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Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys talk about playing Soviet spies in ‘The Americans’ at the TCA Winter Press tour

Felicity, she ain’t.

For her TV return, Keri Russell stars as Elizabeth Jennings, a dedicated Soviet spy pretending to be a happily married American suburban housewife in The Americans, an ’80s-set FX series debuting Jan. 30. With her faux-husband Phillip, played by Brothers & Sisters star Matthew Rhys, she will kidnap, kill and offer her sexual favors, all to further the interests of the Soviet Union.

And she’s not just a commie spy, which would be change enough from the good girl she played in Felicity. She’s also an action hero. In the pilot, she kicks some guy so hard, his head goes through the wall.

“It was terrible to do. …There’s no pad, I’m kicking his head into the wall. He grabbed me and said ‘Do it and do it right, because if you mess it up, we’re going to have to do it again, and then I’m going to be (angry).’ ”

Posing as an American, of course, is nothing new for Rhys, a Welsh actor who has often played American characters. What he has learned about Americans, he says, is that we’re both welcoming and “incredibly honest” in the way we share how we feel.

“In day-to-day activity, there’s an incredible emotional articulateness that you don’t find in Britain … that’s lacking in the British system. That and a lack of therapy.”


Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

23 TV Shows We’re Tuning In For

The Americans
Premiere date: Jan. 30
Stars: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich
What it’s about: Part family drama, part spy thriller, lots of 1980s clothes as Russell and Rhys play married KGB spies in America during the Reagan era. ”The show has such a weird perspective because the whole concept is told from the ‘other side,”’ says creator Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies). ”We think of the KGB as the enemy but on this show the enemy is the good guys. It changes how you come at the stories and the emotion. But at the end of the day, you’re watching a marriage that’s like any other marriage, albeit in a crazy situation.


Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans TV Show

New TV 2013: Mid-Season premiere watch list and hot picks

The Americans (FX)

You know how US TV always turns Russians into terrorists? Well, prepare to feel a hint of sorrow for two Russians sleeper agents turned real Americans in FX’s latest hour-long drama. The Americans stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two seemingly ordinary American parents. They have two kids and a house with a white-picket fence. It would be the American dream, if only they were Americans.

The series jumps back-and-forth between the present, the 80s Reagan years, and the 60s, where Philip and Elizabeth were trained to be KGB operatives. While the small bits of action sequences could use an upgrade, the series is all about the internal struggle of this seemingly normal American family. Philip and Elizabeth have been living in America for almost 20 years, as such they have become the people they once were only pretending to be. They remain loyal to their mother Russia (they even call it the Motherland), but their children have been raised American. When FBI agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) moves in next door, the couple must decide where their true allegiances lie.

Although the Pilot started with a cluttered action sequence, I was full invested in this new series about twenty minutes in. Russell and Rhys do an amazing job as two conflicted spies, torn between family and country. There are also some comedic moments in Episode 2, “The Clock,” as well as spy cos-play throughout.

Premieres: Wednesday, January 30 at 10PM


Categories Articles & Interviews

Austenland at The 2013 Sundance Film Festival

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival on Friday announced the films coming to Peery’s Egyptian Theater.

Ogden can look forward to 13 films. Here’s the lineup, with film descriptions by Sundance.

• “Austenland,” 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21. Keri Russell stars as an obsessed fan of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy. She heads to Austenland for an immersive vacation to eschew all things modern, to search for classical love.

For more information, visit


Categories Articles & Interviews

FX’s ‘The Americans’ Studio Flooded by Hurricane Sandy; Shooting Delayed

Eastern Effects, a Brooklyn-based studio that is home to the upcoming FX spy show “The Americans,” was damaged by flooding from Hurricane Sandy, TheWrap has learned.

Shooting on the show, which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as KGB agents in 1980s Washington, D.C., was scheduled to begin next Tuesday, but because of the damage to sets it has been delayed until Nov. 26, according to two individuals familiar with the production said.

Despite the proximity of a notoriously polluted canal, initial testing determined the studio was not exposed to raw sewage or other contaminants.

One set was damaged after a soundstage was flooded with six inches of water, one individual close to the production said. The network declined to comment.

Crew members became concerned about safety because Eastern Effects is located near the Gowanus Canal, which is considered one of the country’s most contaminated bodies of water. Continue reading FX’s ‘The Americans’ Studio Flooded by Hurricane Sandy; Shooting Delayed

Categories Articles & Interviews

MIPCOM 2012: FX Drama ‘The Americans’ Wows Audiences

The new spy drama, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, left attendees enthralled by the fast-paced, well-acted and beautifully scored episode of 75 minutes.

The Americans — as in a new drama series for cabler FX Stateside — turned the once staid, “suit”-saturated Mipcom TV trade show into a mini Cannes Film Festival moment Monday night.

The pilot episode had enough sex, action, intrigue and sophisticated production values to make attendees think they were watching some European art film – except that this one was, despite the twists, mostly understandable.

The Grand Auditorium in the Cannes Palais was an SRO affair as TV buyers and other attendees sat seemingly enthralled by the fast-paced, well-acted and beautifully scored episode, which came in at 75 minutes or so. The stars too – Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys — were ushered out afterwards, just as at festival screenings.

“We’re not handing out a Palme d’Or tonight, but we are here to celebrate the very best in world television,” Reed Midem TV topper Laurine Garaude told the assembled before the screening. Continue reading MIPCOM 2012: FX Drama ‘The Americans’ Wows Audiences

Categories Articles & Interviews

Interview with The Americans’ Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys: Living a Lie

The MIPCOM 2012 World Premiere TV Screening is The Americans, a new 13-part drama series for FX from Fox Television Studios (FTVS). The star-studded event takes place on Monday October 8, at 18.30 — after which stars of the show will walk the red carpet to the MIPCOM Opening Party at the Martinez.

The Americans centres around arranged marriage between two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington DC shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. Phillip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Kerri Russell) have two children who know nothing about their parents’ true identity, and while the marriage is merely a cover, the relationship grows more real by the day. Continue reading Interview with The Americans’ Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys: Living a Lie

Categories Articles & Interviews

TBI Interview: The Americans

The Americans is an upcoming spy drama for US cable network FX. The show, which stars Brothers and Sisters’ Matthew Rhys and Felicity’s Keri Russell, is Fox’s hot cable drama for MIPCOM, where the first episode will premiere.

Spy dramas are very on trend right now so what’s the main difference between The Americans and rival espionage series? The Americans is the only one written by a former spy. It was created by former CIA agent turned television writer Joe Weisberg and follows two Russian spies placed in deep cover in Washington, DC during Ronald Reagan’s 1980s. The show is executive produced by Justified’s Graham Yost. Continue reading TBI Interview: The Americans

Categories Articles & Interviews

Keri Russell Is Coming Back to TV! FX Orders The Americans

Hey, Felicity fans, rejoice!

It’s official: All three members of one of TV’s greatest love triangles (we dare you to say otherwise!) are coming back to TV: Scott Speedman (in ABC’s Last Resort), Scott Foley (in Fox’s The Goodwin Games), and now, Keri Russell. FX has picked up to series The Americans, a drama also starring Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters) and Noah Emmerich.

This news comes a week after FX president John Landgraf told critics at the TCAs that the pilot would very likely be picked up to series. We love a man who stays true to his word.

The Americans takes place in Washington, D.C., right after Ronald Reagan is elected president and revolves around two KGB spies, Phillip (Rhys) and Elizabeth (Russell), posing as an American married couple with two children. Their arranged marriage evolves into a genuinely loving relationship as they navigate the escalation of the Cold War, but their kids know nothing about Phillip and Elizabeth’s true identity. Adding another complication to the “happy” family is their neighbor Stan (Emmerich), a counter-intelligence FBI agent.

“We’re proud to welcome The Americans, a taut series that crackles with incredible performances rooted in character perspectives never explored on a U.S. television series, to FX’s line up of quality dramas,” Landgraf says in a statement. The Americans, which starts production in October, is set to premiere in early 2013.

What’s your initial take on The Americans? Are you as excited as we are about Keri Russell’s coming back to TV?


Categories Articles & Interviews

Keri Russell at Home

The actress and her husband take a hands-on approach to creating the brownstone of their dreams. Keri Russell shows off her light-filled Brooklyn brownstone in the June issue of Elle Décor.

When Keri Russell first blurted out the three little words that a smitten Shane Deary wanted to hear, it wasn’t while embracing under a moonlit sky or walking hand in hand on a stretch of sandy beach. Panicked by the smell of gas in her recently purchased Manhattan co-op, a duplex wreck in a West Village brownstone, she dialed up Deary. “He appeared in ten seconds flat, single-handedly pulled the gigantic stove away from the wall, and saved me from shutting off the entire building’s gas supply,” Russell remembers.

Continue reading Keri Russell at Home