Keri Russell on the Perfect Timing of The Americans Final Season

The star of the FX spy drama dishes on the show’s eerie parallels to modern-day U.S.-Russia relations and the projects she wants to tackle next.
The Americans is gearing up for its sixth and final season, and star Keri Russell thinks the timing is just right.

“It’s always nice to be able to be given the option to go out on a high note instead of at year 15 when they’re running out of storylines,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It will be sad to see it go but the time is right.”

Always a critical darling, the FX drama didn’t break into the Emmys until last year, when it received its first series nomination and nods for stars Russell and Matthew Rhys. Though the series didn’t crack the outstanding drama category this year, the co-stars still landed nominations in their respective acting categories.

Ahead of the Sept. ceremony, THR chatted with Russell about the end of Philip and Elizabeth’s journey, the show’s eerie parallels to modern-day U.S.-Russia relations and the projects she wants to tackle next.
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The Americans Creators On Slower Season 5 Pace & Action-Packed Final Season 6

Following the recently wrapped season 5 of FX’s spy drama The Americans, Creators/Eps Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields hit up Austin’s ATX Television Festival and offered a bit of insight into what’s to come in the sixth and final season.

Though no specific plot details were revealed, Weisberg teased that it will be “action packed and emotional packed.”

“A lot of pieces hanging out there, a lot of stories,”he said, adding, “threads to who these people are and how their lives are gong to end up… we’ve got 10 episodes to pull that all together.”

The duo said they’ve known early on how the show would end. “Our stories sometimes change a lot, we write pretty far ahead and we’ll have ideas written down in pretty extensive thoughtful form earlier on and then some will stay with us,” said Fields. “The ending itself has stuck since middle of season 2”

Season 5 left off with Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) having to put a hold on their plans to return to the Soviet Union with their children. Continue reading The Americans Creators On Slower Season 5 Pace & Action-Packed Final Season 6

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The Americans Look Back at Season 5, Tease Changing Season 6 at FYC Event

It took 20 minutes for the cast and creators of “The Americans” to address the elephant in the room.

For a show that centers around undercover KGB Russian spies in America, bringing up President Donald Trump seemed like an expected segue. During the FX show’s FYC event at the Saban Media Center at the Television Academy on Thursday evening, Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, executive producers and writers for “The Americans,” said they already broke the story for Season 5 right as Trump was getting elected and preparing to enter office.

Fields said when writing, they tried to isolate themselves into a bubble of the 1980s to stick to the show’s setting. However, the current political climate subtly tapped onto their subconscious. Continue reading The Americans Look Back at Season 5, Tease Changing Season 6 at FYC Event

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The Americans finale recap: The Soviet Division

Well, hey, look who dropped by for a visit — it’s Tuan and his parents! Come right in, the Morozovs say, Pasha should be upstairs.

He’s upstairs all right, bleeding out on his bed after an attempted suicide. Tuan told him to do it to get their attention (part of a blackmail scheme to drive the family back to Moscow so the mother can continue her affair with a CIA operative).

Philip and Elizabeth are horrified by Tuan’s actions, and they’ve taken an incredible risk in showing up unannounced for a “casual” visit that ends with Pasha being wheeled into an ambulance in critical condition

An American surveillance agent who sits outside the Morozov home to monitors potential threats helps rescue the boy and comes into close contact with Philip and Elizabeth, who are now (potentially) part of whatever investigation may follow.

The exposure here is immense, but Philip and Elizabeth’s consciences won’t allow them to sit back and let this nightmare play out.

Afterward, Alexei finds his son’s note: “He is sorry… but he cannot live in America.” Continue reading The Americans finale recap: The Soviet Division

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The Americans Showrunners Talk Emotional Season 5 Finale

Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields break down the FX drama’s penultimate finale episode and look back on the recent season: “We thought we were moving pretty fast.”
The fifth season of The Americans ended with a twist on Tuesday.

The jam-packed season finale of the FX spy drama saw Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) seriously contemplate a return to Russia but ultimately decide to stay put. The episode, a rare one co-written by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, was directed by series vet Chris Long.

“We felt it was very emotional,” says Weisberg, looking back on the season. Fields adds that the pair have heard from viewers that the recent episodes have felt slow — but they feel differently about the pacing. “We thought we were moving pretty fast,” he says. “I mean, they got married. Elizabeth told Paige [Holly Taylor] about her rape. Phillip found out about his father. Gabriel [Frank Langella] left. We can hardly keep up. We’re exhausted.”

The series has become more topical this year due to striking parallels between U.S.-Russian relations today and those explored in the show. “If anybody had said a few seasons in that suddenly Russia would be perceived as the greatest threat and possibly one of the greatest enemies that the United States possibly has, we would have said, ‘That’s insane. You are bonkers,'” says Fields. Continue reading The Americans Showrunners Talk Emotional Season 5 Finale

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The Americans producers on finale, and if season 5 was too slow

The Americans showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields take our questions about the season 5 finale and some high points from the acclaimed FX drama’s penultimate season. (Note: Spoiler alert for anybody who is not yet caught up.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So before we can talk candidly: Is Henry here?
JOEL FIELDS: Not to our knowledge, but we have not swept for bugs today!

Whew, okay. First I want to start with something I loved this season: The darkroom scene a few episodes back was amazing. Just terrific editing, the music choice, performances. You made reading a pastor’s diary riveting.
FIELDS: That’s a scary scene to write. If Chris Long isn’t your producing director, it’s especially scary, but we knew we were in good hands. The entire team delivered sensationally. But when you sit down and decide to hang really the entire landing of the episode, and a key transformational moment in your big season and series-long stories, you’re hanging them on the audience reading photographed pages from a diary, it’s a real challenge. I remember sitting right here in The Vault — this is where we do our writing — and we were talking about how that was going to be filmed, and how close you could get to the photos and what you could expect the audience to read. It’s a real testament to the filmmakers on the show how powerfully that landed. And it really captured what we hoped to capture — Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth’s (Keri Russell) experience of reading that with their daughter and catching the landing of those phrases.
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The Americans recap: ‘The World Council of Churches’

They got to Pastor Tim. They tempted him into biting the apple, and he didn’t even know it.

While he and Paige are saying their farewells after a successful afternoon of food-banking, the good reverend tells her he has accepted a job with the World Council of Churches in Argentina, running their interfaith mission.

He has her parents to thank for that career boost, although he doesn’t know it. And he certainly doesn’t realize he’s being moved out of the picture.

“Wow,” Paige says. “Wow.”

“We’re going to miss you, Paige.”

“You and Alice have been really good to me. Meeting you changed everything for me,” she tells him.

“We’re going to keep in touch,” he responds.

She wants to know who will be the next pastor, and he says that’ll happen in the weeks ahead. He has two months before his departure. (If he can keep his mouth shut and not get a dose of polonium tea from the KGB before that.) Continue reading The Americans recap: ‘The World Council of Churches’

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