Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The Americans: Keri Russell on Finally Unraveling Elizabeth Jennings

Ahead of the Emmys—Keri Russell’s last chance to win the award for The Americans—the actress tells Vanity Fair about her tough-as-nails KGB spy, and how her own mothering skills match up.

The Americans ended its Emmy-nominated, six-season run this past May. But Keri Russell still jokes that she isn’t sure why creator Joe Weisberg, a former CIA officer, cast her as the drama’s female lead. After all, Elizabeth Jennings is an ice-cold KGB spy who has no qualms about killing countless men and bedding others for intel.

“I thought Elizabeth should be, kind of, Brigitte Nielsen—this cool, sexy, spy lady,” Russell recently told Vanity Fair, deadpanning, “I’m pretty much afraid to answer my phone. My friend Mandy, who was on Felicity with me, used to call me and, after I’d say, ‘Hello,’ she’d say, ‘Why do you sound so afraid? You know it’s me calling!’”

Russell has a point—her first acting role was on the Mickey Mouse Club. Before The Americans, Russell was best known for playing the wholesome title character on WB’s college drama Felicity. When the show premiered in 1998, The New York Times noted in its review that Russell was “immensely likable” as a character “who struggles to stand up for herself.” Fifteen years later, playing Elizabeth Jennings in the series premiere of The Americans, Russell rammed the head of her rapist through a wall during a full-contact fight that left him bloody and struggling for breath. Continue reading The Americans: Keri Russell on Finally Unraveling Elizabeth Jennings

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

Keri Russell Talks End Of ‘The Americans’ And Reuniting With J.J. Abrams In ‘Star Wars Episode IX’

Another Emmy hopeful this year is FX’s critical favorite The Americans, which despite consistent acclaim has had a wildly inconsistent ride at the Emmys over its six seasons. For its final turn at bat in this season, it received just four nominations, by far the lowest overall total of any of the seven nominees for Best Drama Series, yet it recently got a big boost just as Emmy voting got underway whenthe Television Critics Association’s TCA Awards recognized it as the top Drama Series (its third such accolade from TCA) and Drama Series Actress Keri Russell. It had been nominated for the Best Drama Series Emmy only once before, in 2016, and really didn’t get serious recognition from the TV Academy until it hit its fourth season. To date its only two wins are both for Margo Martindale in the supporting race.

The series has had a really odd trajectory but shouldn’t be counted out for this one last turn. Voters are aware that it’s now or never, and that could help if the favorites in the Drama Series category, past winners The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones, cancel each other out and let an underdog like Americans prevail. It has proved to be a slow, steady riser with both its stars, Matthew Rhys and Russell, finally getting into the game with consecutive nominations in the final three seasons, after being ignored for the first three. That’s not the way Emmys usually work, to say the least, but it also could indicate that this is a show posed to further break conventional rules by having a big Emmy night on September 17 as a way to say goodbye to a great series about Russian spies living in our midst that has only grown in its timeliness and importance.

I hopped on the phone this week with Russell, who was just coming from the airport after arriving back from London where she is shooting Star Wars: Episode IX. I congratulated her on the new Emmy recognition, which she was very excited about, especially considering the show’s unusual path. “I know, it’s funny. Maybe it speaks to how much good stuff there is on TV right now, ” she said. “There must be hundreds of shows on television now, and there’s really good stuff. There’s good actors working on TV because it’s such a cool medium, especially in cable. So I don’t know. The show did have an unusual trajectory, but you know, ‘What a fun way to go out’ is all I have to say about it. It’s like, who cares about winning? It is just so fun to end like this and still be nominated and recognized. It’s ideal. It’s exactly what you’d want after six years of giving your life to this story. It’s the best way to go out.”
Continue reading Keri Russell Talks End Of ‘The Americans’ And Reuniting With J.J. Abrams In ‘Star Wars Episode IX’

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

Emmys: Will Elisabeth Moss or Keri Russell Take the Lead Drama Actress Trophy?

No Emmy category demonstrates the wealth of material on TV these days better than lead actress in a drama. The nominees run the gamut and voters have a near-impossible choice of parsing standout performances from actresses working at the top of their game in anything but cookie-cutter roles. In a field this competitive, any one of the nominees could pull it out because voting is likely to be dispersed. But as the clock ticks down to final voting, frontrunner status goes to Elisabeth Moss and Keri Russell.

The Case for Keri Russell
Keri Russell’s work in the final season of FX’s “The Americans” was the culmination of a six-season slow burn of a tightly wound woman coming to grips with the crumbling of her world. Voters may opt to reward Russell’s body of work in the critical darling that has oddly never been a big Emmy magnet. From the start, Russell’s Elizabeth Jennings defied convention as the harder, tougher and more ruthless spouse in a sham marriage for espionage purposes that gradually evolved into love, under the most trying of circumstances. A triumph for Russell would also be a hat-tip to the talent and maturation of an actress who got her start while still in her teens.

Source: https://variety.com/

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

Emmys: Keri Russell on Nearly Missing the Opening of Last Year’s Show, “Exhaustion” of Ending ‘The Americans’

The best drama actress nominee reveals why she can’t say anything about her role in the next ‘Star Wars’ film.
Earlier this month Keri Russell scored her third best drama actress Emmy nomination for her role as Elizabeth Jennings in FX’s The Americans.

While she’s yet to win a primetime TV trophy for her work in the Cold War drama, which aired its sixth and final season earlier this year, Russell has already had a memorable Emmys experience: She nearly missed the opening of last year’s show after her driver went to the wrong location.

“I had to jump out of the car and walk in heels to this back area, which was like a parking lot, and then there were like five minutes until the show started,” she explains. “Someone finally in a golf cart did let us in.”

While that’s an extreme example, Russell says attending the awards show is often a “high-stress situation.”

“It’s such a double-edged sword because the whole idea is so fun, like as a girl, of getting dressed up and going with my guy. But in reality, it’s not really as fun as you wish it was,” she says. “I think my goal this time would just be to have as much fun as possible. Don’t worry about being nervous. Don’t worry about how you look, which is impossible. Try to have fun and enjoy the moment.”

And she does have a suggestion on how to make it easier for herself others in attendance at the Emmys to enjoy themselves: “I wish someone on the red carpet would just pass out beer.”

Russell spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the challenges of The Americans’ final season, how her work as a tough Russian spy will affect her career going forward and why she can’t even explain how her upcoming role in Star Wars: Episode IX came about. Continue reading Emmys: Keri Russell on Nearly Missing the Opening of Last Year’s Show, “Exhaustion” of Ending ‘The Americans’

Categories The Americans

The Americans and Star Keri Russell Win Top TCA Awards

“The Americans” and its star Keri Russell took home three coveted trophies from the 2018 Television Critics Assn. Awards.

The FX spy drama won outstanding achievement in drama and program of the year, while Russell claimed individual achievement in drama.

These three awards helped the cabler earn the most awards of any network — for the third consecutive year. Overall, FX won four awards. The fourth was for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” which won outstanding achievement in movies and miniseries.

More than 200 professional television critics, journalists and members of the Television Critics Assn. (TCA) voted in the 13 categories at the 34th annual awards.

Individual Achievement in Drama: Keri Russell (“The Americans,” FX)
Outstanding Achievement in Drama: “The Americans” (FX)

Source: https://variety.com/

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

‘The Americans’ Fans, Be Calm: Keri Russell Is Still on Track to Win Her First Emmy

Much like the heartbreaking but hopeful finale, “Americans” fans are feeling a lot of mixed emotions post-Emmy nominations. On the positive side of things, the FX drama snagged key nods for Outstanding Drama Series, and its two leads — Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell — snagged their third nominations in a row, for Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Drama Series, respectively.

Co-showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg even landed a critical writing nod, but that was it. Noah Emmerich, Margo Martindale, Holly Taylor, director Chris Long, and so many others went home empty-handed, as “The Americans” snagged just four nominations in 2018; that’s the same as it pulled in a year ago, when it missed out on Outstanding Drama Series, and one nod below its highest ever (five in 2016).

Many prognosticators were predicting more. In its final year, coming off rave reviews and a buzzy series finale, some thought “The Americans” could benefit from the final season bump (and years of snubs) to see a jump from four or five nominations to nine or 10. That didn’t happen, and worse still, it has the lowest number of nominations of the series up for Best Drama: “Game of Thrones” (22), “Westworld” (21), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (20), “The Crown” (13), “Stranger Things” (12), “This Is Us” (8), “The Americans”… (4).

But fear not, comrades. Best Drama Series may be out of reach — maybe — but there’s still hope for the most important Emmy race of 2018: Keri Russell vs. the world. Ever since “The Americans” earned its first major nominations, the show has pacing with another perennial-snubee-turned-winner: “Friday Night Lights.” So if that precedent holds up, Keri Russell is walking away with the gold… and the show would take home one more trophy, too.

With recognition in Drama Series, writing, and acting categories, “The Americans” hasn’t been ignored by the TV Academy. They may still feel obligated to reward the series after years of snubs, and Keri Russell seems like the choice — from outsiders and insiders — if only one person is going to walk away with a trophy.

The only chink in the armor is an issue that shouldn’t be an issue — likability; specifically, the character’s likability. Kyle Chandler played a beloved father, husband, and mentor, while Russell’s Elizabeth Jennings has seen a wave of backlash over the years because of a few cold-blooded choices. Even Russell has said in the past that Elizabeth could be a tough character to love, so some voters may prefer to cast votes for an unabashed feminist icon (such as Elisabeth Moss’ role in “The Handmaid’s Tale”).

Still, Moss already got her long-awaited Emmy last year. Now it’s time to give the other neglected, out-of-this-world-great actress her due. And if Russell wins, that ups the odds for “The Americans” in one more category, too: In “Friday Night Lights’” final year, not only did Kyle Chandler win, but so did series showrunner Jason Katims. So as long as voters follow along with the “Friday Night Lights” precedent, Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg should conquer Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series and join Russell in the winners’ circle.

Have hope, comrades. The war may be lost, but battles can be won.

Source: https://www.indiewire.com/

Categories The Americans

Emmy Nominations Announced

Nominations for the 2018 Emmy Awards were announced Thursday morning and we have such a great news. Keri, Matthew and The Americans were nominated.

The 70th annual Primetime Emmys are set to air on NBC on Sunday, Sept. 17 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che are set to host.