Chicago is Mayor Tom Kane's town. Portrayed with a commanding ferocity and effortless charisma by Kelsey Grammer, Kane plays the politics game better than anyone, sacrificing family and friends to retain his power on the Starz drama "Boss." That's despite suffering from the neurological disease Lewy body dementia, though his condition is worsening as Season 2 picks up on Friday.
"Tom has discovered there are gaps in his life that maybe he would like to fill in, or at least try to," Grammer says. "He realizes that he's not a fully realized human being and only has so many avenues to explore to actually make that different; one being his [estranged] daughter, and even his [emotionally detached] wife."
Despite delivering a withering, onscreen stare that real-life Chicago cops have told Grammer "is just like Mayor Daley" and Kane's penchant for dirty deeds, the actor insists "there is some humanity available to us to be explored" in the mayor.
Of course, the newspaper editor looking to expose Kane's corruption may not think so -- but that's what makes this peek at backroom politics so dangerously appealing.
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Meet the new players in the Chicago power scene working with Mayor Kane in Season 2:
Sanaa Lathan as Mona Fredricks: “Mona is a very smart, politically savvy woman who grew up on the South Side of Chicago,” Lathan says. “She grew up in a community that was very disenfranchised. She pursued politics to be an advocate for those people in that community. Kane is really the only one who can do something about [the redevelopment of the neighborhood], so when she has the opportunity to work with him, she takes it.”
Jonathan Groff as Ian Todd: “Ian Todd is one of the new employees of Mayor Kane,” explains Groff. “Very ambitious, very smart, but very green. [He is] trying to get as close to Mayor Kane as he possibly can … [while] holding onto deep, dark secrets at the same time.”
Tip “T.I.” Harris as Trey Rogers: “Trey is a very ambitious young man who comes from a hostile, hazardous environment, but he has plans to [expand] his influence into politics,” Harris says. “He feels that he could do just as good of a job as they can, and he has an interesting approach to it.”