The Americans writers’ room debates Russia’s new relevancy: ‘It’s an unwelcome surprise’

As the fifth season of The Americans gets underway, EW pulls back the (iron) curtain on the FX series’ writers’ room. To read the complete roundtable on The Americans, along with clues to season 5 and a list of pop culture essentials covering U.S.-Russian relations, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here now and subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only on EW.

Between American politicians lying about their contacts with Russian envoys, overseas enemies tampering with the U.S. presidential election, and disturbing rumors about “golden showers,” it’s as if the entire country has time-traveled back to the early 1980s. While the Trump administration’s relationship to the Kremlin may not exactly resemble Reagan’s, recent headlines undeniably echo the frosty past.

But for FX’s The Americans, this déjà vu is uncharted territory. Airing its 1984-set fifth season amid real-life stories about Russia’s hand in U.S. politics, the critically acclaimed drama about married Soviet spies living in suburban America has found itself no longer just a thoughtful examination of a bygone era but also a bizarre reflection of the world today.

In February, EW stepped inside the series’ writers’ offices in Brooklyn, New York, where vibrant key art from past seasons, Cold War propaganda posters used on the show, and several (sadly erased) whiteboards cover the walls. Showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields gathered their writers’ room comrades Peter Ackerman, Joshua Brand, Stephen Schiff, and Tracey Scott Wilson for a roundtable interview to delve deep into how they’ve tackled the series’ sudden relevance — and why The Americans‘ themes have always resonated. Continue reading The Americans writers’ room debates Russia’s new relevancy: ‘It’s an unwelcome surprise’

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Keri Russell Opens Up About Parenting With Matthew Rhys: He Only Speaks Welsh to Our ‘Giant’ Son!

Elizabeth and Philip’s home life! Keri Russell opened up about parenting with her longtime love and Americans costar, Matthew Rhys, during an appearance on Live With Kelly on Wednesday, March 8. Watch the video above!

Russell, 40, and the Welsh actor, 42, began dating in 2013 and officially stepped out as a couple at NYC’s Public Theater in April 2014. Us Weekly broke the news in May 2016 that they welcomed their son Sam, now 9 months old.

“He’s a giant,” Russell told Kelly Ripa and guest cohost Christian Slater. “[Matthew] only speaks Welsh to the baby and could be saying anything… I can count, I can do numbers [in Welsh]. Willa, the 5-year-old, speaks the best. When you are little, that is when you should learn, but I know nothing. I blame my parents, I only speak one language.”

The Felicity star also shares son River, 9, and daughter Willa with her ex-husband, Shane Deary. The pair split in December 2013 after nearly seven years of marriage.

Russell and Rhys, who recently guest-starred on a talked-about episode of Girls, reside in Brooklyn, NYC. The couple don’t have any pets (they used to have a cat), but River “has a whole plot” to take in a rodent.

In between rat talk, Russell and Rhys have been working on their wildly acclaimed spy drama. The Americans was renewed for a final two seasons last May. “We have no idea how it ends. I’m surprised every time, even this season I was reading episode 10, 11, 12… They have their own thing going,” Russell said. “I have no idea.” A 13-episode fifth season will air on FX this year and the final 10 episodes will air in 2018.

Source: http://www.usmagazine.com/

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‘The Americans’ premiere recap: ‘Amber Waves’

The Americans begins its fifth season with a pair of new faces: Pasha, a Soviet boy who resents his new life in the United States, and Tuan, a Vietnamese adoptee who is eager to help his new classmate adjust.

They’re both newcomers. Tuan and his family just moved from Michigan, while Pasha and his family have defected from Moscow. He is struggling, not the least of which with the language.

“Okay, understand,” Pasha says. “Speak, not so good.”

The boys take a trip to Tuan’s house, where they meet his parents – an airline pilot and a flight attendant, Mr. and Mrs. Eckert. Finally, we see someone we recognize – Philip and Elizabeth.

At the end of last season, they faced the possibility of giving up their lives as the Jennings family and fleeing back to Russia, since they were unsure if their identities had been compromised by the capture of the bio-weapons operative William.

Now, we see that they have doubled down on the American dream. They have a new mission – and a new family. Pasha doesn’t have much to say to them. That’s okay. He will. Continue reading ‘The Americans’ premiere recap: ‘Amber Waves’

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‘The Americans’ Showrunners Talk Season 5, End Game and U.S.-Russian Relations

“Mostly it’s a bummer for the world. However, close second is that it’s a bummer for the show,” says creator Joe Weisberg of recent headlines about Russia’s relationship with the U.S.
The Americans returns with a new season on Tuesday. But unlike its previous four seasons, this time it’ll air with Russia-U.S. relations in the news headlines.

“Mostly it’s a bummer for the world. However, close second is that it’s a bummer for the show,” says creator Joe Weisberg of Russia’s reported involvement in current U.S. politics. “The environment was just right when we started the show, which was that there was no Soviet Union anymore and nobody was mad at Russia. So it’s much easier to stop de-humanizing them.”

Co-showrunner Joel Fields, however, takes a different approach to the matter. “Frankly, what better time to do a show about humanizing the enemy than a time when we’ve got an enemy,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

THR caught up with the pair behind the FX spy drama starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys just as Weisberg and Fields are juggling the current season with the sixth and finale one. Below, they discuss their end game, how they feel about current political events and what’s next for them after The Americans (hint: they’ll keep working together.) Continue reading ‘The Americans’ Showrunners Talk Season 5, End Game and U.S.-Russian Relations

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