Angelica Jade Bastién from Vulture talks about the portrayal of Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings from The Americans.
There are spoilers under the cut.
-The first time we met Elizabeth Jennings , we saw her at a bar, wearing a leather bustier and with a flirty and salacious demeanor, from that scene the viwers thought the show was going to be like most espionage dramas, all the following seasons but mostly S6 have proved the show/Elizabeth is way more than that, As Emily Nussbaum wrote in The New Yorker: “Dread is its specialty and also its curse; it’s what makes The Americans at once a must-watch and a hard sell.”
-The show has always been about identity, how it evolves influenced by a host of factors seen an unseen, not only for the protagonist but for all the characters in the show, but it's Elizabeth with her myopic, ride or die dedication to the former Soviet Union, who says more about identity, thanks to the multi-faceted, luminescent work of Keri Russell.
-Elizabeth has had many characters, Patty (the Mary Kay seller) is a favorite and one of the most revealing characters for her, but Keri Russell excels mostly when Elizabeth's mask (as a mother, a wife or a russian spy) slips. Those moments when Elizabeth knows no one is watching her are the most revealing, because she shows anger, regret and Keri shows those emotions on those pivotal moments, and on those moments is where Keri proves that she is giving one of the most complex performances ever on television.
-One of the most iconic moments for Elizabeth and Phillip happened in the episode "The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears" where they have a fight over the curse of events that happened recently (Martha had to flee to the USSR because her cover was blown) Elizabeth yells “At least she’s alive. You didn’t have to send her out on the street to get mowed down" referencing S1 Gregory, while she’s prone to anger as a person, this explosive argument reveals something different: how deeply she holds in hurt, and how adept she’s grown at hiding it. Russell leans into the anger, her face growing flush, a vein bulging in her forehead, her posture poised as if willing to not only yell, but draw blood. This moment demonstrates her excellence at shifting emotions abruptly, revealing hidden depths and secret hurts that add dimension to Elizabeth’s emotional terrain.
-Season 4 explored how Elizabeth handles genuine friendship with another woman, as Patty she befriended Young-Hee Seong (Ruthie Ann Miles) whose husband Don (Rob Yang) has access to security codes Elizabeth needs for the KGB. That kind of relationship requires more than seduction or fighting skills, because those relationships are more complex they require more risks, it was obvious on the portrayal Elizabeth cared for Young-Hee and her interactions were genuine, as time passes and the mission needs to be done, we can see the pain of her expression, her regret.
-It would be easy to make Elizabeth's anti-heroism (especally compared to Phillip's more open regret and resistance to the assigments the KGB makes them do) tip into villainy, or make her seem inhuman, but Russell depicts Elizabeth’s calculations and hardened outlook with precise empathy and care. In the scene of Elizabeth listening to Young-Hee's voice mail (after drugging Don and making he believe they slept together and she is pregnant) and her concern about her husband and why her (as Patty) hasn't called , Elizabeth’s face tenses with guilt and yearning; then she hardens once more, hanging up before Young-hee’s message ends. It’s a brief scene, but it exemplifies the clarity of emotion Russell is able to communicate. Yes, Elizabeth is often blunt, rough-hewn, and intense. But she’s never been predominantly icy. There’s a fire to her. And even when hiding her true nature, Russell grants the character certain minute flourishes — her mouth tightly drawn, a change in her posture, a faraway glance as if she’s calculating the risks in every step she takes — that speaks to the roiling emotions and willpower just beneath the surface.
-In the final season, Elizabeth's face tells a story, there hasn't been a moment when she doesn't look tired, she smokes because she is tired and stressed. Elizabeth has always been shown as a "badass" , only focused on her task, without caring what she has to do to succeed, But Russell has, over the course of the series, teased out a desperation in the character. This is a performance designed not to seduce, but to bruise.
Keri Russell Acts Out the Reactions to That Infamous Felicity Haircut
Keri Russell talks about her infamous haircut, plus more: pic.twitter.com/TUA8cFmlle— W magazine (@wmag) 7 de mayo de 2018
Keri Russell has come to terms with the fact that her haircut in the second season of "Felicity" looked like a Chia Pet, she just wishes other people would get over the "crazy backlash" too.
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What are you going to do when Keri Russell gets snubbed again for lesser actresses on the awards season ONTD?? but i'm glad she is getting more recognition.