Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The Delicate Fury of Keri Russell on The Americans

When we first meet Elizabeth Jennings — the highly trained Russian spy hiding under the cover of a perfect American family with her husband, Philip (Matthew Rhys) — she is unlike herself. At a loud bar, over a cocktail, she works a government agent several notches below her cunning and spiky beauty. She wears a leather bustier and a flirty, salacious demeanor, her chestnut tresses hidden under a full platinum blonde bob. This first scene has the sort of slinky sexiness and allure I’ve come to expect of an espionage drama. As The Americans continued, soon to finish with its currently airing sixth season, it has leaned as far away as possible from the glossy pleasures you’d expect from its first scene into something wholly harder to shake. As Emily Nussbaum wrote in The New Yorker, “Dread is its specialty and also its curse; it’s what makes The Americans at once a must-watch and a hard sell.” Continue reading The Delicate Fury of Keri Russell on The Americans

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The Americans finale recap: The truth comes out — shattering the Jennings family

“His life was full of loneliness.”

That’s what Claudia told Paige in the second episode of The Americans’ final season — titled “Tchaikovsky” — when she played a record of the Russian composer. And those words turned out to be hauntingly true as the series reached its conclusion tonight.

The final episode was ironically named “START,” after the nuclear arms treaty that would ultimately be signed by the Soviet Union and the United States, although the summit was not addressed in the show. Instead, we saw Philip and Elizabeth’s flight from everything they’ve known, everything they’ve built. They lost one child. Then both of them.

And yet, in the last image of them together, looking at the cityscape of Moscow, what were they doing except starting over, truly? They were home. But they were strangers. They were together. But their shared life was now hollowed out, filled with loneliness.

To American viewers, rooting for Philip and Elizabeth had the thrill of cheering for the bad guy, but they always believed they were doing the right thing, even when that meant doing unsavory things. Their goal, their ideals, their pledge, was noble. And in the end, by betraying The Center and protecting Gorbachev, they fulfilled their promise. Continue reading The Americans finale recap: The truth comes out — shattering the Jennings family

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

‘The Americans’ Bosses Break Down “Tragic” Series Finale

Showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg speak to The Hollywood Reporter about the big moments in the 90-minute episode as FX’s Cold War spy drama comes to an end.
[This story contains spoilers from the series finale of The Americans]

Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) left the United States and returned to their native Russia in the series finale of The Americans on Wednesday night.

But in a tragic twist, the Russian spies, who’d spent years posing as an American couple living outside of Washington, D.C., had to leave their children behind. The pair early on made the decision to let their son, Henry (Keidrich Sellati), who didn’t know his parents’ true identities, stay in the U.S. But eldest child Paige (Holly Taylor), who had entered the family business this season, spying alongside her mom, was set to make the trip with her parents before she suddenly left the train they were on. The moment was a shocking one for Elizabeth, who throws herself at the window of the train when she sees Paige still on the platform as the train pulls out of the station, and Philip. Continue reading ‘The Americans’ Bosses Break Down “Tragic” Series Finale

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The End of The Americans: Keri Russell’s Last Stand

After six years and 75 episodes, The Americans has wrapped its final chapter. Ever. This past season has been a tour de force of acting and pitch-perfect narrative arcs—cementing The Americans as one of the most important prestige television shows of our generation. And it all comes down to two people: real-life couple Keri Russell (Elizabeth Jennings) and Matthew Rhys (Philip Jennings).

Continue reading The End of The Americans: Keri Russell’s Last Stand

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

What Happens Now To The Spies Next Door?: ‘The Americans’ EPs On Mindblowing Series Finale

Spoiler Alert: The following postmortem contains details about tonight’s series finale of The Americans on FX Continue reading What Happens Now To The Spies Next Door?: ‘The Americans’ EPs On Mindblowing Series Finale

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

‘The Americans’ Bosses on Pivotal Series Finale Scene As Exploration of ‘Six Seasons’ Worth of a Real Relationship’

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the series finale of “The Americans” that aired May 30. Continue reading ‘The Americans’ Bosses on Pivotal Series Finale Scene As Exploration of ‘Six Seasons’ Worth of a Real Relationship’

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The Americans: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Talk “Devastating” Ending

The two stars of the FX spy drama open up about the show’s gut-wrenching twist was the perfect end.
The Americans completed its final mission on Wednesday night as the FX drama came to a close after six seasons on the air.

In true form, the spy thriller delivered a gut-punch near the end of the episode when Elizabeth and Philip’s (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) daughter Paige, played by Holly Taylor, chose to not follow her parents to Russia, separating them for what could be forever.

“I loved the way the guys wrote the ending,” Russell tells The Hollywood Reporter, adding that she doesn’t think her character had any idea that Paige was capable of making that decision. “And I think that’s why it’s so devastating. You just go into complete numbness because it’s so unbelievable and just incredibly painful, heartbreakingly so.” Continue reading The Americans: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Talk “Devastating” Ending

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

Keri Russell chats the sixth and final season

FX Networks’s THE AMERICANS comes to a conclusion after six seasons on Wednesday, May 30. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, married KGB spies, with two children, posing as ordinary Americans in Reagan-era U.S.A. Russell, who won a Golden Globe and was twice nominated for Emmys for her work as Elizabeth, reminisces about her time with the series.

ASSIGNMENT X: Do you have a favorite episode or scene from your time on THE AMERICANS?

KERI RUSSELL: My favorite scenes are always the emotional marriage scenes, always, just because that’s the stuff I’m most interested in. But some highlights – I love, still, beating up Margo Martindale [who plays Claudia, Elizabeth and Philip’s KGB handler], just because it was so wild. People on the street, like tough construction guys, are still saying to me, “Yo, you really kicked that lady’s ass.” And I just think that’s so funny. But I love the emotional big fights we have. There are so many moments in this season, it’s so great.

AX: What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve learned in working on THE AMERICANS?

RUSSELL: Well, to be honest, just learning about some of the Russian history in the war [WWII]. As Americans, we don’t learn any of that. Even the amount of people, the amount of soldiers, that the Russians lost compared to Americans in World War II, is devastating. It was something over fifteen million. And our numbers were something like four hundred thousand. It’s unbelievable. There’s such a history. And we don’t ever learn that. So parts of that were interesting. Continue reading Keri Russell chats the sixth and final season