Michael Beach talks 'Dead Boy Detectives,' 'Mayor of Kingstown,' and ‘Tulsa King’.
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Michael Beach:
Riding the
Acting Waves

Your character, Tragic Mick, in Dead Boy Detectives (Netflix), has been described as a “melancholy walrus trapped in a human's body.” How did you prepare for such a role?

Michael Beach: It was a lot of fun, because I usually don't do much research on characters when I’m playing a cop or lawyer. However, portraying a walrus required a different approach. The first thing I did was head to YouTube and watch videos of walruses on the beach, since my character isn't in the water anymore. Observing their movements and voices helped me shape how Tragic Mick would move and speak.

Tragic Mick is melancholy because he's trapped on land in human form, longing to return to the sea and become a walrus again. He always thought he wanted to be human, but once that happened, he realized how much he missed his family and life in the deep. For 200 years, he's been searching for potions or magic spells to bring him back to the ocean. This endless quest leaves him perpetually unhappy and yearning for his true form.

Season three of Mayor of Kingstown is now streaming on Paramount Plus. What can fans expect from your character, Warden Kareem, in the new season?

Michael Beach: Season three gets a little more personal with each character. If you're a fan of the show, you’ll know that there was a huge riot at the end of season one. The aftermath of the riot is still lingering, particularly with my character, Kareem, who was taken hostage, tortured, and violated. He's now trying to put his life back together and clean up the mess left by the riots and the broken prison system. Kareem's battle this season is about stabilizing the original intent of incarceration, while fighting an impossible scenario. His struggle intertwines with his relationship at home with his wife and kids.

I think it’s going to be the best season so far.

Do you find it challenging to tap into more serious character arcs, such as what Kareem is going through this season?

Michael Beach: It is challenging. It's also scary because of the emotional depths you have to go to. As an actor, to authentically portray those really deep scenes, you need to figure out how to get yourself there without pushing too far or overacting. Sometimes the reality of the subject matter can be scary, but the goal is to bring to life the experience of another human being. That fear and challenge are also exciting. It’s why I do this and why I love it.

Sometimes you don't achieve what you wanted to achieve, but you hope to bring truth and honesty—something people can relate to. I think that’s the success you hope to get in terms of bringing a character and their plight to life.

How has it been working alongside Jeremy Renner in the show?

Michael Beach: Jeremy's great. He always says each week, "I'm getting stronger and stronger." He’s such a good actor, and he's there for his crew and castmates. He has some ailments, but he's so focused. He’s a workhorse, and it’s amazing how grateful he is and how glad he is to be at work. He’s going to kill it again this season.

Let’s talk about Tulsa King, renewed for a second season. What can you share?

Michael Beach: We're actually shooting season two of Tulsa King as we speak. I’m not sure when it will premiere, but it will be available on Paramount Plus, just like Mayor of Kingstown. We have some very cool stuff in the works. The first season was incredibly successful, and we have a lot of badass actors joining us to play opposite Sylvester Stallone. We’re only halfway through filming the season, so there’s a lot more to come that I haven’t even seen yet.

What advice would you give aspiring actors?

Michael Beach: Experience in and of itself is what the teacher is, and it teaches you what to do and what not to do, or how to do something and how to do it better. Today, people are creating their own content and platforms. If you have an idea, go for it. Figure out how to get it done, find some friends, and make it happen. You can even film it on your iPhone, which will look amazing. Many people started this way and moved into the mainstream. So, just go for it and have fun.

You can watch Michael Beach in Dead Boy Detectives exclusively on Netflix and tune in to new weekly episodes of Mayor of Kingstown on Paramount Plus. For behind-the-scenes content, follow Michael Beach on Instagram at @MichaelBeach.


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