Costa Ronin. Photo:  Craig Blankenhorn/FX Copyright 2015, FX Networks.

Costa Ronin. Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/ FX Networks 2015.

GALO: It seems like the Rezidentura has been less prominent in the third season. Is this going to change in the next few episodes or even by next season?

CR: Well, regardless of how much the Rezidentura is shown, it is still the heart of the KGB operation in the United States. So what we see Philip and Elizabeth [Jennings, played by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell] do is being generated through the Center and through Gabriel [Frank Langella], and it is channeled back through the Rezidentura. So the Rezidentura is aware of everything going on and is generating those moves and operations, at least between the Center in Moscow and the operation on the ground in the United States. I won’t tell you how much we are going to see, but the relationship between Oleg, Tatiana [Vera Cherny] and the rest is linked to what is going on between Gabriel, Philip and Elizabeth.

GALO: Let’s talk a little bit about your experience on the set of The Americans. What has it been like working with Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich as well as the other actors?

CR: It is terrific. I still remember my first day on set — and Joe [Weisberg] and Joel [Fields] put together such a great team of people, both on set and off set. The crew and cast are so friendly and supportive. They are true artists, which makes such a huge difference when you are working with like-minded people — when you know that everyone is coming to work those long days to tell the same story. And everyone is on the same page and passionate about what they’re doing. It is not about the job. It is bigger than that. It is an absolute gift. Everyone who I get a chance to work with is so generous with the process. It is an absolute joy to share a scene or be a part of that world with them.

GALO: And Keri Russell is definitely shaking things up for herself career wise. After roles in Felicity, Waitress and August Rush, where she played exuberant and compassionate women, now she is a total badass. It’s a nice change to watch, to see what she’s capable of and what she can still explore as an actress.

CR: The beautiful thing about acting is that it isn’t just about one character. It isn’t trying to be like somebody. It is about trying to be that character and then finding that character in you. For any actor to be able to find those dark characters inside them, it is amazing. Keri, she is a terrific person. I just can’t wait to see what else she and Matthew are going to bring to the show, and what the writers are going to do.

GALO: I also saw that you have some cinematography credits to your name. Do you have any plans on getting behind the camera on an episode of The Americans? Perhaps this is something you’d like to pursue in the future?

CR: Absolutely not. Yes, I do have a credit or two. It is a passion that I had when I was younger, and like everything you do in life, it makes you who you are. It doesn’t matter whether you are an actor, producer, cinematographer, or anybody, it is about the story. If you are able to tell that story in any capacity, [then] that is a huge advantage. So, no, I don’t plan on jumping behind the camera, but I am learning so much from [the show] every day that I work. Every single frame that they have on the show is a masterpiece. You could take every single frame that they have on the show and put it on your wall. It is a gift.

GALO: That is one of the things that I love about the show — how well they compose the shots for each episode. It is very cinematic with how they place things and each shot means something, it is not just there for the heck of it.

CR: Absolutely. You can study it — every single shot, the lighting, the composition, and everything else as well. You’re still in the story being told.

GALO: I saw you worked on Agent Carter and played Anton Vanko, who is the father of Ivan and was played by Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2. What was it like working for Marvel in the giant universe they are creating?

CR: That was an experience and a half because I love that world, and I was always very much intrigued with how Marvel was able to blend the world of superheroes and the real world. It works. It makes sense. I was very excited, not to mention the part itself [was fantastic]. Anton Vanko and Howard Stark are the ones behind the reactor that is behind the whole Iron Man mythology. It was fascinating to be able to jump from the 1970s and ’80s [for The Americans] into 1946 [for Agent Carter] and that world.

Marvel was into every single detail to the point that the coat, in the scene I had with Hayley [Atwell] and James [D’Arcy], was made of the same fabric all those years ago. They could’ve gone and bought some other coat and nobody would’ve known the difference. [But] no, they went ahead and found that exact fabric and made that costume. When you are working with people who have such respect for detail and for truth in the story, it is a gift. You cherish it.

GALO: Are there any plans for a return to the Marvel universe in another show or movie?

CR: I don’t know. I have no idea, but I would love to. There is so much that is going on in that universe. And hopefully, the audience will get to see the birth of the reactor and the relationship between Anton and Howard, and how it transpired before he was deported back to the Soviet Union. There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into the creative side of that show. Maybe it could be in Agent Carter or a show that doesn’t exist at this stage. But I’m looking forward to finding out. Hopefully, I’m a part of it.

GALO: Did you read any comics growing up?

CR: I read comics, but I grew up in Russia, so the comics were different. There wasn’t really a culture of comics like Comic-Con and events like that. It is something that is fascinating because when you read a book, there are no pictures and everything is in your imagination where you form a picture based on what you read. With a film, there is no imagination because you see everything. It is taken in visually. So when you read a comic, it is a combination of the two. Some of it is told by pictures and some is told by writing, so you can take that and fill in the blanks and create your own story. It is unique and I wish I had a chance to read more of them, but I’m taking off right now.

GALO: Do (or did) you go through any sort of training to prepare for the role of being a spy?

CR: Absolutely. Before I went to work, I did a lot of research in terms of that world and what it was like living in that world and being surrounded by those people. One of the things that fascinated me was what it was like to go to work and do what they do, and then come home and be a normal person, hang out with your kids, and/or go to lunch with your neighbors. When I was doing the research, I looked at a lot of people who did that and tried to hear as many stories as possible. I focused mostly on “what did it feel like?” or “what does it feel like to not be able to trust somebody?” A lot of the things in our world, we take for granted. We live in this world today and do the things we do because of what these guys did 30 years ago. If those guys would’ve made wrong decisions at any point in time, we wouldn’t have a world to live in. It would be completely different. So I’m always very grateful to the past generations, and I think we have a lot to learn from them and [we need to] carry those stories or moments [into the future].

GALO: What about drawing inspiration from movies or TV shows that you either watched at the time or in the past that might have been similar theme-wise to the show, so that you could prepare yourself for your role?

CR: No, I did not watch any films or shows, but I read a lot of books. I read books, articles, and spoke to people — because I wanted to make sure that what I based all of this on was not coming from the imagination of somebody else, but [that it] was [coming from] a real person, a real world and real stories by real people. That was very important to me. I know with Joe and the team of writers, it is important to have that realism — not just another production that makes everything look glossy and Hollywood-y. It is a real story. It is gritty and isn’t out to make things look pretty. It is real. I wanted to make sure that was all that came in, the real human being; everything that a human being carries.

GALO: Now I’ve also seen that you are a big sailor. Where have you been, and do you have any plans to go anywhere soon?

CR: My brother and I were going to go sail in Croatia in about June or July. That’s on the books at this point. I started when I was five years old and have carried that passion all my life. I don’t sail right now as much as I really want to, but I definitely want to get back to it because it is something I am passionate about and it is a big part of my DNA. My grandfather, my father, my uncle — they’re all sailors. I like to go to the ocean where I can just see the waves and the horizon.

GALO: Do you own your own boat?

CR: No, sir. I wish I did, but no.

GALO: I figure you have some concrete plan when you go and it isn’t based on some quick, spontaneous decision?

CR: No. When I was crewing in Russia, you are part of a team. I started on small boats and then I went into ocean racing and ocean sailing. At the end of the day, you are a part of a team and you go and race wherever the race takes you — or the sail. It is very close to being as free as you can get when you are in the middle of the ocean, and there’s no land for miles and miles and you can’t see anything. It is just darkness. There is something very primal about it also.

GALO: Are there any projects that I wouldn’t know about that you are excited about and are coming up soon?

CR: Yes, we are finishing The Midnighters, which we started a couple of years ago. Hopefully, it will be done very soon. It has been a passion project for many people and I can’t wait to see it. Next week, I’m starting to work on another film, which is very interesting. It delves into mysticism and religious ceremonies. I can’t talk too much about it. I don’t want to spoil it. But I can tell you that I’m excited about it and to be a part of this project. I can’t wait to start.

Are you suffering from a “The Americans” withdrawal? You can watch all 13 episodes of Season 3 on FX’s official Web site before they expire in nine days! To learn more about Costa Ronin and his endeavors, you can follow him on Twitter @costaronin.