Vera the Stripper in 'Mayor of Kingstown'
Source: Paramount+

The First Episode of 'Mayor of Kingstown' Could Mark the Beginnings of a Star

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Nov. 16 2021, Published 3:45 p.m. ET

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the first episode of Mayor of Kingstown.

Of all the new series to come out in the fall 2021 season, Mayor of Kingstown is by far the grittiest. Featuring Marvel man Jeremy Renner as leading man Mike McLusky, the Paramount Plus series explores a fictional Michigan town with seven prisons. Kingstown centers around the tensions between classes, felons, guards, and law enforcement.

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At the heart of it all are Mike and his brother, Mitch (Kyle Chandler), the mayor of the crime-ridden city. In the first episode, they meet a stripper, Vera Sunter. Most stripper characters in Hollywood projects often become two-dimensional caricatures (Hustlers aside), so Vera is a welcome refreshment. But who plays Vera and will she stick around in Mayor of Kingstown?

McLusky brothers in 'Mayor of Kingstown'
Source: Paramount+

McLusky brothers in 'Mayor of Kingstown'

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Who is the stripper in 'Mayor of Kingstown'? Vera has a major role in the first episode.

A lot happens in the first episode of Mayor of Kingstown — in addition to meeting the characters and getting a feel for the setting of Kingstown, we’re also taken to the depths of humanity. When a stripper, Vera Sunter, approaches Mike and Mitch with a job, they can’t turn her down.

Her husband, Milo, is a criminal ringleader who has some sort of deal with the McLusky brothers. So Vera brings the brothers a map, which they make a copy of, that will lead them to a satchel of $200,000 that Milo wants.

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This is, of course, not legal. But, in Kingstown, people (including the mayor of the town) will do anything to make ends meet. However, as they work with Vera, things don’t really work for her.

A random man in the streets takes a liking to Vera, stalks her to her strip club, and follows her home. Once there, the man (named Alberto) sexually assaults Vera, but the situation escalates until Alberto kills Vera and takes her copy of the map, learning of the loot.

Alberto in 'Mayor of Kingstown'
Source: Paramount+

Alberto in 'Mayor of Kingstown'

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That might be it for Vera, but she is the impetus to a whole slew of events that result in the biggest twist of the premiere episode of Mayor of Kingstown. Plus, we still don’t know too much about Mike and Milo’s relationship. If the series decides to utilize a flashback device, we could definitely see more of her that way, although it’s not super likely.

Elizaveta Neretin is the actress behind Vera, the stripper, in ‘Mayor of Kingstown.’

Although she’s relatively new on the scene, Elizaveta Neretin portrays Vera, the stripper, in Mayor of Kingstown. Some people might also recognize Elizaveta as Maria Volkova from The Flash.

Per her IMDb, she's been in various television episodes and shorts. Could her time as Vera kick off more projects for Elizaveta? It’s definitely possible.

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According to her bio on IMDb, Elizaveta was born in Ukraine and moved to Montreal when she was 14 years old. (We can assume that she speaks Russian and French from her childhood, and we know she learned English later on — being trilingual is no common skill!)

After seven years of post-secondary biology, Elizaveta moved to Vancouver to study and pursue acting. And after that, she started her MFA at Juilliard, the most prestigious drama school in America, and signed to Pacific Arts Management after graduating.

Elizaveta immediately stole our hearts in the first episode of Mayor of Kingstown, and although she will likely not return to the Paramount Plus series, we’re really hoping we’ll see her in more projects going forward.

New episodes of Mayor of Kingstown drop every Sunday on Paramount Plus.

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