Spies in the house; We love BEST TV.
THE AMERICANS Sat ITV 10pm
British actor Matthew Rhys stars as one half of a KGB spy couple posing as Americans in this gripping period drama that has been storming the ratings across the pond.
Set in suburban Washington in 1981, shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President, Matthew and Keri Russell play Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, both spies who have an arranged marriage and must maintain an espionage network during the Cold War. They even have two children, Paige, 13, and Henry, 10, who don't know their parents' true identity.
"It's loosely based on truth," says Matthew, 38. "In 2010 there was a Soviet spy ring that was uncovered in New Jersey, including a husband and wife team who'd had children to solidify their identity."
The drama, created by former CIA operative Joe Weisberg, saw Matthew perform a lot of stunt work.
"There was one incredibly awful moment during a fight sequence when I threw another actor through glass," he recalls. "But the sugar glass hadn't gone in yet and it was real. He put his hands out and got the worst cut you could possibly get, two tramlines down both veins. Even the medics panicked, but he was OK!"
But Matthew doesn't think he would make a very good spy.
"I thought I would," he smiles, "but then Joe took Keri and I out on the street to do some counter-surveillance work and I realised I was a rubbish spy. I was tripping over the pavement and everything. But we had a lot of fun on set. We tried on lots of wigs and disguises, but I looked like a 70s porn star in most of them!"
BOGUS: Family was a cover story has been
UNDERCOVER PARENTS: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys