'Mayor of Kingstown' Star Dianne Wiest Talks Season 1 'Rage' and 'Injustices' Amid Paramount+ Series Blu-ray Release (Exclusive)

Mayor of Kingstown Season 1 is now available to own on Blu-ray and DVD, with more than two hours of bonus content, including multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes. Ahead of the Paramount+ series being released to home video, PopCulture.com had a chance to speak with series star Dianne Wiest to discuss her character, who she says has a "rage" inside, as well as the "injustices" that led her to take the role. [Spoilers below for Mayor of Kingstown Season 1.]

In Mayor of Kingstown, Wiest plays widowed McLusky family matriarch Miriam — mother to Jeremy Renner's Mike McLusky, Taylor Handley's Kyle McLusky, and Kyle Chandler's Mitch McLusky, who dies a terribly unfortunate death at the beginning of the show. Mitch was the unofficial "Mayor" of Kingstown, Michigan, and worked as a power broker between the local gangs and law enforcement. Following his death, Mike takes over for him, and it becomes very clear, very quickly, that Miriam and Mike are like an angel and devil warring on Taylor's police detective shoulders. Mike seems to be pulling him further into the fray, but Miriam just wants him safe.

"I think that Miriam has a rage towards both her sons, really, and the rage comes from losing her husband and her oldest son," Wiest said of the character. "She just wants them to get out of the cops and robbers prison system thing. Of course, that's the only game in town, so it's a pretty slim chance that she does." She added, "I think Taylor, who hasn't gone all the way into Jeremy's gray area, and is a true policeman, Miriam has a better chance with him of just getting him to another police station somewhere in Florida, whereas Jeremy seems like a lost cause to her."

When asked what drew her to the role initially, Wiest, explained, "Well, the reason I wanted to do this so much as I, myself... not as an actor... have been a little involved in the injustices of our almighty prison system. I'm sure you know we have the biggest prison system in the entire globe. Bigger than Russia, bigger than China, and we seem to solve our problems of race and poverty and immigration by just throwing everybody in jail." 

She continued, "When I realized that the script was about... Really, it's sort of like gangs. There's the Crips and then there's the police. There's the corrections officers, and then there's the prisoners themselves, who are formed into gangs according... mostly according to race. The whites, the African Americans, and the Hispanics. It's like a gang medley. It just doesn't stop. It just goes on and on and on.


Mayor of Kingstown was created by Taylor Sheridan, a writer/director famous for many epic projects, including Paramount Network's Yellowstone and its Paramount+ spinoff 1883. Speaking about what it's like to work with Sheridan, Wiest said, "Well, his writing is just irresistible, I think. No matter what he writes, it seems compelling, and you just want to turn the page. Or I did."

Wiest then revealed that she has not "worked with him" much during filming for Season 2, "just on the first episode," adding that it's due to him being "busy with his other shows." She added, "He is, just as you describe him, though, he's very quiet and very intense. He's a very smart man and he certainly knows his way around his writing." Fans can click here to pick up a copy of Mayor of Kingstown Season 1 on Blu-ray. Those interested in trying out a free trial of Paramount+ can do so by clicking here