Tag Archives: Joe Weisberg

Bowling at the FX All-Star Event with The Americans, You’re the Worst and Fargo

7 Apr

FX is having quite the year already and what better way to showcase talent than an all-star upfront bowling event. This is now a set annual tradition for FX as this is their 8th bowling outing and at Lucky Strike in New York, casts from shows such as You’re the WorstThe AmericansFargoAtlanta and Legion gathered all in the spirit of FX.

Outfit wise this means a whole lot of casual attire because bowling and then there are some stacked heels that should be going nowhere near these lanes.

The You’re the Worst cast and creator Stephen Falk give great posing with weighty balls.

A post shared by Stephen Falk (@stephenfalk) on

FX knows how to put on a shindig just as well as they make good TV if the size of Aya Cash’s beer is anything to go by.While these shoes might not be the best for this activity and look like they could easily slide off, Aya Cash’s jumpsuit is a great choice. Also her technique is going full Tom Haverford and as I found out when I last went bowling this is hit and miss. My terrible performance might have also been down to the amount of drinks we had while waiting for a lane to free up at The Gutter in Brooklyn. Also I am not a good bowler. Chris Geere gives great bowling stance. Still no bowling shoes though.We’ve seen that this is a favorite activity of the Jennings (and their covers) on The Americans and it is nice to see everyone out of the super tense environment of spy life in 1984. Also just how tall is Costa Ronin? It also looks like Henry found some Sun-In. It is really hard to write about this event without falling down an innuendo spiral (see the first photo). But what I will say is that it is nice to see Matthew Rhys with Costa Ronin as the pair have never shared a scene and probably won’t. But who knows.Great shoes for very different reasons from Margo Martindale and Keri Russell. Those heels are probably way too stacked for me – I can still love from afar – and Russell is leaning into the cool af thing she does so well at events like this mixing casual with some edge. Meanwhile I now very much want some silver Vans in my life.

Hanging at the bar is also my bowling speed (see early mention of my last bowling experience) and they’re with Christine Lahti. Lahti most recently popped up on The Good Fight as one of the many Good Wife actors who have made the jump and the depth of this guest star bench is outstanding.Ewan McGregor gives great bowling technique and he’s wearing bowling shoes. Yes he looks amazing.Jean Smart is doing that thing where you’re willing the ball to hit some pins, but in my case this doesn’t do much to help. Now I’m wondering which FX cast member is the best bowler.A couple from the red carpet and Legion’s Amber Midthunder – what a great name – will definitely need to switch out those amazing silver heels to bowl. Great dress choice that manages to swing between casual and fancy. A hooded henley is not something I’ve encountered a lot (or maybe ever?) and Atlanta’s Keith Stanfield pairs it with a great jacket and some classic Cons. Stanfield is straddling smart and casual in a way that I applaud.

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An Evening with The Americans: Panel Highlights

31 Oct

The Americans has just started shooting its penultimate season, but it won’t be back for at least a few months. To fill the wig and complicated relationship void showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields joined stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys at the 92nd Street Y as part of The Hollywood Reporter’s TV Talks panel series to discuss all things The Americans.

Regular readers will know how much I enjoy a good panel/roundtable (movie award season is coming!) and as this one has the bonus of being about my favorite show.the-americans-panelWeisberg and Fields are both very cautious when revealing anything that could be considered a spoiler so if you want some season 5 secrets then you might be disappointed. Instead what follows is a fascinating chat about the process of making this show from a writing and acting standpoint. It is also very funny at times with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys displaying the kind of back and forth ease/humor that you would hope to expect from an IRL couple.

This includes Rhys joking about how he directed Russell during her big Paige confrontation scene in “The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears” explaining that it was a “very simple scene to direct because Keri was pregnant at the time, so I just said pretend like you’re talking to me.” He also made Holly Taylor cry for real during this scene and he seems to feel very bad about this.

One of the most revealing aspects of this scene discussion was the behind the scenes debate in the editing room about whether to CGI out the vein which grew more inflamed on Russell’s face as Elizabeth’s anger at Paige increased. Joel Fields fought the corner of keeping it as it was and Russell loved that her face naturally looked like this as “You’re mad. Why would I want to be a pretty version of that? Like I want to be mad, but I want to be pretty.”

Russell also mentions that she understood why this conversation took place; “In everyone’s defense they were just trying to protect me.” It really is a stunning moment and physical performance from Keri Russell’s face parts so I am thrilled they didn’t alter it in post.matthew-rhys-and-keri-russellWhile talking about what it is like to work with the person you also go home with Rhys a little hesitantly at first takes the lead referring to the duality of it all “it’s amazing and it’s difficult. And it’s challenging and exciting. It’s everything.” And that so far they seem to be getting away with it.

One of the answers that surprised some of the audience was when Rhys responded to ‘Did Philip love Martha?’ with a quick “no.” In the way he played it (and I read it) his feelings for her were intrinsically linked to guilt rather than love and there is an aspect of caring, but not being in love. There were lots of Martha questions from the audience – all audience Qs should be done on cards as it really speeds up the process – and she is an important character.

Of course this being Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields they didn’t reveal whether they have plans to bring her back. The only new S5 info was that Philip and Elizabeth would have some different operations to deal with as most of their old ones wrapped up in S4. And there are some theories from the actors about how they would like to see the show wrap up including a dramatic interpretation by Matthew Rhys that has him going out in a blaze of glory.

It wouldn’t be an Americans panel without a little bit of wig/disguise chat and Russell and Rhys were asked to name their favorite disguise the other has worn. This resulted in a Margo Martindale anecdote that is worth clicking on the link below (and comes just before the hour mark).

Praise for Holly Taylor (and whether she has a real tattoo or not) was scattered throughout and how the Paige reveal scene is one of the hardest they have ever shot as it was a lot more heartbreaking on a personal level than Russell expected. This also allows Rhys to gift us with a Monty Python impression and for how serious this show is the set life sure sounds like a lot of fun.

 

Watch the whole panel here (and click ahead to 9 minutes in if you want to skip the clips).

The Americans Season 4 Promo – “I’m So Sorry Mom”

4 Feb

Season 4 of The Americans was never going to be an easy ride and somehow with each passing year the writers manage to crank up the tension to new extremes. With last season ending on Paige telling Pastor Tim where her parents are really from it looked like it might be curtains and a swift death for Paige’s mentor, but the easy option is not part of the plan on The Americans and Pastor Tim is very much alive and using his influence on Paige for at least one scene.

Paige at least has the manners to tell her mother that she is sorry. For exactly what we don’t know, but it is sure to be something that will put them all in danger.Dilemmas and big decisions are flying all over the place and from all angles with Gabriel and Claudia pondering the next move for their assets and a sense of dread hangs over everything. Martha doesn’t appear like she is fairing too well after the wig removal revelation and she will have to deal with Philip’s bug in the pen solution. A solution that frames her colleague and staged his suicide in the process. This was Philip’s first kill of season 3 after such a huge body count the previous year and from this promo it looks like he won’t be staying murder free.

And what’s up with Philip getting shoved up against the wall by bestie Stan? Well I have a feeling this has nothing to do with Philip and Elizabeth’s actual occupation and more to do with Stan suspecting something is going on between Philip and his ex Sandra. This is where the conversation at EST from the finale comes into play and while that felt like a sorta tacked on scene at the time it will make a whole lot more sense if I my guess at this context pans out. Oh, Stan if only you could see what secret Philip was really keeping. I also can’t see Philip ever cheating on Elizabeth, well cheating that isn’t part of their work that is.Shout out to the makeup team for the bags under Philip’s eyes and the exhausted/haunted look from Matthew Rhys as he asks Elizabeth if she wants to run.

Disguise wise there are some very familiar faces cropping up including Clark in both police sketch and IRL form with Clark’s sister Jennifer also coming out to play.

Basically everything is going to shit and I cannot wait to see how Philip and Elizabeth wiggle their way out of this one, while also attempting to get Paige back on side and keeping Henry in the dark (just give him that video game console he is after). They probably shouldn’t mention how many people they kill in this line of work and focus on the peace side of it all.

Watch the promo for season 4 below.

For a look at new disguises and the incredible season 4 key art head here and here. Plus watch showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields discussing The Americans as part of this WGA nominees panel.

The Americans returns Wednesday, March 16.

First Look at The Americans S4 in the First Look Issue of Entertainment Weekly

30 Dec

The new Entertainment Weekly features the now already much written about big reveal of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and in shocking news it is the TV pages that I flipped to first. Some of the shows included in this issue are DaredevilThe Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, OutlanderGame of Thrones (oh hey there Bran), Orphan Black (including a creepy sheep mask) and newcomers The PathThe Night Manager and SJP’s The Divorce. And The Americans.

In other shocking news it is the latter that has my full attention particularly with the unveiling of what you might consider to be a much more typically 1980s look for the Elizabeth and her new cover ‘Patty.’

The Americans S4 ElizabethThe color and shapes are so much bolder, the lipstick is a lot brighter and the eyeliner has got a whole lot thicker showing the shift in style as the 1980s shake off the last vestiges of the decade that came before. This is also the same disguise Keri Russell was wearing in these recent set photos and this character clearly loves all things purple. I cannot wait to discuss this new disguise when the show returns in March.

Creator Joe Weisberg tells the magazine all about ‘Patty’ explaining “It’s a different ’80s perspective than we’ve explored before” and how Elizabeth might be getting a new friend in the form of recurring guest star Ruthie Ann Miles. However as this is The Americans the line between real and fake relationship is a little blurred.

The Americans S4Meanwhile, things still look every level of tense with Paige and it is interesting that in this still Philip is in a position you would normally associate with prayer. Also a quick shout-out to the production design team for perfectly capturing the teenage bedroom wall collage detail and Paige would definitely be the kind of teen to opt for photos of whales on her wall to cover the super 70s wallpaper she has no doubt grown out of. Now I really want a closer peak at the photos on her headboard because The Americans is one of the best examples of not using terrible photoshop on older family pics.

In terms of where this season will find Elizabeth and Philip in their work, well it looks like it is only going to get even harder and co-showrunner Joel Fields explains that “A lot of people refer to this exact period as one of the tensest in the Cold War. Philip and Elizabeth are going to be in the middle of some of the most dangerous operations that, interestingly, were not playing out in the headlines but were happening behind the scenes and didn’t come out until after the Cold War was over.” Because things can never be easy for this pair.

Details about Martha after the de-wigging, the status of Pastor Tim post Paige confession and giving Henry something to do so he isn’t just another Chris from Homeland are all included in the issue which is available from digital and actual newsstands now.

For a look at the whole TV preview gallery head here.

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