Pizzolatto) is such a good writer, one of the best even. It’s just mind-blowing and I think there’s just so much put into every little thought, every detail of what’s going on, I don’t think you need more. I really don’t. I think you could make it go for however many seasons, sixteen episodes, thirteen episodes, whatever, but I think it’s just right the way it is.”
After having discussed how the show got such high praise last season, I’d like to bring up the one thing it did get some criticism for and that’s that last season there was no strong female presence. This season there are two of you. We know that Rachel McAdams’s character is one of the leads, but with your character, how do you feel that she is a strong female presence? Is she?
“I don’t think we know that yet. I don’t want to give any spoilers. I will say, though, just because of the way we saw her in the third episode where she’s so intoxicated, almost child-like…there’s power to her. She’s married to the mayor now, and as a woman, to have that position, there’s definitely a reason for it.”
Does that mean that there are surprises in store for your character in that last episode when she comes back?
“Yeah, definitely. She knows what she’s doing. She’s taking full advantage of being taken care of, enjoying this lifestyle. There’s a lot going on and when it all comes out, it’ll all make sense. It’s all kind of this bravado. After all she’s been through, why not? Why not have this great life. So if you call that a strong character, yeah. I mean, would I have made some of her life choices? Maybe not, but for her, yeah, of course.”
Knowing the way this show works, you know you’re probably not coming back for next season if there is a next season so what would you like to see yourself doing next and do you have anything in the works?
“Next, I would love to do a comedy. I always go back and forth. If I do a comedy, I just want to go back to drama. I want something really juicy that I can really put my gut and soul into. Then after I’ve done that, it’s like, “Oh, I just want a comedy. I want to laugh and play, do with it what it’ll let me.” So yeah, hopefully the next thing will be a comedy and I do have a couple of things in the works. I can’t talk a lot about them yet. There are definitely potentials that we’ll find out about within the next week or so for sure. I do have a really really cool movie that’s in post and that’s called Monumental. Like I said, they’re finishing up post-production on that now and hopefully we’ll have a release date for that soon as well. “
What is Monumental about, without giving too much away?
“Monumental is about two brothers, well, one of them is an adopted brother and their mother dies and to honor their mother, they go and spread her ashes at all the monuments around the United States that she never got to go to. It’s how she was great and always had to work and never got to go to any of these places that she really wanted to go to. So once she passes, they go to all these monuments and kind of find themselves along the way. I play the wife of one of the brothers’ characters and there’s sort of a love story conflict with that.”
True Detective can be seen Sunday’s on HBO at 9:30pm EST.