Michael Beach’s career is a tapestry woven with diverse and dynamic roles, from dedicated law enforcement officers to complex characters navigating moral gray areas.

With recent stellar performances, including roles on The 100, Mayor of Kingstown, SWAT, Tulsa King, and Dead Boy Detectives, Beach’s versatility is evident in every role he undertakes.

Beach has been afforded deeply moving material across his projects, including his heartbreaking arc on Mayor of Kingstown in the wake of the abuse his character suffered during a prison riot.

We kicked off our conversation by asking Beach how he feels looking back on his extensive and impactful career.

He candidly shared, “I never look back; I’m always looking forward. Every new experience gives me more tools to perform, and looking back 10, 20, or 30 years ago, those roles would look different now.”

Related: Tulsa King Season 2 – Everything We Know So Far

Beach has a remarkable knack for playing law enforcement roles, but he doesn’t feel confined to them.

“I don’t feel pigeonholed because I’ve played so many different types of roles — cops, relatives, lawyers, doctors. In some communities, I’m still the guy who cheats on his wife because of two movies I filmed decades ago,” he says, reflecting on his varied career.

One of his recent projects, Dead Boy Detectives, allowed him to step out of his usual roles. Beach chuckled, “Not many people can say they’ve ever played a walrus before. I’m representing all walruses everywhere — ‘You did bad by us!'”

The Power of Preparation

Beach’s dedication to his craft is evident in his approach to preparation. “Well, to me, my work ethic is very important because it’s representative of who I am. I hate coming unprepared because that means that I don’t think that I am going to be able to do my best.

“So many things happen on set that are completely out of your hands and out of your control, and I don’t like being thrown by those things.

“That’s why I prepare as much as I can because I know those things are going to happen, and it also allows me to be more spontaneous, oddly enough. It allows me to feel so ready that it is harder to be thrown off my game.

“I am more confident, more at ease, and more prepared, so I appreciate that kind of preparation, and it allows me more freedom.”

Navigating Challenges on Set

Reflecting on Jeremy Renner‘s return to Mayor of Kingstown, Beach shared the initial concerns everyone had. “I think everyone was a little concerned about what they could do and what they couldn’t do.

“For instance, when I first saw him, I was like, ‘Oh shit should I hug him or am I going to hurt him? His back is messed up, and I’m going to do something I shouldn’t do.’

Related: Tulsa King Season 2 Premiere Date and Teaser – Stallone is Back!!

“He likes the hugs, so the nervousness or the unexpected ended pretty quickly because he was very excited to be back on set.

“If you look at any interview he has done, he was nervous like everyone else, but as time went on, he got stronger and stronger and more confident, and then you were like, OK, this dude, there is nothing different; he is as badass as he ever was.”

Series Regular in Mayor of Kingstown

Beach’s status on Mayor of Kingstown changed for Season 3.

“I was asked to be a series regular in Season 2 of Mayor of Kingstown, but for many business reasons and stuff, it didn’t work out. I wasn’t a series regular in season two, but if you notice, I was pretty much a series regular; it just wasn’t technically a series regular.

“For season three, the problems that we had in season two, which were all technical business-type stuff, were gone. We were able to work it out so that I could be a series regular for Season 3. I kind of felt like a series regular for the last two years, and they always treated me very well and warmly.”

“I always felt like I had some nice stuff to contribute to the show, so it didn’t feel that much different from seasons two to three.”

Kareem’s New Attitude

Kareem’s journey in Mayor of Kingstown reflects his long tenure in the prison system and the horrors he’s encountered along the way.

“I would say Kareem is the guy who has been, in terms of the cast members or the characters in the show, he has probably been in the prison system as long if not longer than anyone else on the show, so he has been around.

Related: Tulsa King to Air on CBS This Summer – What You Need to Know

“He has found a way to keep all the problems of not all of them but the devastating problems that people in this town have had. He found a way to keep those at bay, and he had a great family life and all of that. It wasn’t until the riots that he could no longer do that and how deeply and personally it affected him.

“Now, this year, he’s fighting to get back to the guy he used to be, but inevitably, especially in a show like Mayor of Kingstown, that challenge is going to be very difficult to overcome. You are going to have to watch to see if he actually can overcome it.”

Kareem Challenges Mike’s View of the Prison System

One of the greatest battles on Mayor of Kingstown is between Mike and Kareem, with Kareem drawing a line in the sand about Mike’s influence inside the prison.

“I think Kareem is one of the only people on the show who doesn’t think Mike is having a positive effect on life in Kingstown. Everybody thinks that Mike is the guy, ‘Oh, Mike is solving this, Mike is keeping this at bay, Mike is stopping everything from erupting.’

“Kareem is saying, “What is he doing?” The town, the prison, all of it is still fucked up, and it’s because of the perpetual idea that we have to do something other than what the normal prison system is meant to do. I think Kareem is trying to get back to that.

“Kareem is trying to get back to the place where the initial idea, the concept of correctional incarceration, didn’t involve all of this political, backstabbing, side-stabbing deal-making, and all that stuff.

“Kareem is fighting to go back to the basic principles of what incarceration is supposed to be, and I think he believes that Mike is part of the problem in terms of what it has become.

“Even though he, I think, has a certain respect for Mike, he just thinks that Mike’s way of doing things is not helpful. His idea is to do it the way it was meant originally, but Kareem is fighting; he is pushing a 100 lb boulder up the side of a mountain.”

Kareem’s Evolution

Beach delved into how Kareem has evolved. “I love the art of my character because, in the first season, you see a confident, easy-going captain of the guards. Because of the riots, you get to see how it has affected him and how it continues to affect him.

Related: Mayor of Kingstown Season 3 Episode 5 Review – Iris

“And then, in the third season, you see how and what it has done to his family life and how hard he is trying to fight back against all the damage that has been done to him emotionally and mentally.

“So, that journey is something that was explored in Season 3, and it was a blast. I had a lot of fun. A lot of deep stuff and personal stuff that I had a lot of fun doing.

Tulsa King Season 2 and Beyond

Discussing Tulsa King, Beach emphasizes the importance of developing characters around the central figure. “Although this is Sly’s show, once you establish a character, you need to flesh out those in his orbit. That will be happening this season.”

He highlighted the tension between Mark and Dwight as they vie for influence over Tyson. Mark will resurface, fighting for Tyson’s future against Dwight, pulling him between what each offers. It’s about questioning what is good and evil.

“Is it evil if you can’t see it,” he wondered, noting that men see the flash and flare of someone like Dwight flashing his money around and get caught in the excitement.

“There is a really good relationship that we started in Season 1 that goes even further here in Season 2 and how that relationship is affected by his choice to get into bed with the gangster.

“Like a hardened criminal who has been in prison for 25 years for murder, the only problem is that the relationship between the family steps up in Season 3, big time.”

Dream Collaborations

When asked about future collaborations, Beach expressed his admiration for Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise. “Meryl Streep has been one of my favorites for years. Tom Cruise is so committed to the work. I remember when he jumped between buildings and actually broke his ankle — he gives it his all.”

Related: Looking Back On The 100:

Michael Beach Shares His Approach To Pike, His Favorite Memories, and More!

Michael Beach’s dedication, versatility, and insightful approach to his roles make him a standout in the entertainment industry. Whether playing a cop, a father, or a walrus, he brings depth and authenticity to every character, leaving a lasting impact on audiences.

You can catch Beach airing weekly on Mayor of Kingstown on Paramount+, in the first season of Tulsa King on Paramount+ (and coming soon to CBS!), and Season 2 premiering this September.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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