The Americans - The Variety Emmy Portrait Studio: Drama Contenders .

Billy Kidd Photography for Variety

Matthew Rhys: “It almost terrifies me to say it because this (role) might be the best it will ever get. It’s an absolute 100% box-ticker for an actor, as to things you want to do. At its very heart is this incredibly complex, emotionally challenging relationship between two people as they try and figure out who they are as people and who they are as a relationship. And then on top of that you get to beat people up and drive cars.”

Keri Russell: “I wear these silk shirts and high-heeled boots and I feel like that armor has become very much a part of that character to me. I feel very panther-like. It’s much more grown-up than I look in real life. I like the way it makes me feel. It’s much tougher and cooler than I am, than Keri actually is.”

“The Americans” Is Too Bleak, and That’s Why It’s Great

Emily Nussbaum on the FX drama:

“The Americans” refuses to do what similar cable shows have done, even some of the good ones: offer a narcotic, adventurous fantasy in which we get to imagine being the smartest person in the room, the only one free to break the rules. Instead, “The Americans” makes the pain linger.