Noah Emmerich Almost Turned Down ‘The Americans’ Because He Was ‘Done with Guns and Badges’
Undercover spies shows aren’t exactly new. Fans have seen movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Keeping Up With The Joneses with similar plots throughout the years. The Americans had a similar idea, but their creation and plotting elevated things to a whole other level. Fans may only remember Noah Emmerich as Stan Beeman, but if Emmerich had stuck to his guns and badges attitude, a different actor would have played the part.
What is the story behind ‘The Americans’?
Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are the central characters in The Americans, a period spy thriller set in the 1950s. In Falls Church, the two are Soviet KGB intelligence officials posing as a married couple. Elizabeth and Philip have two children, Paige and Henry, together.
The play begins in 1981, shortly after President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, and concludes in December 1987, just before the United States and the Soviet Union sign a pact. The Americans depicts the rivalry between the KGB Rezidentura and the FBI by delving into the operatives of each organization, notably Stan Beeman, Jennings’ neighbor and a counterintelligence FBI agent.
The show is filmed in Manhattan, which serves as a stand-in for Washington, DC. The design team maintained eliminating digital thermostats, flat-screen TVs, freezers, and gas stoves from specific areas to ensure that it stayed faithful to its medieval setting.
When Joe Weisberg, the program’s creator, was looking for a backdrop for the program, he was drawn to the 1970s because he “liked the hair and the music.” The showrunner gave much thought to the time period in which he wanted the show to be placed.
The Jimmy Carter era was one of the eras Weisberg planned to set the program in. “It was hard to imagine of things becoming too hot and people wanting to kill each other too much under Jimmy Carter,” the creator reasoned. It wasn’t until he thought about Ronald Reagan that “everything instantly connected.”
The CIA was heavily involved in the production.