Keri Russell Talks About Her New Netflix Series ‘The Diplomat’ at a Q&A Panel

Keri Russell, the Emmy-nominated star of ‘The Americans’ and ‘Felicity’, is back on the small screen with her new Netflix series ‘The Diplomat’. The actress attended a Q&A panel at the Paley Center for Media in New York on Tuesday, where she discussed her role as a career diplomat who faces an international crisis and a personal turmoil.

‘The Diplomat’ is a political thriller created by Debora Cahn, who has worked on shows like ‘The West Wing’ and ‘Homeland’. The series follows Kate Wyler (Russell), a civil servant who is unexpectedly appointed as the US ambassador to the UK. She has to deal with a complex and dangerous situation involving a rogue nuclear state, while also trying to save her marriage to Hal Wyler (Rufus Sewell), a charismatic foreign policy expert.

Keri Russell Talks About Her New Netflix Series ‘The Diplomat’ at a Q&A Panel
Keri Russell Talks About Her New Netflix Series ‘The Diplomat’ at a Q&A Panel

Russell said that she was drawn to the show by Cahn’s writing, which combines sharp dialogue, humor, and emotion. She also praised Cahn’s ability to create a realistic and nuanced portrayal of the diplomatic world, as well as the personal challenges that women face in such a high-pressure environment.

“I love that she writes about the minutiae of living, like what do you wear to a meeting, or how do you eat yogurt standing up, or how do you balance your work and your family,” Russell said. “She writes about these things with such specificity and wit, and I think that’s what makes the show so engaging and relatable.”

A Challenging and Rewarding Role

Russell said that playing Kate Wyler was both challenging and rewarding, as she had to learn a lot about the geopolitical issues that the show tackles, as well as the protocol and etiquette of the diplomatic corps. She also had to master a British accent, as her character was born and raised in London.

“I did a lot of research, I read a lot of books and articles, I watched a lot of documentaries and interviews, and I talked to some real diplomats and experts,” Russell said. “I wanted to understand the context and the stakes of the story, and also the mindset and the motivation of my character.”

Russell said that she enjoyed working with Sewell, who plays her estranged husband, and the rest of the cast, which includes David Oyelowo, Indira Varma, and Cush Jumbo. She said that they had a lot of fun and chemistry on set, and that they also supported each other during the intense and emotional scenes.

“I think we all felt very lucky to be part of this show, and to work with such talented and generous people,” Russell said. “We had a lot of laughs, but we also had a lot of respect and trust for each other.”

A Show for the Times

Russell said that she hopes that the audience will enjoy ‘The Diplomat’ as much as she did, and that they will find it relevant and compelling. She said that the show explores some of the most pressing and complex issues of our time, such as nuclear proliferation, terrorism, human rights, and climate change. She also said that the show reflects some of the personal and social challenges that many people face, such as divorce, parenthood, identity, and gender.

“I think the show is very timely and very human,” Russell said. “It’s not just about politics, it’s also about relationships, and how we cope with the choices and the consequences that we face in our lives.”

‘The Diplomat’ will premiere on Netflix on April 20, 2023.

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