It’s not unusual for Australian or English actors to take on a role in a TV show where they have to do an American accent. But, the casting of Matthew Rhys in the new FX series “The Americans” sets up a very complicated accent situation. He’s a Brit who’s playing a Russian who’s pretending to be an American.
Rhys laughs and says the way he handles the complex language task is to just put himself in the place of the character.
“In some ways, he would have to be more American than many Americans,” Rhys says in his natural British accent. “However, if my American accent ever slips I can always blame it on being Russian.”
This accent juggling is so Rhys can play a Russian KGB agent who’s secretly been living in American for almost 15 years. With his arranged wife (Keri Russell) who also is a spy, they bounce during the early years of the Ronald Reagan administration between living a normal life as parents of two and spying for the Motherland.