Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The Cold War at Home: Keri Russell Spies for Russia and Does Mom Duty on Season Two of The Americans

In the second season of The Americans, the stakes are higher, the wigs shaggier, and the sex more dangerous: The FX drama’s 2013 pilot first introduced Keri Russell’s character, Elizabeth Jennings—a KGB spy living undercover in the U.S. during the Cold War—with a scene in which she poses as a prostitute and performs oral sex on an FBI agent from whom she steals intel. But early in the season-two premiere, an even more daring (especially for basic cable) sexual act between Jennings and her husband, Philip (Matthew Rhys), is cut short when their teenage daughter interrupts. “Paige is certainly affected by it,” says Russell, laughing. “She’ll never, ever, open a closed door again.”

At least Paige’s permanent scarring helped lay some thematic groundwork: “This season is all about their family,” says Russell. “Last year was about [Elizabeth and Philip’s] marriage. But they are a unified front now, and they’ll be dealing with the things everyday parents do.” Plus the usual espionage stuff: “Getting shot at the end of last season has shaken Elizabeth on a massive level. She’s not exactly cutting it as a spy. But does it shake her feeling about the cause? I think she’s still pretty into it. Elizabeth is hard-core.”

Between seasons, Russell reunited with director Matt Reeves—who helped launch her career when he co-created TV’s Felicity in 1998—to play a doctor in this summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. “I’m not really summer-blockbuster-movie material. My boobs aren’t big enough for that,” she says. “When Matt called, I was like, ‘You mean I’d be doing these emotional scenes with grown men in unitards pretending to be apes?’ But Andy Serkis [who plays lead ape Caesar] and I had so many gut-wrenching crying scenes. The unitards weren’t a problem.”


Categories The Americans

2×01 – Comrades Press Release

Elizabeth comes back from her injury and straight into what should have been a routine mission – but it goes awry, leaving her and Philip in fear not only for themselves but for their whole network… and family. Paige’s suspicions have only grown in her mother’s absence. Meanwhile, Stan continues to fall for the Russian agent who has started to play him.

Categories The Americans

The Americans Set Visit and Lunch with Keri Russell

Explore more lots supporting: Adrienne Shelly Foundation, Inc.

Visit the set of the acclaimed FX Network’s television show The Americans and have lunch on set with its star, award-winning actress Keri Russell.

Keri’s been wowing television and movie audiences for years. She was hugely popular in the TV show Felicity. Her hit films include Mission Impossible III, August Rush, Bedtime Stories and Adrienne Shelly’s Waitress. She is the voice of Wonder Woman in DC Comics animated film, where she reunited with her Waitress co-star Nathan Fillion. She recently appeared in the television series Running Wilde, the films Extraordinary Measures, Goats, Dark Skies and Austenland, and will be seen next in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Donated By: Keri Russell


Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

‘The Americans’ season 2: Six scoops on the new season

The Americans returns Feb. 26, and during a panel Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour, the cast and producers teased what the season has in store for TV’s Russian spy couple next door.

This season will turn the focus back on the family.
“We felt like [season 1] had been so focused on the marriage,” says EP Joe Weisberg, “and the natural place to go next was the family.” Particularly with Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth’s (Keri Russell) marriage on more solid ground, they wanted to move on to exploring “the next point of fracture” — the family unit.

Paige’s curiosity continues
At the end of the first season, the Jennings’ teenage daughter started to show signs of increasing curiosity about her parents and their ongoings, and this season, questions will start being asked and “it’s not going to go great,” says EP Joel Fields. “Teenagers are hard,” adds Weisberg. “They’re all tough on mom and dad.”

Margo Martindale returns
The actress will be back for several episodes this season as KGB handler Claudia. The fate of her CBS comedy The Millers will not determine what comes next for that character, as The Americans will be done filming the second season in March — well before broadcast network renewals are typically announced. That said, if Martindale finds herself available full time and the show gets a third season, “It’s hard to argue with more Margo Martindale,” says Fields. “We love that character and we love her.”

Martha will get a backbone this season!
Martha’s faux-marriage with Philip will actually serve to strengthen the character, who is widely thought of as insecure, the producers said. “Who she was was extremely lonely and extremely vulnerable and she’s less lonely this season, so it’s allowing her to grow,” says Weisberg. “It’s a law of unintended consequences,” adds Fields.

There’s a racy scene in the premiere
Without giving away too much, a racy scene in the season premiere had critics buzzing. According to Weisberg, the purpose was to depict a show of love between Philip and Elizabeth that was “powerful, shocking, and funny.” You’ll see.

Stan is in a power struggle.
“He’s got such an interesting season coming up,” says Weisberg. “Nina is getting ahead of him. You see that at the end of the first season, and that’s such an interesting place for him to be in and so true and so real for what happens to people when you’re playing this back-and-forth game. People who are smart and good can have people get ahead of them because they are also smart and good at what they do too.” And while Stan is a man who is used to a certain amount of pressure, what it does to him will be “great” to watch, he says.

BONUS BURNING QUESTION: Is the show ever heading to Russia?
The producers said they have “half-joked” about having a season that takes place in Russia, later admitting that such a task would require heaps of funding. But, they said, “I think we’re going to eventually have some storylines there,” teases Weisberg. In fact, he added, there will, like season 1, be some material set in Russia. But filming in the country remains on their to-do. “It would basically be a budget question,” he said.


Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

Press Tour: More sexy spy action in ‘The Americans’ season 2

When “The Americans” returns for season 2 next month on FX, Russian spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings will commit to giving their fake marriage and real go, but that doesn’t mean their problems are over.

“We saw the first season very much as about the marriage,” creator and executive producer Joe Weisberg says at TCA’s Winter press tour. “At the end of the season, Elizabeth tells Philip to come home and after that there’s a sense they’re going to be solid and more together. [In season two] we’re going to see how this family struggles and tries to hold it together.”

One big factor that fuels the fire: teen daughter Paige (Holly Taylor), who started to get suspicious about her parents’ strange behavior at the end of season 1 and continues to snoop around as the new season opens. Continue reading Press Tour: More sexy spy action in ‘The Americans’ season 2