Exclusive: ‘Americans’ Noah Emmerich Talks ‘Wilde’ Westerns And Interest In ‘Pitch Perfect’

Noah Emmerich - the americans - jane got a gun - filmfad

Actor Noah Emmerich (center) talks Stan Beeman (left) in ‘The Americans’ and Bill Hammond (right) in ‘Jane Got A Gun.’

Noah Emmerich talks starring alongside Natalie Portman for a second time in ‘Jane Got A Gun,’ the future of Stan and Philip’s relationship in ‘The Americans,’ and why he’d be perfect for a ‘Pitch Perfect 3.’

In a FilmFad.com exclusive, seasoned talent Noah Emmerich, aka Stan Beeman from the hit spy-centric FX series ‘The Americans,’ opens up about the evolution of his character, how it was working with Natalie Portman again after nearly 20 years and why Emmerich’s particular vocal projects of the past would make him an ideal candidate for a future ‘Pitch Perfect’ sequel.

 

Starting with ‘The Americans,’ currently in it’s fourth season on FX, Emmerich discusses all his current and future projects, including a particularly ‘Wilde’ upcoming feature film in which he stars alongside huge names likes Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Patrick Stewart.

So without further ado, join as we embark on a journey through experiences of the real life Stan Beeman, Noah Emmerich.

FilmFad (Pooya):

How’s it going Noah?

Noah Emmerich:

Good, how are you doing?

FilmFad (Pooya):

Doing fantastic, hope everything is well for you.

Noah Emmerich:

Everything is really good.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Wonderful. I don’t want to keep you too long, so I’ll go ahead and hop into things.

Noah Emmerich:

Okay, great.

 

The Americans - Noah Emmerich - Stan Beeman

Noah Emmerich as FBI Agent Stan Beeman in ‘The Americans’.

 

FilmFad (Pooya):

Let’s talk ‘The Americans,’ namely your character Stan Beeman, an FBI agent and unlikely, or should I say unknowing, comrade to embedded KGB spy Philip. Stan has been around since the beginning, so in what way has your character developed the most and where do you see Stan’s relationship with Philip taking him?

Noah Emmerich:

I think there’s some inevitability to some sort of serious confrontation between Stan and Philip. I mean, Philip obviously knows who he is. Stan is in the dark about the true nature of Philip. I think there is an authentic connection and simpatico understanding of each other that, despite Stan’s ignorance of Philip’s true identity, is actually based in the actual truth that there’s some intuitive understanding of each other. They are in some ways two sides of the same coin. They’re both working in espionage, in counter intelligence from Stan’s point of view and espionage in Philip’s, but they’re really cousins. So there is this sort of cellular connection and understanding between the two of them that is authentic. I think there is some inevitable moment coming down the pipe where Stan is either going to discover Philip’s true identity, or he’s going to be eliminated before that happens, although that would seem like a real loss. So it does feel, from a storytelling point of view, we’re going to have to encounter that moment. Where that leads is hard to predict and I don’t have anymore of sense of it than anyone else. The writers can hold their cards very close to their chests. I think it’s a great, fun tension. Obviously from Stan’s point of view, the ideal would be to capture Philip not knowing that it’s Philip. I think the heartbreak that he will have to experience, realizing that perhaps one of his best friends was in fact the man he’s been chasing all this time, will be significantly devastating. But I do think that they serve each other well as human beings, and as friends there’s an authentic reflection, understanding, compassion between the two of them. That supersedes, in some ways, the realities of their opposition.

 


Click HERE to read FilmFad’s official review of ‘The Americans’ Season 3.


 

FilmFad (Pooya):

Given the sensitive, although perhaps dated, subject matter of the series, have you ever had any encounters in person or otherwise where people take issue with the politics of the show?

Noah Emmerich:

It is an interesting circumstance in that obviously this show is about this family, and Philip and Elizabeth are clearly the leads of the show, and they are working to bring down America, which is bizarre to have your heroes be working against the country which the show is playing. I think it speaks to quality of the writing and the performances. That’s not really primary in the viewer’s minds. I think what’s primary is their humanity, and their relationships, and the rooting that they engender for them to succeed in their lives, just not in their missions. I don’t think anybody wants them to win the cold war. We do have the luxury of hindsight in knowing that they don’t, so we don’t really feel in jeopardy of that. Even knowing that they’re working for the enemy of the United States, we still root for them as human beings, as husband and wife, and as father and mother. And that speaks to, I think, one of the greater achievements of the show which is to touch upon the commonality of our humanity across political lines. So in some ways it’s a very healing show, especially in this partisan divisive climate that we’re living in. It does speak to the commonality of our connection. When I encounter people who reflect back on the show to me, it’s always interesting because some of them are rooting for the FBI, some of them are rooting for the Russians, but everybody seems to be rooting for the characters, whatever side of the line they lie on. I think that’s sort of the ultimate achievement that the writers, the crew and the cast could have hoped for, and we seem to have hit a sweet spot in terms of that connection with the audience.

FilmFad (Pooya):

You touched upon commonality. Stan’s family dynamic is kind of an interesting one in the sense that his work forces him to compartmentalize his life to the point where he’s not always around. Then the same thing, earlier on for Philip and Elizabeth, they had that situation as it’s starting to change for them as their dynamic is becoming more open with regard to their family. How do you perceive that correction between Stan and his Family versus Philip, Elizabeth and their family?

Noah Emmerich:

Its funny because Stan is living openly and honestly with regard to his work and separation of it from his family and it causes a much more vulcanized fractured family, especially over the course of the last couple seasons where it has completely fallen apart. He’s lost his marriage. He’s estranged from his son. He’s really very much alone. Whereas Philip and Elizabeth, who up until recently have had a complete fabrication, their children have no idea who they really are, what they really do, have a much more coherent bonded family that seems, on the surface at-least, more successful than Stan’s. There’s some irony in that. I think that the strain that these jobs place upon the relationships, personally in their lives, is enormous. And I think that speaks to, hopefully, a more universal reality, that we all have multiple identities in ourselves. We act differently with different people, we have different identities at work than we do at home, and how we navigate those transitions is one of the more difficult things to do in our relationships in life. It’s more extreme here, of course. It’s more amplified by the life and death and the fun of the spy game. Hopefully, once again, it’s a universal issue that we can all relate to in some way. I would certainly say that Stan is on the losing side of all this right now, he has not been able to integrate or adapt to those transitions.

FilmFad (Pooya):

The Americans has been known to have some very gripping and graphically intense scenes, what was the most intense scene that you had to be involved with?

Noah Emmerich:

Well the most intense scene I was involved with was in season one actually when [Stan] killed a young Russian embassy worker named Vlad, because [Stan’s] partner had disappeared and I had threatened them to return him or face the consequences. When he showed up, I feel that Stan felt he was cornered into carrying out something that was anathema to his sensibility, but in fact he did anyway; which was to kidnap and murder this young doe-eyed Russian spy. So that was a very intense, very traumatic scene for Stan, to cross the line in that dark a way. I shot him in the back of the head. That was pretty bad. I don’t think it gets worse than that.

 

The Americans - Safe House - Stan Beeman - Gun - Noah Emmerich - FilmFad - Interview

Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) Shoots Russian Embassy Worker in the “SAFE HOUSE” Episode of ‘The Americans’ (S01E09).

 

FilmFad (Pooya):

That’s true. Jumping from ‘The Americans’ to Early America, you starred alongside Natalie Portman in the recent dramatic western ‘Jane Got A Gun,’ more specifically you played Bill Hammond, aka the husband of Portman’s title character Jane. in a time riddled with smartphones, sports cars and the internet, what was the biggest challenge(s) in recreating that settlement period while staying relatable to today’s audience?

Noah Emmerich:

I think in some ways actually it made it easier. The lack of instant connectivity, it’s a more human scaled means of communication and time passage without the instantaneity of text messages and emails. As a storyteller I think it’s always hard to incorporate those modern tools into a mystery, or thriller, or something that you want to play out over time. If you’re looking someone and can’t find them today you just send them a text message and within 10 seconds you have an answer, or you can search them up on the find my iPhone app and see where they are in the world or google maps. That doesn’t make for great narrative storytelling in a way, or it makes it more difficult than we’re used to. It’s unprecedented in the history of storytelling other than the last ten or fifteen years. Going back to a time without that made things much calmer and more well-paced, and free from this instant access, which I think makes for a less tense and more peaceful context to tell the story in. It was actually really nice, I think, for the writers and the actors not to have the gadgetry of modernity have to be imposed upon the spans of time that are sometimes essential in storytelling. Jane doesn’t know where Bill was when he was out when the film begins and he comes back home and he’s wounded. She doesn’t know where he is and how long it will be before he gets home. Or when the Bishop boys are looking for Jane they have to go by foot or by horse from town to town to town to try and trace her tracks. That would be harder to pull off in our current age. So, you know, it was actually a nice break from the speed of contemporary times.

 

Noah Emmerich - Jane Got A Gun - Bill Hammond

Bill Hammond (Noah Emmerich) in ‘Jane Got A Gun’ (2016).

 

FilmFad (Pooya):

Being that ‘Jane Got A Gun’ was set in non-contemporary times, of the skills required to shoot, for example horseback riding to gunslinging, which was the most arduous to translate naturally on screen.

Noah Emmerich:

That was definitely the hardest part for me, learning how to a ride horse. I grew up in the city and I’m not a horse rider. It’s a totally foreign reality to me and I had to do a good bit of riding in the film. I spent a lot of time taking riding lessons, and practicing and getting over my fear of having to control a beast that’s stronger and more powerful than I am, and have it look authentic. I think on some level it’s like a golf swing or tennis swing, you can tell pretty quickly if the person really knows what they’re doing or they just learned how. I was trying to figure out how to pull that off. Luckily with movies, the help of editing, camera angles and re-takes, but it was my biggest challenge interns of coming off as authentic in that context. I did spend a lot of a time with a wrangler learning how to handle a horse. It was quite fun.

FilmFad (Pooya):

I’d imagine so. I have never ridden a horse. I probably would be quite fearful of being on a creature that massive and powerful. I had the chance of speaking with Sam Quinn, who played Slow Jeremiah in ‘Jane Got A Gun,’ and getting his take on what it was like working with Natalie Portman as both a producer/actress. Have you ever had a chance to work with Natalie in the past and what was it like working with her in the two different roles?

Noah Emmerich:

It was really great. I had worked with Natalie before. In fact my first film was ‘Beautiful Girls,’ which was a film about five guys actually, but Natalie played in it and it was one of her first films as well. So I had worked with her all those years ago, that was I think 1996. So I’ve known Natalie since she was a kid so it was great to come back and work with her as a grown up. She’s a phenomenal talent, both onscreen and off. She has such a diverse and deep intelligence and ability. As far as a producer, It didn’t feel like there was such a huge division between producing and acting. It was very much a team effort down in Santa Fe when we were making this film. It was obviously a hard shoot, [the film] went through many incarnations. But, she’s a great intelligence and a great talent and it was fun to be working with her again.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Looking to the future, you are starring alongside big names including Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Patrick Stewart and Minnie Driver for an upcoming feature comedy called ‘Wilde Wedding’ in 2017. There isn’t much online about the project, what can you tell me about this ‘Wilde Wedding?’

Noah Emmerich:

It’s a really fun ensemble eccentric family comedy about this large dysfunctional family with multiple iterations coming together for yet another wedding. You know I haven’t seen the film yet, we shot it a while ago. I think it’s being edited now it’s just being completed now. But it’s an incredible cast. It’s really fun light, but also meaningful, romp through this, as you mentioned, great cast of actors. For me, it was great opportunity to do something more comedic, that I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I haven’t had as many opportunities to do. It’s a large dysfunctional family comedy, it should be really fun. It’s a great script by Damian Harris, who also directed it. I think some of it is somewhat based upon his own experience with his own crazy family.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Those are always the best stories, ones that pull from reality in some way.

Noah Emmerich:

Yeah.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Well Noah, thank you so much.

Noah Emmerich:

Sure.

FilmFad (Pooya):

I very much look forward to upcoming episodes of ‘The Americans,’ I enjoyed ‘Jane Got A Gun’ and I really look forward to ‘Wilde Wedding.’ I look forward to seeing you flex your comedic bone in that, along with those other big names. And I also hope to see you perhaps do some acapella type stuff in the future, just ‘cause I know you have a little bit of history there.

Noah Emmerich:

Oh my gosh. [laughing] Yeah, I hope so. That would be great. I would love to do that.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Maybe ‘Pitch Perfect 3?’

Noah Emmerich:

Yeah, that sounds good.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Alright, well thank you so much Noah. You have a great one.

Noah Emmerich:

Alright, you too. Take care.

 

Noah Emmerich - Pitch Perfect 3

 

You can catch Noah Emmerich as FBI Agent Stan Beeman in ‘The Americans’ which is currently in it’s fourth season and airs Wednesdays at 10PM on FX. You can also see Emmerich as Bill Hammond in ‘Jane Got A Gun’ alongside Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor. Be sure to stay tuned for his upcoming feature comedy ‘Wilde Wedding’ also featuring Glenn Close, Patrick Stewart, John Malkovich.

Pooya

Author: Pooya

Since his wee lad-dom, Pooya has been a sommelier of cinema. It was likely some acting bug, fallen from the dust riddled ruby curtains of an enchanted old stage that did it. Those cinematic scarabs must have burrowed deep into his brain, irreversibly altering his mind, turning the poor boy down a dismal path.From his earliest years the strange boy would aimlessly wander the aisles of countless video rental stores, amassing his trivial knowledge with vigor. These actions befuddled the boy’s parents, who still would lovingly oblige his unusual attraction to the motion picture. Often seeking refuge in the cushioned seating of his local movie theater, the odd adolescent would immerse himself in the scripted and effects riddled realities unfolding on the screen before him. During his collegiate years, he was twice spotted on stage performing bizarre theatrical rituals before awe-struck audiences. When he departed from academia, he left behind his youth in exchange for a labor routine, but the strange young man never lost his long-cultivated love of film.Recently, Pooya was approached by FilmFad.com to join their budding team of entertainment bloggers. After hours of coaxing and an undisclosed number of honey jars, he accepted their offer. Finally he had come full circle. Finally, at FilmFad.com, he was home.

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