I hope you’re sitting down ladies, because I just got dibs on the CUTEST picture of Rahul Khanna. This one’s from his appearance on the espionage drama The Americans that we told you was in the works!
*Sigh* I know right? What we wouldn’t give to be the girl across the table… but I digress! Since Rahul Khanna is the BOMB (no, not literally) he agreed to do a special interview about the show exclusively for MissMalini.com. Enzwai :) xoxo
MissMalini: OMG you’re going to be making an appearance on the TV drama The Americans, SO psyched to hear that, what is your role and how did it happen?!
Rahul Khanna: I’m pretty psyched, too!
I got a call from my manager saying there was some interest from the casting director of The Americans. At that point, I hadn’t watched the show yet but my brother, Akshaye Khanna, had been telling me about how he was addicted to it and it was already in my queue of shows to watch. The character sounded like a lot of fun, so we sent across some material they’d requested and, meanwhile, I started “binge-watching” the show. By the time they called back with the offer, I was bleary-eyed from watching the entire first season — which I loved— and was overjoyed to accept.
I play Yousaf, a smooth Pakistani intelligence officer with access to key information of interest to the KGB. It’s a small but important guest role.
MM: The episode you’re in is titled after your character! Give us a little hint of what to expect pretty please :)
RK: The episode is racy, there’s plenty of espionage & it’s a lot of fun!
The year is 1982, the third year of the Soviet war in Afghanistan (that started in 1979). Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was helping the CIA funnel arms into Afghanistan for the anti-Soviet forces, which is why the KGB would have been willing to do whatever it took to target a high-ranking Pakistani intelligence officer!
If I say anything more, I would be in violation of my gag orders and the last thing I would want to do is antagonize the KGB!
MM: *LOL* Fair enough! But what is it like on the sets of a TV drama? Anything memorable happen while you were shooting?
RK: American TV, these days, is of such high quality, it’s like shooting a feature film. The only difference, perhaps, is that the crew has been together for much, much longer, so everyone’s really well tuned to each other and things move very fast. Taking “The Cold War” concept quite literally, we shot it in New York during a couple of severe winter storms, so it was freezing and all the snow and ice made getting to and from the set quite an adventure but luckily my scenes were all indoors.
MM: I’m guessing you love the show as much as I do! Who is your favourite character?
RK: I think the show is so wonderfully crafted and executed and the cast is excellent. There’s really no one I don’t love. Apart from the leads, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys — who are just extraordinary — I am completely in awe of Noah Emmerich’s acting. I think his performance is simply sublime. Also — and not just because she’s my co-star in the show — I think Gillian Alexy, knocks it out of the ballpark with her portrayal of the flighty, Washington socialite, Annelise.
MM: I’ve always wondered, how authentic the show is, does it really accurately represent researched info about spies and how they live and work?
RK: It was created and is produced by an actual, former CIA officer (Joe Weisberg), so I can’t imagine it is anything but authentic and meticulously researched. Working on the show, I learned they’ve gone to great lengths to source genuine elements from that period. The wardrobe department, alone, contained, what looked like, every piece of clothing ever manufactured in the 1980s. When I went in for fittings, the first thing the wardrobe designer said was, “I have to warn you, everything’s going to feel weird!” — because they were all actual garments from that decade and the cuts & styles really did feel quite strange compared to what we wear today. In one small scene I’m reading a newspaper & the prop department actually had it specially printed in the same style and with the same ink they used back in 1982.
MM: Are you into any other TV shows? What’s another one you’d love to appear in?
RK: I’m a little obsessed with Game Of Thrones. I would be beside myself with excitement if I ever got the opportunity to work on it.
MM: OMG. THAT would be awesome, *fingers crossed!* Can you tell us something cool you discovered while shooting that you’re average viewer probably wouldn’t know about?
RK: Thankfully the Soviet-era authenticity of the show didn’t extend to the food. I’m happy to report, The Americans had really great on-set catering — but, unfortunately, I couldn’t find any vodka!
So watch out for this appearance peeps! The Americans, Season 2/Episode 10 which airs on Fx in the US on Wednesday, April 30th at 10pm. Rahul plays the title character “Yousaf”, a suave Oxford-educated, Pakistani intelligence officer with access to key information of interest to the KGB! He appears in scenes with Gillian Alexy as well as Keri Russell. And I cannot wait to see this!
The year is 1982, the third year of the Soviet war in Afghanistan that started in 1979. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was helping the CIA funnel arms into Afghanistan for the anti-Soviet forces, which is why the KGB would have been very interested in targeting a high-ranking Pakistani intelligence officer!
The episode will also feature an original song It Must Be Done written especially for The Americans by acclaimed musician, Pete Townshend, of the storied English rock band The Who. The song will be featured in a scene about sex and murder.
The Americans is awesome. It’s a period drama series created and produced by a former CIA officer and set during the Cold War period in the 1980s. Interestingly, The Americans is about the complex marriage of two KGB spies (played by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) posing as Americans in suburban Washington DC. Real-life historic events are sometimes incorporated into the narrative. I’m addicted and so will you be, so watch!