Keri Russell Q&A: ‘The Americans’
"You can't think of it in terms of Russians and Americans," Keri Russell explained in our recent webcam chat (watch below) about her role as a KGB agent living undercover in the U.S. on the FX drama series "The Americans." "I have to just apply it from an emotional standpoint, much less taking sides."
She and Matthew Rhys play these spies who live outside Washington, D.C. in the early 1980s. It is the peak of the Cold War between the United States and Russia. They are posing as a classic American couple with two children, but they are actually highly trained agents who steal secrets, murder people, and are constantly on undercover missions. They have been in America since they 1960s and are deeply hidden in their cover disguises.
For Russell, "Spy stuff is cool. The political stuff is great and happens to be incredibly relevant right now. All the spy stuff really allows this complex marriage to have big stakes. It's just really truly a show about an incredibly layered and complicated marriage."
For the recently aired second season, Russell was nominated for a Critics Choice TV Award as Best Drama Actress. The show also received nods for Best Drama Series, plus Rhys as Best Drama Actor and Annet Mahendru as Best Drama Supporting Actress.
She began her career at age 15 in 1991 on the "All-New Mickey Mouse Club" with future stars Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake. She then starred as the title character on "Felicity" starting in 1998 and won a Golden Globe at the young age of 22. Her film career has included roles in "Eight Days a Week," "We Were Soldiers," "The Upside of Anger," "Mission: Impossible III," "Waitress," "August Rush," and "Extraordinary Measures."
Recalling her surprise Globe win, Russell admitted, "I didn't even know what the Golden Globes were. I had never been to those things. I just remember being so overwhelmed, and I tend to be sort of shy anyway. It was a big deal and so fun!."