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Aidan Gillen & Emma Laird on Connecting Their Characters

Are from Taylor Sheridan (co-creator of Yellowstone) and Hugh Dillon, a 10-episode television series Paramount + Mayor of Kingstown follows the McLusky family in Kingstown, Michigan, where the Mike brothers (Jeremy Renner, who is also the project’s executive producer) and Mitch (Kyle Chandler) are local power brokers between prisoners in prison and those who are paid to keep them incarcerated. In a town that must maintain a balance of corruption and inequality in order to survive, the definition of justice is bent to the point of unrecognizability.

In this interview with Collider, the co-stars Aidan Gillen (who plays Milo, a crime boss currently residing in one of the prisons in Kingstown) and Emma Laird (who plays Iris, an associate of Milo who is summoned to Kingstown) talked about what drew them to the series, the strength of the script, the fun of peeling away so many layers of a character. things, tips for impersonating a person in prison, and what it feels like to be a woman in this world.

Collider: This certainly sounds like some pretty heavy and intense material to take on. As you read this script and began to feel this story and this world, what spoke to you the most? Are there specific aspects of the story or is there something about your character that you haven’t done before that interests you?

AIDAN GILLEN: I’m pretty much interested in prisons as an industrial concept and towns with a lot of prisons in them, and then taking over the town, or definitely the mood of the town, so the whole town. like a prison. I watched several documentaries about it, before this happened my way, so I’m definitely intrigued. The script itself is already a tight crime thriller set in that world. There’s a good character to it, which is really being teased in Season 1. He’s pretty central to the story, but you don’t see too much of Milo, frankly, that’s always good. I love it. The less you show off, the less likely you’ll want to expose yourself. Is me.

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EMMA LAIRD: For me, all I get is the pilot and Episode 2, and [my character] really not in it. I had a bit of a character description and I had sides for three scenes from other episodes. I haven’t read anything like it. I watch one Netflix movie and two Amazon TV series, and I dropped them for this entry because I wanted to work with Taylor. [Sheridan] too bad. I loved these scripts so much. I really couldn’t read them until I flew to Texas to see him. I submitted them, but by then, I had invested heavily in the project. It is just text. What Taylor does really well is that, even though Jeremy [Renner] As the leader and very central to the plot, Taylor creates characters with a lot of depth. The arc for my character is really something special that I don’t have in any other role. He just wrote so well for each character. There is a lot of thought behind it. That’s very rare in the script, when it’s not the main character.


GILLEN: These characters are not interpreted with the plot loaded into you. You assume it’s there, and once you start assuming it, it’s a lot more interesting. Better not to say. All the supporting characters are so well drawn as they are supposed to be.


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Image via Paramount +

It’s interesting because these characters, right from the moment we meet them all, feel so complicated and like they have these big underlying stories, but we don’t know much about them. We only learn about these characters as the episodes progress. When you play such complex characters with seemingly endless classes for them, can you figure out how challenging that is? Do you feel like there’s more under each layer that you peel back?

LAIRD: I think it’s more of a challenge and more fun that you have. You always fill in the gaps, as an actor, for what’s not on the page and what makes sense for you to match what’s on the page. It’s fun to explore that and there’s a lot to play with. As an actor, you better have more and more information, and choose to do with it what you want. It’s all you can really hope for, for me, as an actor. That’s what you want in a script.


GILLEN: If it’s well-drawn and well-structured, even if you don’t know what to do or what to say, you just have to trust the words to do it for you. It’s a very basic thing.

LAIRD: The more prepared you are, the more you can let it go when you start and play with it. For me, the last thing that comes to my mind is the dialogue. I think about everything else in between, and then the lines get a little easier because you understand why you’re saying them. The role itself was a challenge, but the whole process of doing what Taylor gave us was the best part.


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Image via Paramount +

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Aidan, we heard about your character and got the impression that he must be someone we should at least worry about. Are there tricks to being menacing and dangerous and scary, as a character, when you’re playing someone in prison?


GILLEN: It goes back to what I just said. If you don’t really see what he’s doing or you see him in action, or you just catch a glimpse of him, once in a while, if you believe what other people are saying and it seems to be true, then you believe he does these things. You can’t really do much. If you’re just sitting there in your cell and everyone’s talking about you, that’s all you have to do. I think the trick is don’t try too hard and don’t try to show how bad you are because you don’t have to.

Emma, ​​what does it feel like to be a woman in this world, as a character, and how does it feel to be a woman in this show, as an actress?

LAIRD: Very interesting women. I think Taylor wrote me a great role. It’s a male-dominated scene, but all the ads and all the people involved made me feel very safe. In particular, one of our producers, Michael Friedman, went above and beyond to make sure I felt safe and comfortable. One day I went to shoot where there was a scene in particular that was really difficult, and I was like, “Why is it so quiet?” They said, “This is for you, today.” They set up a really private area with a tent and a heater in it, a dressing table and snacks, a couch and cushions and a rug. They are just really attentive. He would come in and hold my hand midway. It was a great experience. This role was really hard to do and I really just wanted to do it right. It definitely sparked some emotions, but I’m really proud of it. I trust Taylor’s writing. I trust the people in the edit. For me, it’s hard to ignore that I’m not involved in post-production, but know and hear that they’re using the same people from Yellowstone and have a bunch of people who are genuinely interested in the show. [helped]. It’s not just another show being made. Everyone involved really cares about it. As an actor, I can put my trust in those people and know that they will do the best that I can on set. I feel safe and comfortable. To be among these people is an absolute privilege.



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Image via Paramount +

Aidan, we hear Milo calling for Iris to get involved in whatever he’s obviously going on. Who is she to him? What can you say about their connection, as characters?

GILLEN: Iris will be one of the people Milo has contact with or is leading, who have different skills or disciplines or ways of approaching things. We wouldn’t even know each other that well because Iris was so young and Milo was in prison. Milo is absolutely on top of what’s going on. It’s a way to run things from behind bars. He has nothing else to do. He worked all day and all month to get his pieces in place. Hopefully we’ll see more of a connection between the two, but it’s a rather dark one. And she’s smart too. You don’t want to get the wrong person. It’s not just, “Call anyone in to do this.” We’re talking dirty and dangerous work here. Well, Milo could call it work. You have to be very careful. That’s part of Milo’s genius. His recruiting process is finding the right desperate people who are also really smart.


Mayor of Kingstown available to stream at Paramount+.



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‘Mayor of Kingstown’ Review: A Sombre Look at Corruption and the Industrial Prison Complex

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https://collider.com/mayor-of-kingstown-aidan-gillen-emma-laird-interview/ Aidan Gillen & Emma Laird on Connecting Their Characters

Bobby Allyn

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