True Detective Night Country: Exploring All the Filming Locations

Image Credit: Michele K. Short/HBO

Created by Nic Pizzolatto, HBO’s ‘True Detective‘ is an anthology crime drama series that revolves around detectives and serial killers with a different set of characters in different settings in each season. The fourth season, which is titled ‘True Detective: Night Country,’ is set in the fictional town of Ennis in Alaska where a group of eight men working at the Tsalal Arctic Research Station disappear into thin air, without any trace whatsoever. In order to get to the bottom of the case, the detective duo of Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro join forces while confronting demons of their own along the way.

Over the years, ‘True Detective’ has garnered a cult following while some of the biggest names have featured in the series, including Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Mahershala Ali. Joining this star-studded list is Jodie Foster, who portrays Liz Danvers in season 4, alongside Kali Reis, Finn Bennett, Fiona Shaw, and Christopher Eccleston. With some interesting visuals filling the backdrop of the season, such as the snow-filled crime scenes and the police station, the viewers are likely to be curious about the filming locations of the detective show.

Where Was True Detective: Night Country Filmed?

‘True Detective: Night Country’ was filmed across Iceland, which doubled for Alaska, in different areas, including Reykjavík and various other sites. As per reports, principal photography for the fourth season of the detective show got underway in November 2022 and continued through the next five months or so, before getting wrapped up in April 2023. The cast and crew members shot the season in extreme conditions, sometimes taping scenes during nighttime at −23 °C (−9 °F). Now, let us take a look at all the locations that stood in for Alaska in season 4 of the HBO Max series!

Reykjavík, Iceland

A major chunk of ‘True Detective: Night Country’ was lensed in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland situated on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay, in the southwestern region of the nation. In particular, the production team reportedly utilized the facilities of Fossa Studios at Fossaleynir 21-23 in Reykjavík. The film studio is home to two sound stages of varying sizes, production offices, meeting rooms, make-up and hair rooms, workshops, and more, making it an ideal filming site for different kinds of productions.

Baltasar Kormakur’s RVK Studios in Gufunes also served as one of the primary production locations for ‘True Detective: Night Country.’ Situated just a few miles away from Reykjavík City Center, the film studio complex consists of three sound stages while it also provides other services, such as post-production services, equipment rentals, and VFX companies. During a conversation with Icelandair, Jodie Foster opened up about her experience of shooting in the winter weather of Iceland. She said, “There were huge challenges, as you can imagine. First of all, we were working at night, trying to light at nighttime and in the snow. But we kind of had the gods on our side. When we needed all the snow, we got the snow, and when we needed it to be calm, we got the calm.”

Jodie further elaborated, “There’s something weird about doing so many nights, but I’ve done that so many times as an actor. You get that little bit of sunlight between 11 am and 3 pm, and even though the sun doesn’t really get up very high on the horizon, you still get the ambient light, so it’s not like there’s no daylight.”

Other Locations in Iceland

For shooting purposes, the filming unit of ‘True Detective: Night Country’ also traveled to other parts of the country, including the town of Akureyri. Moreover, the production team constructed the entire fictional village of Ennis in Dalvík, a village situated in the Icelandic municipality of Dalvíkurbyggð. Several American traffic signs, store facades such as a gas station and liquor store, and Christmas decorations were set up to make the village look like the Alaskan fictional village.

The cast and crew members of the fourth season also stopped by the Goðafoss Waterfall, which lies along Iceland’s main ring road at the junction with the Sprengisandur highland road, to tape some important scenes. They even took over the area around the Grótta Island Lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes to shoot several portions of the Kali Reis starrer.

Read More: True Detective Season 3, Explained