Keri Russell Recalls the ‘Sexy’ Start of Her Relationship with Matthew Rhys

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys’s love story started on the small screen and now, they have the rarest kind of memories to look back on.

Reflecting on her decade-long relationship with the actor, Russell, 48, said that it was “so fun” getting to know each other and falling in love while working on The Americans together — and, ironically, playing a couple onscreen.

“I’m really able to enjoy it, you know? And it was such a lark that we got to do that together in that kind of… at that prime of our lives. And, you know, had we met when we were 20, we wouldn’t be together,” she said on Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s Dinner’s on Me podcast on Tuesday, July 9. “We were just in the right moment.”

Russell said she was recently looking at a GIF of her and Rhys, 49, from the show — which she promptly sent to him, saying, “Look how young we f—ing look” — and Ferguson pointed out how special it is to have a record of their “courtship.”

“It was so kind of sexy and spy. And that world was just so languid,” she said of the FX drama, on which they starred as Russian spies from 2013 to 2018. “And it’s obviously fun, as you know, to be a part of something that’s such a success and so beloved.”

Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings and Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings in ‘The Americans’.

FX


During her conversation with the Modern Family star, Russell also shed light on how her and Rhys differ when it comes to their shared career path.

“Matthew is a different type of actor. He loves to work. You know, I say, ‘What are you doing this week?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, I’m gonna go do these play readings,’ whatever. I’m like, ‘Well, do you wanna do that play?’ And he goes, ‘No.'”

She said that the Welsh actor likes to “flex [his] muscles” and try new things, like an accent.

“He just loves the work of it. He not as precious about every single job,” she continued, before sharing how she views her work. “I wanna do jobs that I think are really good. That really speak to me, and that I feel like I could do something with. And the truth is, I don’t think I’d be good in everything.”

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys attend the Ralph Lauren fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 08, 2023 in New York City.

Paul Morigi/Getty


In May, Rhys spoke to PEOPLE ahead of one such play reading — which he’d roped Russell into doing with him — at The 92nd Street Y in New York City, saying it’s “incredibly rare” that the two can work together these days.

“There are moments where you’re ships passing in the night to a degree, and that makes it a little tricky. But we try not to disrupt home life too much.”

The arrangement is for the benefit of their 7-year-old son Sam, Rhys shared, so that there’s always “a parent in the house.”

“So that’s how we’ve generally done it, and for the most part, up until now, it seems to work.”

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The Americans can be streamed in full on Hulu.

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