Joel Fields is a writer and executive producer who worked as showrunner on the acclaimed period drama The Americans (FX, 2013-2018), which was created by Joe Weisberg and written by Weisberg and Fields in collaboration. In this interview, Fields talks about the conceptualization and development of The Americans, and he talks about authenticity, music and the so-called “antihero genre”. We have seen many tragic heroes and antiheroes in literature, theater, film and television – from Richard III to Tony Soprano and Walter White – but Elizabeth and Philip Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) were never conceived as antiheroes. That question and ‘the question of authenticity’ (in period dramas) are central to this interview with Joel Fields, who also talks about growing up at a time of international conflict, tension and paranoia.
Spoiler alert: This interview contains spoilers for people who have not seen The Americans (FX, 2013-2013) and Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008-2013).
- Interviewer: Andreas Halskov
- Editing: Jan Oxholm
Excerpts from: The Americans, Ep. 4:9 (“The Day After”), Ep. 6:1 (“Dead Hand”), Ep. 6:19 (“START”) © Joe Weisberg, FX; The Day After (1983) © Nicholas Meyer, ABC; The Sopranos, Ep. 1:5 (“College”) © David Chase, HBO; Breaking Bad, Ep. 5:16 (“Felina”) © Vince Gilligan, AMC; Richard III (1955) © Laurence Olivier, London Films.