Turns out Noah Emmerich, who plays the morally tortured FBI spy hunter Stan Beeman on FX’s “The Americans,” likes to trail people in his spare time.
The actor dropped by the Los Angeles Times on Monday to discuss his Season 2 arc on the spy drama, and in that time we learned just how Emmerich makes those I’m-following-you scenes look so darn realistic. He’s practiced it while walking the streets of New York, his home base.
Joe Weisberg, the show’s creator who had spent time training as a CIA officer in the ‘90s, gave the cast a training session — teaching them counter-surveillance measures and how to follow someone without being seen. So, obviously, Emmerich tried it out in real life.
“It’s so much fun -- I only have one restraining order so far,” he quipped.
Emmerich said he looks at everyday goings-on with a different set of eyes now that he's spent so much time on the spy drama.
“It definitely changes your perception of the world living inside that paranoid point of view,” he said.
The Beeman character had viewers questioning his loyalty too this season. The finale ultimately gave reassurance that his country comes first, in his eyes. But Beeman found himself in a desperate state over the course of the 13 episodes.
“He’s very isolated,” Emmerich said. “The closest person he has to a confidant is a Russian spy that he’s turned and has fallen in love with -- Nina. If that’s your closest confidant, then something's wrong. There’s no one he can really trust ... except for his wife [Sandra]. But for whatever reason, their relationship is almost at the most painful of all places. They don’t even fight anymore. It’s just sort of surrendered to the abyss between them.”
Emmerich talked more about the difficulty in getting through those scenes with his character’s wife, the ‘80s music artist he’d like to see featured on the show, and we remedy the actor’s envy of his costars’ wig fun by having him try on a bright pink one. You’re welcome.