Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys – on The Americans, they played two Cold-War era KGB spies who are forced to marry each other and pose as the epitome of the American Dream. In time, they grew to love one another as a real husband and wife should. In real life, the actors took their fictional counterparts’ lead.
How Did Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Meet?
Though many assumed the pair met during the table read of The Americans pilot episode, Rhys says that they “actually met a long, long time ago.”
Russell remembers that after the two were hired to play married spies Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings, Rhys had told her, “‘Oh, you know we’ve met before.’ I said, ‘No we haven’t,’ and [he] said,,. ‘yeah…like 10 years ago at kickball.’ As soon as he said that I knew exactly what [happened] and I opened my eyes, like, ‘oh! of course, I remember that.'”
Picking up the story, Rhys adds, “I very drunkenly asked her for her number when she was a young, single slip of a thing,” and admits that he called her and left a “drunken message” that never received a response.
In the Summer of 2013, Russell, then Mrs. Shane Deary, filed for divorce. Soon after, rumors began to swirl that she and Rhys were dating. They were spotted shopping together during December of that year and a source told People magazine that, “They looked very much like a couple. They were laughing and walking closely together.”
However, Rhys informed the publication that there was no truth in the story – and he even poo-pooed his mother’s inquiries about the supposed canoodling. “That [article] is the best one I love. I’ve told her a million times that there are a million inaccuracies that she’s read…”
But come March 2014, People magazine was once more on the case and it was following Russell and Rhys’ lovey-dovey interaction during a performance of The Library at New York’s Public Theater. The publication confirmed that they were indeed dating.
The Couple That Acts Together…
Afterward, inquiring minds were curious to discover if familiarity would indeed breed contempt. According to Russell, the actors’ coupledom was both a blessing and a curse.
“You have a true crazy intimacy with somebody, so it really lends itself to scenes when there needs to be kind of sincere intimacy. But then on days when you’re having a hard day, it’s like, ‘Go [expletive] yourself, I don’t want to be around you now.’ And it’s great when it’s 2 in the morning [at work] and it’s freezing outside and snowing and I get to have him there instead of a stranger.”
In May of 2016, Russell and Rhys welcomed a baby boy into the world – though it was a fact that might have come as a surprise to many of the couple’s fans. There was no announcement of the birth, no photographs were taken of the babe until he was at least a week old, and it took more than a month before his sex and name were even touched on by either parent.
The grand reveal finally occurred on July 1, 2016, during Russell’s appearance on The Today Show. “We had a boy. [His name is] Sam. He’s so good. He’s big and fat and nice.”
Sam was the first child for Rhys and the third for Russell, who shares Willa Lou and River Russell with Deary. The entire family makes their home in a Brooklyn brownstone and operates in an environment best described as controlled chaos.
“It [life] can go any direction in 12 seconds,” Rhys once explained to Esquire magazine. The make it or break hours are between 4:30 pm and the children’s bedtime. “You evaluate the success of the entire day on [them]. And if you get all three fed, vegetables eaten, someone’s asked me a question at dinner, bath, Harry Potter’s read, they’re in bed, and all three haven’t cried, it’s an enormous success.”
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys – What’s Their Secret?
March 2020: It’s been six years since Russell and Rhys were first outed as a bonafide item and the duo are still going strong. But what’s their secret for a happy, long-lasting Hollywood-land relationship?
To hear Rhys tell it, it comes down to three things: alone time, patience and, “Alcohol. The great leveler. The great equalizer. Everything is so much better after a good, solid half bottle of red wine!”