Brilliant Disguises - How “The Americans” Creates Characters Within Characters

by Margaret Gardiner March 6, 2017
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys
Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell in "The Americans"
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in "The Americans"
Keri Russell in "The Americans"
Matthew Rhys in "The Americans"
Matthew Rhys in "The Americans"
Keri Russell in "The Americans"
Keri Russell in "The Americans"
Matthew Rhys in "The Americans"
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in "The Americans"

The fascinating tale of two Russian spies – “Elizabeth” and “Philip” – living in the United States as a regular American family in the last years of the Cold War, the FX series The Americans has received several accolades, including Golden Globe nominations for its stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.

While people may have wondered about Cold War themes in the new millennium, the talk of a possible Russian shadow in America’s last election and on-going questions and innuendo between the two countries, has made the show almost prescient – and hotter than ever. While the story itself is gripping, one of the most fun aspects is something star Matthew Rhys has often referred to as ‘those wigs’ – meaning the disguises he and Keri Russell have to wear as they go about their spying business creating new identities with multiple facades. With the fifth season premiering on March 7, we thought it would be fun to pay homage to some of our favorite ‘looks’ over the years.

Here's what Russell and Rhys (also a real-life couple and now proud parents of a son) recently told us about the evolution of their characters during the arch of the series.