Of all the talent that’s attending this year’s “2013 TCA Awards,” the one peson I want to track down is Keri Russell. Her powerful FX series, “The Americans,” is the top pick in the Outstanding New Program category.
It’s a strong list of winners this year, but it’s particularly satisfying “The Americans” has won because it’s one of the best series on telelvision. If you missed the first season, track it down. It’s the story of a pair of Russian spies who have been living a false life in the United States in the 1980s so that they can do their espionage work.
What makes the show so masterful is the blending of Cold War drama with a strong tale of family. And, Russell has never been better. She showed signs of this kind of acting talent in “Felicity” and refined it with works like “Waitress” and “August Rush.” It’s all been leading to this defining role in her career.
I spot Russell eating a snack before the ceremonies start. She’s chatting with two people so I move to a spot where I can catch her eye. All I want to do is tell her that her show’s honor is the highlight of the evening for me. As soon as Russell sees me, I move forward with my hand extended to congratulate her. She moves pass the potential handshake and she hugs me.
“It’s great to see you again,” Russell says. She’s reffering to how in January we sat in the corner of a ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Beach in Pasadena and talked about the new show.
Russell’s excited about the award because the series was a gamble. There were no guarantees a series about Russian spies living in America would attract an audience. It has in a very big way.
I also tell Russell that I have just seen the trailer for her upcoming movie “Austenland,” a comedy about a vacation spot built around the writings of Jane Austen. Russell , who only has a passing interest in the writer, is in town for the awards show and to do interviews for the movie. She says that the film was made two years ago when she was pregnant.
Not only does the light comedy give her a sharp contrast to the TV series, it was a chance to work with Jennifer Coolidge.
If the film is 100th as good as “The Americans,” Russell will have another hit on her hands.