The 1982 film Annie, starring Aileen Quinn, about a curly, red-headed orphan
The Americans has quickly become one of the most celebrated television shows running today, and one of FX’s biggest hits. The story, about an “arranged” husband and wife living in suburban Washington D.C. with their children and spying on behalf of the KGB during the height of The Cold War, is one of the best examples of the anti-hero, a protagonist in a story that audiences don’t want to root for, but wind up doing so in the end.
As The Americans enters its third season, here are 9 interesting behind-the-scenes facts about the show…
1. The premise of this series is partly based on the true story that broke in 2010 of a cell of Russian Sleeper agents who had been “hiding in plain sight” in the United States for decades. Several of them had had children, coworkers, friends, and neighbors who all had no idea that they were spies. These agents were ultimately returned to Russia in a trade for some Americans who were being held by Russia.
2. Joseph Weisberg created the show. Weisberg worked in the CIA’s directorate of operations from 1990 to 1994.
3. The CIA has to approve every script for every episode of the show.
4. In real life, Annet Mahendru (Nina) speaks 6 languages (German, English, Russian, French, Persian and Hindi) due to a nomadic upbringing all across the globe. She joked that she was hired because the producers thought she was an actual spy.
5. Matthew Rhys, who plays the husband Phillip, is actually a Welshman.
6. Alison Wright (Martha), the day after she was named a series regular, dropped her agency, which in turn sued her for $1.5 million, based on the agency’s expectation that Wright would earn $5 million from the role, which pays $15,000 an episode.
7. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are a couple in real life, which was confirmed when they were spotted together in 2014.
8. Russell slaps Rhys before every scene they shoot of the show.
9. Russell makes $100,000 per episode, where Rhys makes $75,000.