Mayor of Kingstown Interview: Jeremy Renner on Taylor Sheridan Series

Mayor of Kingstown, Academy Award nominee Taylor Sheridan's follow-up to Paramount+'s smash drama Yellowstone, tackles themes of systemic racism, corruption, and inequality. The story follows the McClusky family, power brokers in Kingstown, Michigan where the business of incarceration is the only thriving industry. The series provides a stark look at their attempt to bring order and justice to a town that has neither.

mayor of kingstown
Image: Screencap

Recently, during a virtual roundtable, series star Jeremy Renner (Avengers, The Hurt Locker) discussed his character, Mike McClusky. With Mike doing a lot of the dramatic heavy lifting in this series dealing with the town's corruption the actor compares this character to Avenger Clint Barton.

Jeremy Renner:  I guess only the sense of trying to keep peace. Maybe the ferocity in the morality, in the code of it all. One's done in tights and a bow and arrow, and the other one's done in an ill-fit suit. I think the intentions are always good for both characters of trying to do what's right and trying to keep peace. I think that would be the through-line. 

Mayor of Kingstown Interview: Jeremy Renner on Taylor Sheridan Series
Pictured: Kyle Chandler as Mitch, Jeremy Renner as Mike, and Taylor Handley as Kyle of the Paramount+ series MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN. Photo Cr: Emerson Miller ViacomCBS ©2021 Paramount+, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The actor continued discussing switching gears between his upcoming Hawkeye series and The Mayor of Kingstown

JR:  The idea that both these shows were back to back, I just didn't realize it until probably halfway through. I wanted to shift the energy on set because a lot of the stuff we were doing was heavy, right? I remember shifting the off-camera vibe to being a little bit lighter. It kind of weighs on you a bit if that's all we're living in. Hawkeye actually helped me to transition the set vibe, if you will, to be maybe a little bit lighter and now you can crack jokes on a set like The Mayor of Kingstown.

Mayor of Kingstown Interview: Jeremy Renner on Taylor Sheridan Series
Pictured: Kyle Chandler as Mitch and Jeremy Renner as Mike of the Paramount+ series MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN. Photo Cr: Emerson Miller ViacomCBS ©2021 Paramount+, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Renner also commented on working with Sheridan (Those Who Wish Me Dead, Wind Walker

JR:  Working with Taylor, as I had in the past, it's that first and foremost, this is based on something it's truthful and that there's value, it's not just entertainment for entertainment's sake. It'll be entertaining and thrilling. If it's a book, you wouldn't put it down, you'd binge-watch this if you possibly could. I promise you that that will be the case. When I first sat down and said yes to this project, I was already sitting on set and had not read one word yet. I already knew what Taylor was going to put down. I believe in that.

Mayor of Kingstown Interview: Jeremy Renner on Taylor Sheridan Series
Pictured: Jeremy Renner as Mike of the Paramount+ series MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN. Photo Cr: Emerson Miller ViacomCBS ©2021 Paramount+, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With Sheridan as the master of creating familiarity in unfamiliar settings, Renner compared this story to the Charlestown setting of The Town.

JR: Charlestown is a very specific part of Boston. It's no different in Mayor of Kingstown, where these people are products of their environment, but there's such humanity. There's these limitations of a world like that and when there's limitations an audience can either understand what that's like or, connect faster and easier. It's truthful and real and it happens. It can be bleak, but it's also super interesting to watch. 

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About Jimmy Leszczynski

Jimmy Leszczynski has been blurring the line between comics and reality at SDCC every year since 1994, and was a nerd long before Lewis, Gilbert, and the Tri Lamdas made it cool. Middle aged father of 2 that REFUSES to grow up, lifelong Bat-Fan, and he thinks he's pretty funny.
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