Nova Scotia-Born Star of 'The Americans' Gets High Praise from Keri Russell

By Brioux, Bill | The Canadian Press, February 20, 2014 | Go to article overview

Nova Scotia-Born Star of 'The Americans' Gets High Praise from Keri Russell


Brioux, Bill, The Canadian Press


Keri Russell lauds young 'Americans' co-star

--

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Keri Russell sits down to speak with a small gathering of international press on the set of "The Americans," which returns for a second season Feb. 26 on FX Canada.

You don't have to be a spy -- or even play one on TV -- to know something is up. The reporters seem charmed out of their boots, downright perky.

Then she gets it: the press has just met her adorable, Canadian-born co-star, Holly Taylor.

"Holly girl," says Russell. "She's so lovely."

Born in Nova Scotia, Taylor plays Russell and Matthew Rhys' teenage daughter Paige Jennings on the edgy FX spy drama. The series is set during the cooling off of the Cold War in the early '80s.

Russell is told that, for a young actress who had never really done a press conference before, Taylor was very impressive.

Russell -- who's been acting since she was a child herself -- remembered how "smart and composed" Taylor was in her audition. The director had asked Russell to come in and read a few lines opposite a number of girls. "And she comes in and she's just so -- there's her milky skin and those brown, brown eyes and she was just so funny and composed. She's wonderful."

Taylor, 16, just seems so un-Hollywood in the best possible way. She was in the very last scene of Season One where she discovers the big secret: her parents are posing as Americans but are really Russian spies.

"It felt like, really, really exciting, but really, really scary, because that was the last thing that people were going to see," she says, "so it was like, I want to make sure that it's good so that way people are like, on the edge of their seat."

Taylor says her interest in performing began with dance. From there, she says, she got into "theatre-ish stuff."

At 11, she landed the role of Ballet Girl Sharon Percy in the Broadway production of "Billy Elliot." Still, she didn't really see that as acting, "'cause it was a dancing show."

Besides, she was still going to school at the same time, so she saw herself "kinda like Hannah Montana-like the best of both worlds or something."

"Billy Elliot" lasted 22 months. After that, she started looking into acting more, although she was so shy it was difficult at first. "But then, the more I started to do it, the more I came out of my shell and the more I enjoyed it."

That led to a trip to Los Angeles, where she did an audition tape for "The Americans. …

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