party chat

Alison Wright on Martha’s Americans Future

Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images

Marriage is hard enough these days without learning that yours is a sham carefully orchestrated by the KGB, and that you could potentially go to jail for treason for it. (And that’s the best-case scenario.) But for The Americans’ Martha Hanson, that’s the current state of things, even if she doesn’t have full confirmation at this point of who Philip is and just how screwed she may be. Vulture caught up with Alison Wright at the Clouds of Sils Maria Peggy Siegal screening at the Tribeca Grand hotel and talked about how starting a family and what to make for dinner are the least of Martha’s worries right now.

Martha has some drama going on in her marriage right now. What would you do if you were her?
Wow, you know, I would probably act just the way she is, because you have to remember that what we know, she doesn’t know any of that. She really doesn’t know all of the things that we know as an audience, she knows very little. But I would probably be a little more suspicious, actually, I’d probably be a bit more direct about it, but she can’t be direct yet. She has to be in denial at the moment.

That’s a huge deception, though. When you do get to film her finding it all out, what do you think that’ll be like?
I can’t imagine what that would be like, or what will happen, or how I’ll portray it when she does find out. The reality is that when most of these women in these situations found out, most of them killed themselves because of the reality of the situation. Like three out of four committed suicide when they found out their whole lives had been lies and orchestrated by the KGB.

Do you think it’s possible, though, that even though it was an arrangement that was set up, there was some sort of affection that developed between these people?
Absolutely, and it’s been documented as that, that sometimes it got a little bit cloudy. And some of these marriages went on for like ten years, and there [were] children and stuff, so it did get complicated, and there were feelings of some sort that developed.

You would think that it’s not possible to be completely surface level, right?
You would hope not, yeah, otherwise that’s sort of a completely broken person that’s doing that. Because otherwise it’s just all a lie — I mean, that’s sick, it’s just horrifying.

What would you like to see for Martha? How would you like it to shake out?
Well, there’s only a few episodes left this season, but I would like to see her be happy, I would like to see her not be broken. I would like to see her not be murdered, be happy, and maybe if she can’t get a kid, maybe get a little puppy or something?

Alison Wright on Martha’s Americans Future