Rachel McAdams Lands 'True Detective' Leading Role

Nearly every actress in Hollywood was rumored to join the HBO series' second season, but 'The Notebook' star officially nabs the in-demand role

Rachel McAdams at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5th, 2014 in New York City. The actress will star in the second season of 'True Detective.' Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty

After months of speculation, Rachel McAdams has landed the hotly tipped role of Sheriff Ani Bezzerides on the second season of True Detective. McAdams, best known for her starring roles in The Notebook and Mean Girls, joins previously announced stars Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch on author Nic Pizzolatto's HBO drama series. McAdams' character is described, per a press release, as a no-nonsense "Venture County Sheriff's detective whose uncompromising ethics put her at odds with the system she serves," and whose troubled upbringing is to blame for her gambling and drinking problem.

Ever since Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson transformed themselves into Rust Cohle and Marty Hart during True Detective's critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated first season, practically every actor in Hollywood has been rumored to appear in the next installment of the anthology series. For the Bezzerides role, Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Chastain, McAdams, Malin Ackerman, Jessica Biel, Brit Marling and most recently Keira Knightley were billed as the frontrunner to land the role at some point. However, Chastain immediately dismissed rumors of her involvement, as did Christian Bale when headlines tied him to one of the show's lead male roles.

According to Variety, McAdams had long been favored for the role but a scheduling conflict with the film Spotlight, about the Catholic Church sex scandal, prevented her from committing to True Detective immediately; a compromise had been reached that would allow the actress to handle both projects.

As Pizzolatto previously revealed, True Detective will depart from the mysticism and general foreboding environs of swampy post-Katrina Louisiana and travel to sunny California for a whodunit that "revolves around three police officers and a career criminal who navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder," Variety reports. The victim is rumored to be Ben Caspar, a corrupt city manager who's working with Vaughn's Frank Semyon on a massive transportation deal involving a high-speed railway.

The Fast and the Furious series director Justin Lin will helm the first two episodes of True Detective's second season. Actress Kelly Reilly, best known for her roles in the Sherlock Holmes films (in which she starred alongside McAdams) and the Denzel Washington drama Flight, has also been cast as Jordan Semyon, an aspiring actress and the wife of Vaughn's character.