Out of all the major players on The Americans, Annet Mahendru’s character Nina had it worst. She was expecting Stan Beeman to follow through and steal Echo, a program to test stealth on planes, but the FBI agent’s love for his country overpowered his love for her. Everyone was expecting Stan to do a last minute save but it didn’t happen. Now, we don’t know if Mahendru is returning for the 3rd season, or do we?
Mahendru answered some questions regarding what happened in the finale and what she thinks might transpire on the 3rd season.
On her reaction to Nina being shipped off to Russia:
“Well before I got the script, I got a phone call from [showrunners] Joe [Weisberg] and Joel [Fields] and as soon as I saw it, I was like, “Is this the ‘You’re going to die’ phone call?” Every time you get a phone call from them, that’s one of the things that can happen. But no, it wasn’t. She’s not dying. Who knows? At the end, I haven’t even thought of all the things that could happen. She might not even get to the airport, who knows?”
On Nina’s fate after season 2:
“Nina[‘s plotline] every episode so far has been just torturing. It’s been, “What is she doing and is she going to live?” I think that’s just her fate. She is always walking the thin line. But there’s a lot of interesting things [about how the season ended]. There’s the money. Oleg gives her thousands of dollars. She’s never held or thought of [that much money], but she could do a lot with that. Stan’s there when she’s leaving. She built up a safety net, kind of like this little spider. She has so many ways to run. And if she does go to Moscow, I mean, she beat the polygraph. Maybe she can beat the law and the trial.”
On whether the writers tell her what side she really is on:
“It’s pretty ambiguous. They don’t tell me how to do anything. We figure it out with the director, but we have a new director for every episode, so it’s really up to the actors to just tell the story. Especially for this story, a little direction – if we try to do something just a little bit different – it changes actually a lot. Even the way spies are just smiling instead of not smiling can mean life or death. It’s really tricky and I think it’s tricky for the directors to to direct us. It’s pretty wild now that I think about it.”
On how her multi-national background influence her acting on the show:
“I feel as much American as I do Russian and Indian. Because of my cultural [background], I feel at home everywhere, and in general it has helped with the storytelling a lot. No matter where I’m thrown, I can find comfort and I can find understanding. It’s funny how it worked out. I dropped out of that [NYU international studies] program. Then my first job is back in New York and back in that field. It’s really fascinating, and everything happens for a reason.”