‘Mayor Of Kingstown’ Star On The Mystery Of Iris’ Rap Sheet And More (2024)

Mayor of Kingstown star Emma Laird is happy to talk about the burning question of what is on her character Iris’ rap sheet, even though the plot point in Season 3 of the hit Paramount+ series has yet to unfold.

In a key scene in Mayor of Kingstown Season 3, Iris resists arrest after running a stop sign and is apprehended for driving without a license and assaulting a police officer. However, when Iris goes to jail she refuses to give her fingerprints because she knows it will expose her previous crimes.

Eventually, Iris agrees to be printed since it’s the only way Kingstown PD Detective Ian Ferguson (Hugh Dillon)— a police ally of Mike McLusky (Jeremy Renner)— can make a deal to get her out of jail.

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When Ian looks at Iris’ rap sheet and appears surprised by what he sees, she asks the detective never to tell Kingstown “Mayor” Mike what is on it.

A former ex-con and power broker between people inside and outside the city’s prison walls, Mike has been desperately trying to save Iris from her tragic life as a sex worker throughout the first two seasons of Mayor of Kingstown. One thing Mike is not entirely in the know about, however, is Iris’ criminal past.

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Hoping for details, I asked Laird during a recent Zoom conversation for any hints of what the rap sheet scene is all about. In short, Laird noted, the details of Iris’ secretive criminal record are not a part of any Mayor of Kingstown script—at least not yet, anyway.

However, for the sake of giving more intensity and nuance to the scene, Laird said she called Dillon and they created fake details of what could be on the rap sheet so they could amplify the mood of the scene.

After all, Dillon—who created Mayor of Kingstown with Taylor Sheridan—had to have something to react to in the scene and Laird had to have some sort of frame of reference to help make it feel real.

“The idea was she killed some people in her family—she killed her parents—that’s what me and Hugh came up with,” Laird said of the faux scenario, which to be clear, is not part of any Mayor of Kingstown script.

“It was like, ‘How do we build the stakes? Why would she not want Mike to find out?’ It can’t be shoplifting,” Laird explained. “It’s got to be something where Iris believes that if Mike knew this thing about her, he would look at her differently or he would think that she is really f—ked up. And I think [the fake background story we created] was the perfect thing to come up with.”

Konstantin’s Arrival Signals A Changing Of The Guard

In the first two seasons of Mayor of Kingstown, Iris is desperately trying to escape the grasp of Milo Sunter (Aiden Gillen), a cruel Russian crime boss who subjects her to horrific physical abuse and sexual assault.

Since Milo is presumed dead following an explosion at the end of Season 2, Iris appears to find comfort in his mobster replacement, Konstantin Noskov (Yorick van Wageningen). What Konstantin isn’t aware of, though, is that Iris knows Mike McLusky and Ian Ferguson—which puts everyone’s life in danger.

Emma Laird—whose credits include the role of Desdemona Holland in actor-director Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice—said she loved the opportunity of working with a new character in Mayor of Kingstown this season because it helped her further inform who Iris is and where she came from.

“I got to build this other layer of her life that I never really thought about,” Laird observed. “In previous seasons it seems like it was Milo that raised her and put her in this world, but then it was like, ‘Oh, we have to slot in Konstantin somewhere and what was that relationship?’”

As a result, viewers find out in Episode 5 of Season 3 of Mayor of Kingstown that there are stark differences between Milo and Konstantin in relation to Iris.

“Iris really hated Milo. He subjected her to some awful stuff in Season 1,” Laird said. “I liked the idea that Konstantin and Iris had this really beautiful relationship.”

While she couldn’t give details, Laird teased that there’s much more to come regarding Iris and Konstantin’s storyline.

“The stuff at the end of the season makes it more shocking and devastating because there’s such a beautiful relationship between them and it seems so genuine,” Laird said. “I think that’s nice in comparison to Iris and Milo.”

Laird Is Inspired By Renner’s Positivity

Of course, the whole idea of a third season of Mayor of Kingstown didn’t even seem like a remote possibility after Jeremy Renner was nearly killed after being crushed by his own snow plow in a freak accident at his home near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, on New Year’s Day of 2023.

Since then, Renner has been undergoing intense rehabilitation while he continues to miraculously recover from his catastrophic injuries, which included blunt chest trauma, a collapsed lung, a pierced liver and more than 30 broken bones.

“It was actually really nice to be on set with him because of the time I had seen him before that. I went to see him when he was in the hospital. He got transferred from Lake Tahoe to LA to have different operations,” Emma Laird recalled.

“I saw him on his birthday and it was really, really scary,” Laird added. “I’d go to see him whenever I was in LA and he would gradually get better but he was still in a wheelchair for a very long time and his eyes were bloodshot and he was in a lot of pain.”

When it became clear that Renner was determined to return to work on Mayor of Kingstown Season 3, Laird said she was awestruck by his lightning-fast recovery.

“Leading up to January [of this year] I was like, how the f—k is he going to shoot this show? Even in just that time from January until last month or whenever it was that we wrapped, his recovery speed is f—king crazy,” Laird exclaimed. “I don’t understand how he did it but it was magic.”

When Renner appeared on set to shoot Season 3, Laird said he was completely in lock-step with “Mayor” Mike McLusky as if nothing ever happened to him.

“It was unbelievable to be on set with him through the progression of it. He’s got a certain ‘Mike walk’ and that was back,” Laird said in admiration. “Plus he was really positive—the most positive Jeremy Renner I’ve ever experienced. His mental strength is so strong.”

Mayor of Kingstown Episode 6 premieres Sunday on Paramount+ with new Season 3 episodes debuting weekly on the streaming service through August 4.

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‘Mayor Of Kingstown’ Star On The Mystery Of Iris’ Rap Sheet And More (2024)
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