Exclusive Interview With Graham Yost, Joe Weisberg And Joel Fields On The Americans

Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields, Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich
You’re willing to introduce characters and get rid of them once you’re done with them. Does that mean season 2 is going to be about re-building out the backbench, or are we going to be focusing in?

JF: Well I think both, we’ll see new agents develop, and we’ll see old agents return, as it is in life. One of the things that’s so great about what Joe created is that the spy drama is a metaphor for all of our human relationships. We’re all spies in our own lives, we’re spies in our own marriage to a certain extent, and in our own families.

Should we be expecting a lot of new faces to show up in season 2?

GY: Yeah, a fair number. Because of what happened with Claudia, Margo Martindale’s character, there’s a new handler that comes in. There’s also new agents that they’re working, new spies that they’re running, but there’s also the inciting incident in the first episode. Something happens involving them, and another set of illegals also with a family. And that really sets the whole season in motion.

We got Margo Martindale in the first season, any chance we’re going to see any more familiar FX players showing up soon?

GY: No, because it’s a New York show and Justified is almost entirely cast out of L.A., so there’s not a lot of back and forth. I would keep your eyes open though, you might see a little Margo this season, even though she’s on The Millers. It’s still possible for her to get on a plane and don her spy garb again.

JW: We had a couple things that seemed almost to happen, and that we considered. One of the characters who plays largely in our first season is now in a pilot for FX, so that worked out nicely. They certainly do like to cast inside the family. Names came up, but nothing unfortunately worked out the way it did with Margo.

Are you ever worried about throwing too much out, too quickly? Have you ever felt the need to hold some things back?

GY: Never, not for a second. I always felt that that was part of the whole fun of the series, was that it was a fast-moving spy show. That a lot of stories come in and out was really one of the attractions for me.

JW: I worry about going too slow! With each season, it’s hard to go more than a few months at a time, and we’ve got a lot of history to cover, so no, I worry about the opposite.

You’ve got most of the ‘80s left.

JF: How great was that Super Bowl RadioShack ad by the way? I felt like that was just an explosion of our show for a minute there.

JW: I didn’t see that, what was it?

JF: It was RadioShack, they say the ‘80s called and they want their stuff back, and then every icon from the ‘80s ran into the store.

Who was responsible for Tusk in the pilot? That song was a huge part of launching the show and making it stick with a lot of viewers.

GY: Oh absolutely, and that was the director of the pilot, Gavin O’Conner. He had that in mind when he was designing that whole sequence, he just felt that Tusk would be a perfect thing to use. And it was. I remember the first time I saw it, I went “oh my god! Really?” By the end of that sequence I was humming along. It was just a great selection.

Justified is going to be wrapping up after next season. Graham, do you think you’ll spend more time with The Americans, or do you have some other things lined up for the future?

GY: There’s nothing lined up for the future now, everything’s just focused on Justified, and bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. That’s pretty much everything. We’ll see if anything else comes along in the next development season, if there’s anything that materializes for me. But if I’m free, and they’ll have me, I would love to kick in and pitch in to Americans.

When The Americans season 2 is all wrapped up, what’s the first thing you’re going to put in your DVD player or on your Netflix queue?

GY: When I’m back home and Justified is all wrapped up it’ll be the beginning of season four of Game of Thrones, so that’s what I’m looking forward to.

JF: I’m already trying to stay up with Justified.

JW: I was just going to say that! If I don’t catch up with Justified Graham’s going to kill me! I want to, but also I’m scared of Graham.

That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Joe, Graham and Joel for their time. Be sure to catch season 2 of The Americans when it premieres on February 26th at 10/9c.