Few series could pull off showing a corpse being doused in acid and disposed of followed by a sex scene in a 76 Oldsmobile to the sounds of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight." Not only has The Americans successfully managed to balance the gritty realism of the Cold War with an alluring, yet understated romance--it's done so with style.
Set in 1981, the thriller follows two deep-cover KGB spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) posing as married Washington suburbanites Elizabeth and Philip Jennings. The two have even raised two children to cement their appearance as an all-American family. When Stan (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent, moves next door, the two must take extra precautions to mask their true identities.
Former CIA officer Joe Weisberg developed the FX hit and he frequently incorporates real spy craft tales into the storyline (like the poisoned umbrella!). I had the chance to visit the show's Gowanus, Brooklyn set this month to talk to the cast and writer Joel Fields about the acclaimed series.
As Justified continues its stellar fifth season, show creator Graham Yost continues to lend his talents to The Americans, as the hit thriller's Executive Producer.
Set in 1981, the series follows two KGB spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys), posing as a married couple in the suburbs of D.C. The pair, who has raised two children as part of their cover, has grown to develop real feelings towards one another and their children, which begins to hinder their ability to carry out covert missions in the name of Mother Russia. If that's not enough, their neighbor happens to be a dedicated FBI agent (Noah Emmerich) who specializes in counter intelligence.
I recently had the chance to speak exclusively with Yost on keeping fans happy, colorblind casting and how he advised The Americans creator Joe Weisberg on developing his first series.
Marvel Studios second superhero film of the summer, Captain America: The First Avenger not only introduced the world to Steve Rogers and his heroic alter ego but it also gave us our first look at another fan-favorite group of heroes from “The House of Ideas” … the Howling Commandoes.
The Howling Commandoes first appeared in the comics as an elite special unit formed in World War II by Nick Fury and the team consisted of Corporal Timothy Aloysius Cadwallander “Dum Dum” Dugan, Private Gabriel Jones, Private Robert “Rebel” Ralston, Private Dino Manelli, Private Isadore “Izzy” Cohen, and Private Jonathan “Junior” Juniper. However, in the film the team closer resembled The Invaders, which was essentially a WWII era version of The Avengers that first appeared in the comics in 1969. Captain America, Bucky Barnes, and Montgomery Falsworth (better known as Union Jack) are all Invaders members who were included as Hollowing Commandoes in the film, while Dugan, Jones, Jim Morita, and Jacques Dernier were actual Howlers from the comics who rounded out the movie’s team.
One of the most beloved members of the Howling Commandoes by far is the bowler hat wearing Dum Dum Dugan, who was played by actor Neal McDonough (Minority Report) in Captain America: The First Avenger. In the comics, Dugan survived WWII and would eventually go on to become Nick Fury’s second in command at S.H.I.E.L.D. It should also be mentioned that McDonough is no stranger to playing superheroes having recently voiced DC Comics’ popular character Green Arrow in the 2010 animated short film, DC Showcase: Green Arrow. On Friday, I had a chance to speak with actor Neal McDonough about playing Dum Dum Dugan in Captain America: The First Avenger, which will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 25th.
While talking about the film, McDonough said this about playing the role of Dum Dum Dugan. “It was a blast to play him and I still look forward to Cap 2, Nick Fury or any other films in the future.” This comment peaked my interest and I decided to follow up asking McDonough specifically about his involvement in those two upcoming projects. While we won’t be running my conversation with the actor about shooting Captain America: The First Avenger until closer to the films home media release, I wanted to let you know what he had to say about Captain America 2 and Nick Fury. I also took the opportunity to ask the actor about the recent announcement that he will be playing the villain in season 3 of the hit FX series Justified, as well as the possibility of reprising his role as Green Arrow in a live action feature film based on the emerald archer.