The Missouri Heat in Sharp Objects Isn't the Only Thing Making Us Sweat — Meet Detective Willis
HBO's latest new series, Sharp Objects, is the closest onscreen adaptation to an image I've had in my head while reading a book maybe ever. That includes its selection of absolute hunk Chris Messina to play Richard Willis, a Kansas City detective sent to investigate a potential serial murder case in Wind Gap, MO. When the show's main character, journalist Camille Preaker (Amy Adams), first runs into Detective Willis in the novel, I immediately felt that he'd be effortlessly handsome — despite being kind of an assh*le at first — which is exactly the kind of role Messina thrives in, let's be real.
If you, too, felt like your lust for Detective Willis came on stronger than a Missouri heatwave, it may be because you've crushed on Messina before. The 43-year-old has been acting for quite some time (like most actors, you may have seen him in an episode or three of Law and Order), starring most notably in The Mindy Project as Mindy's love interest, Danny Castellano, for multiple seasons. He's also had staring and supporting roles in movies such as Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Julie & Julia (which also featured Amy Adams), and Argo.
Messina's part in Sharp Objects, however, may be the big role that could make him much more of a household name. Check out some of the roles Messina has played ahead, and then catch him investigating murders as Detective Willis on HBO on Sunday nights.
In Sharp Objects, Messina plays a Kansas City detective who was hired to find out who is behind the murder of two young girls in Wind Gap, MO. Let's just say Amy Adams's Camille Preaker is just as helpless to resisting him as we are.
The Mindy Project
In The Mindy Project, Messina plays the blunt and honest Dr. Danny Castellano, a Staten Island native who works with and then falls in love with Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling).
Julie & Julia
In the heartwarming 2009 film about renowned chef Julia Child and author Julie Powell, Messina stars alongside Adams (déjà vu, much?) as Julie's husband, Eric Powell.
Live by Night
In Ben Affleck's Live by Night, Messina acts alongside Affleck as Dion Bartolo, a Boston-bred gangster.
In the 2012 film about a CIA agent posing as a Hollywood producer in order to rescue six American hostages in Iran, Messina plays the role of Mario Malinov.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Messina's character, Doug, is engaged to the titular Vicky in 2006's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
The Sweet Life
In this dark 2016 dramedy, Messina stars as Kenny Parker, who has a pact with a woman he meets in Chicago to travel across the country to the Golden Gate Bridge to commit suicide.
From 2011 to 2012, Messina appeared in 16 episodes of Damages as Chris Sanchez, a military veteran struggling after his return to the US from Afghanistan.