Brow Beat

The Americans’ Costa Ronin Hates His Season 6 Beard

Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Oleg (Costa Ronin) have a conversation on a park bench in FX's The Americans. They are both young men. Oleg, to the left, has a short beard and wears dark clothes and a flat cap. Oleg, to the right, wears a khaki jacket, pants, and shoes.
Tell me the truth: This beard looks horrible.
Eric Liebowitz / FX

Each week on Slate’s Americans podcast, June Thomas sits down with the creators, cast, and crew of The Americans as they reveal behind-the-scenes details about the making of the FX drama’s sixth and final season.

In Episode 4, “Mr. & Mrs. Teacup,” showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields talk about the charming conversation between Philip and Oleg, and they declare that they’re proud to have made one of the darkest scenes in TV history. She then chats with actor Costa Ronin, who plays Oleg Burov, about his Season 6 beard and why Oleg returned to the world of espionage. Finally, H. Keith Melton, who advises the creative team about intelligence-gathering techniques and technology and supplies many of the show’s spy gadgets from his personal collection, talks about KGB attitudes to hardware updates, Elizabeth’s necklace, and what was changing in 1987.

Note: This podcast contains spoilers and is meant to be enjoyed after you watch the episode. New episodes air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

Podcast production by June Thomas.