Keri Russell has been cast as a KGB agent posing as a travel agent living in Washington during the Reagan administration in FX’s drama pilot “The Americans.”
As we reported back in December, FX is shooting a pilot for this drama series created by Joe Weisberg, who worked at the CIA for about three and a half years, after which he wrote the novel “An Ordinary Spy.” These days Weisberg writes for TV and his credits include TNT’s “Falling Skies” and FX’s “Damages.”
In the pilot, Russell will play Elizabeth Jennings, whose marriage to Phillip Jennings was arranged by the KGB. The couple now has two children who are unaware of their parents’ identity. So far as they know, Mom and Dad run a travel agency in Falls Church, Va. Reagan has just been elected, and Phillip, who is not yet cast, is grappling with his growing sense of affinity for the American way of life.
Russell, who started as a child actress, became a big TV star when she took the lead role in JJ Abrams’ WB soapy drama “Felicity” in the late ‘90s, which did really well until Russell cut her hair, after which WB put no-air-cut clauses into its contracts. But her hair grew back and so did her career and she has since starred in such flicks as “Waitress” and “Mission: Impossible III,” and in Fox’s short-lived Mitch Hurwitz-created (I know, redundant) series “Running Wilde.”