Matthew Rhys Q&A: ‘The Americans’ and ‘Girls’
“Anyone is expendable in television!” declares Matthew Rhys about the fate of his and other characters for the upcoming final season of “The Americans.” In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “Sometimes, the more dramatic, the greater the spike in ratings. You understand that it’s a beast in that respect. In television these days, you can be gone in 60 seconds.”
Rhys is entering “The Americans” episode “Crossbreed” as his Emmy submission for Best Drama Actor. This installment of the FX program aired April 11 and was the 6th episode of the 5th season. In this segment, Philip (Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) bring their daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) to meet their long-time handler Gabriel (Frank Langella) for the first time. Gabriel shockingly tells Philip more about his Russian father, who worked at a prison camp. He later tells his wife, “My own parents, I didn’t know anything about them at all.” Philip and Elizabeth discuss her session at the psychiatrist’s office.
Cast and crew will begin shooting their final season in October for airing on FX sometime in 2018. As for going in to work those last months, he admits, “It’s been sinking in for a while now. It’s going to be this bittersweet experience of having embarked on a very long journey of this character, this cast, these writers, these people. Every cliche is true. You do become a family, become very close. As a production, being told you have two years is an incredible luxury, especially for the writers to write to that end, very specifically and strongly. That will serve us incredibly well, and the hope is that we give the audience the ending they deserve.”
For the Emmys in September, Rhys will not be facing off with last year’s champion, Rami Malek from “Mr. Robot,” since he failed to pick up a nomination in 2017. He’s up against previous winners Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”), Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”), and Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), returning nominees Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”) and Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”), plus first-time contender Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”).
He is also nominated for Best Comedy Guest Actor in “Girls” for playing author Chuck Palmer. The official HBO description says: Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Chuck face off regarding sexual assault and “gray” areas. Hannah advocates it’s important to attend to women whose voices are pushed aside. Chuck maintains it’s hearsay and doesn’t understand why Hannah would write about such claims. Chuck wins Hannah over but, as she begins to relax, Chuck oversteps.