Keri Russell Talks The Americans: Playing a Complex Character, Awards and the Season 2 Twists

4 Jun

Pre-Emmy season is in full swing and there is an array of group discussions and one to one interviews on offer from outlets such as The Hollywood ReporterVariety and Goldderby. One half of The Americans lead duo spoke to Goldderby this week in a chat that covers the major twist of season 2, what this means for her character Elizabeth going forward next year and what aspects of The Americans she both enjoys and finds most challenging.

The Americans ElizabethThe spy hijinks are fun, but for Keri Russell (and I’d have to agree with her as a viewer) it is the complex marriage/dynamic between Elizabeth and Philip that is what keeps this project fresh and exciting. It goes back to the drama actress roundtable Russell took part in for The Hollywood Reporter and she cites this here saying how in film, the roles for women are often the girlfriend or the mother who are there to say “honey, you can do it” to the leading male figure and this isn’t necessarily the case in television. With The Americans quite often Elizabeth is the tough, stoic one and what might be considered as traditional roles are redefined and reexamined. Coming from the girl who played Felicity, Russell does still find this hilarious.

One of Russell’s favorite moments from this season also provided one of the biggest challenges and it’s when Elizabeth starts to question how Philip is when he’s playing Clark with Martha. What starts out as gentle prodding turns into one of the hardest scenes to watch (and perform) and the aspects Russell likes is the “weird, blurry, complicated stuff and I think that’s when the show is at its best.” With regard to this episode Russell also mentions how incredible Danish director Charlotte Sieling is and scenes portraying Elizabeth’s vulnerability are hard, but they are ultimately the most rewarding.

Wigs come up of course, as does the major twist at the end of the season finale and how this might impact Elizabeth and Philip’s relationship next year. Fundamentally, Russell points out conflicts about parenting style and opinions exist in all relationships and it’s just so happens in this world it might involve your child getting recruited by the KGB. As we saw with Jared this can have devastating consequences.

Early awards success with Felicity and the Golden Globes comes up, as does Russell’s recent nomination for the Critics’ Choice Awards, although she thinks that Matthew Rhys (or “the Welshman” as she refers to him) is the more likely of the pair to get an Emmy nod this year.

It’s a fun, relaxed interview and you can watch it below. For more Goldderby interviews head here.


3 Responses to “Keri Russell Talks The Americans: Playing a Complex Character, Awards and the Season 2 Twists”


  1. TimesTalks Panel with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Taylor Schilling, Lucy Liu and Mira Sorvino | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 25, 2014

    […] Russell talks about this during the recent THR roundtable and her role in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes vs. The Americans is a pretty accurate example […]

  2. Tatiana Maslany Talks Awards, Filming Clone Scenes and Orphan Black Season 3 | TV Ate My Wardrobe - February 10, 2015

    […] reason why we have shared several Gold Derby interviews in the past (including Josh Charles and Keri Russell). I am also a little bit obsessed with Tatiana Maslany’s mass of hair which is invoking all […]

  3. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Talk Disguises and Season 4 of The Americans | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 12, 2016

    […] Americans overall with the spy shenanigans as the dangerous backdrop. It is something Russell has discussed before, but it is worth repeating that this type of role is a gift for an actress in a sea of […]

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