The Americans star Keri Russell discusses knowing it was time to end the critically acclaimed series, and what her reaction to the final episode actually was. It’s been a long time coming, but the end of FX’s 80s-set spy drama has finally arrived and it brings with it a harrowing but ultimately satisfying conclusion to the story of a pair of deep cover Soviet operatives working in the United States.
That the series was ending has been known for quite awhile, as FX networks made the announcement the show would wrap up its story after it was renewed for a fifth and sixth season. That’s quite the run for a critically acclaimed series that never quite managed to gain the kind of viewership a show of its quality should. And although it’s particularly difficult to let go of one of the best TV dramas in the past 10 years, all good things come to and end. In the case of The Americans, this particular end means the show was able to go out while it was still at the top of its game.
That’s how Russell looks at it, as she discussed during a recent conference call with various media outlets. The Emmy-nominated actor shared her thoughts on the series finale, her readiness to be done, and how she felt about the way the series actually comes to an end.
“So, as sad as I am to go it just feels like the right time. I think the stories were still so good and so compelling and I would hate to be involved with something that I thought was creatively so interesting and then watch it sort of peter out. As much as this six and final season coming to a head was hard in some ways it felt right. That was sort of comforting in some way. And to be totally honest, especially the beginning of that season I was working so many nights that I was so tired most of the time that I think I was probably like, ‘You know, oh I’m glad this is ending because I can’t do this anymore.’ [Laughs]
I read the end about halfway through [the season]… I was a little behind in reading my scripts and I had a chunk… in my shooting day that I had like three hours off before I had to go back. And I went to this super fancy restaurant near where we were shooting and I sat at the bar… and ordered a giant glass of red wine and read [episodes] eight, nine, and ten in one sitting. And so and I cried and I tried to hide my eyes like ‘I’m not crying.’ And I just read them back to back and went back to work
And I loved it… to me it feels pitch perfect and devastating in all the right ways.”
The Americans seasons 1 - 5 are available to stream on Amazon Prime, season 6 is available to stream with the FX Now app.