VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Keidrich Sellati On ‘The Americans’ Series Finale – “I Was Like, ‘Damn, That Sucks!”
Sellati, 17, spoke to uInterview exclusively about what he felt upon learning about the conclusion of the award-winning FX spy thriller series. In The Americans, the youngster plays Henry Jennings, the son of Russian KGB agents Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings, who are played by real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. The show takes place in Washington, D.C. during the early 1980s, the height of the Cold War and sees the Jennings couple pose as American travel agents by day.
The series ended with Phillip and Elizabeth being forced to flee the U.S. for their native Russia alongside their college-aged daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) after nearly being caught by the FBI. The latter two make it home safely, although Paige backs out at the last minute and decides to stay home alone. Unfortunately for Henry — who in the last season is a high schooler attending a prestigious boarding school far from home — is left behind without his family telling him they are abandoning him. Thus, The Americans ends with Henry presumably never knowing about his parents’ true identities.
“When I first read the script [for the series finale], it didn’t quite hit me,” Sellati confessed. “I was like, ‘damn, that sucks.’ And then I read it again and we did a table read and really when it hit everybody else around me, it hit me at the same time. I was like, ‘Oh… they’re really leaving their son!” he added in a devastated tone.
Sellati added that several people at the table read were crying over the finale — just as Rhys and Russell admitted they did in several interviews — despite that being the second time some of them had read the series’ ending.
The young actor had nothing but compliments for his on-screen parents and revealed they made him feel safe and welcome despite him not having had any previous acting experience or even taken classes.
“[I’ll always remember] how nice they were and how welcoming they were,” said Sellati of Russell and Rhys. “It was my first job ever and I got so lucky. I had only been auditioning for three months. I never touched a class in my life, nothing. I just got pushed into it.”
“They made me feel at home and made me love what I do,” he added.
Earlier this month, The Americans won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series and was also nominated for a SAG Award, but lost to This Is Us. In September, Rhys won his first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for playing Phillip Jennings.
Sellati currently stars in the drama film Rockaway.
Full interview transcript below:
Q: How did you feel about the season finale of The Americans?
A: [Keidrich Sellati]: “So when I first saw the script it, it didn’t quite hit me the first time I read it I was like “damn, that sucks” to be hones- and then I, then I read it again and then we did it at a table read and it really, when it hit everybody else around me, it hit me at the same time I was like ughhhh they’re really leaving their son. People at the table read we’re like crying and they had already read it once before, before the table read so it was like ohhh damn. Um but yeah no it was, when I first read it I- I was like this is cool but ehh err. The second and third time though, I was blown away I was like no way.”
Q: What do you remember about working with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys?
A: [Keidrich Sellati]: “How nice they were and how welcoming they were, that- it was my first job ever and I had, I got so lucky, I had only been auditioning for three months. Never touched a class in my life, nothing I just got pushed into it and they were welcoming. They made me feel at home and they made me love what I do so that’s, that’s probably what I will remember most.”