Post Mortems
The Americans Nina Dies

The Americans Casualty Speaks: 'It's a Miracle [Spoiler] Lived This Long'

Warning: The following contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of The Americans

The Americans‘ first major Cold War victim is totally chill about her tragic fate (at least now she is).

“[Nina’s] storyline started and completed in such an extraordinary way that I’m good,” portrayer Annet Mahendru said with a laugh during a conference call with reporters last week.

“I’m so thrilled to have played her so long,” she added. Given the dangerous world Nina inhabits, “It’s just a miracle that she even lived this long. We can be grateful for that.” (Indeed, the Russian spy exceeded her initial life expectancy.)

The Americans Nina DiesBut the actress’ first reaction upon learning that her character would be executed by the Russian government after trying to get a letter to Anton’s son was not nearly as carefree. “I got the first script [of the season] and then I got a phone call [from EPs Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields],” Mahendru recalled. “You kind of wait for that phone call from the get-go. You’d think you’d be prepared for it, but you absolutely are not.

“I was angry at them, [but I also] loved them. I felt every single thing you could possibly feel,” she continued with a laugh. “I remember my mom was like, ‘It’s not you dying! It’s Nina!’ She had to remind me, because it just felt like a part of me that I was so lucky to be able to tap into and that I had to also say goodbye to.”

It was especially difficult for Mahendru to bid adieu to the role after finally digging into the double agent’s past. “I felt like, ‘I’m getting to know Nina,'” she said. “I felt like I had just gotten a real taste of her, and that’s it! Then an episode later, she’s dead. [Laughs] That little bit of joy, that little bit of her that I finally got, it was so fleeting and it was over before I could really embrace it. It was really sad.”

Mahendru called shooting Nina’s final minutes “the most intense thing” she’s ever had to do as an actress.

“That long moment before you’re about to die, I had to experience that a few times, and it was so real,” she described. “Before [the proThe Americans Nina Diesducers] said I was going to die, they said, ‘This is everything an artist wants to do’… That was everything an artist wants to do, because as mad as I was, as broken as I was, I wanted to do it again… I was sitting there afterwards in my chair, and I was like, ‘I can’t believe they made me do this.’ [Laughs] I wanted to quit. Then I wanted to do it again.”

Although Nina spent her last months as a prisoner, she got to “experience freedom at least in her dream,” Mahendru pointed out, referring to the sequence in this week’s episode in which Nina walks out a free woman with Anton. Speaking of dreams, Mahendru revealed that last week’s faux reunion between Nina and Stan — not Nina’s death — was the final scene she shot on the show. “Ironically, we were at the same location where everything started for Nina,” the actress shared. “It came full circle. In that moment, we were saying goodbye, Noah [Emmerich] and I, and Stan and Nina.”

Americans fans, what did you think of Nina’s goodbye? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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15 Comments
  1. James D says:

    Such a gifted actress. shame Nina is gone but Annet will have no trouble finding work. Wish her the best of luck and success. insert sad tear emoji here.

  2. Mike says:

    When word gets to Stan…we think he’s got problems now? The guilt is gonna eat him alive.

  3. ? says:

    My favorite character, but they wrote her into a corner and anything else wouldn’t have felt right. And that’s okay. You played a bad hand better than most, Nina, but you lost. RIP.

  4. Jon Pappas says:

    I’ll miss Nina a lot! Her story was one I always looked forward to as each season progressed.

    Ending her story with her execution was very realistic. Recreating this per the technical consultant’s input elevated the show by linking Nina’s death to what really happened to prisoners in the U.S.S.R.

    I think this may foreshadow what happens to the Jennings. In real life I believe the “Amerikans” were deported back to Russia after getting caught.

    Annet is a gorgeous woman & wonderful actor – I’m looking forward to seeing her in future shows, movies. Well done Annet, I miss you already!

  5. Really??? says:

    I will really miss her. I know some people complained about seeing Nina way too much when she was not longer involved with the main cast but I for one could never get enough of her! Her death, the way it was staged, the dream sequence before it, how we could see it coming, are a testimony to the quality of this series and the commitment of the creators and writers. To me Nina really was a victim of her time and her condition. She did not need to redeem herself but I can understand why she had enough of having to deceive, manipulate and play people for her own salvation. As to Annet, she is a gorgeous, gifted and wonderful actress, yes, I will really miss her.

  6. Jason B. says:

    I just sat on the couch with my mouth open for a good three minutes after it happened. Really didn’t want it to end that way … she’s such a complex character. Sad. After thinking about it, though, it made some sense. The Americans has a lot of work to do to replace the interest that Nina’s character brought with her.

  7. Harry says:

    I know she had to go but how can you kill someone that damn hot!

  8. Josie says:

    I just started watching the series and just as I started getting to know Nina’s character she died. I think she did a great job and she brought a lot to the show and I think the director should have kept her around for a bit longer and I’m sure the fans will missed her. She’s beautiful, talented and it was like losing
    A close relative and no, I’m not communist. I’m sure she’ll will have a promising career after this acting experience in the “Americans”.

  9. It was so right that she died quick and suddenly, i was tired of seeing her suffering and watching her caracter going nowhere…

  10. RB says:

    Way too sad my mouth is still wide open. I wanted her to be free.

  11. Inga Norden says:

    The most shocking death on tv. Very emotional, it still haunts me. Nina was extraordinary and I miss the character. Hopefully we will see Annette in many more roles in the near future!

  12. Cheryl says:

    I am devastated….I can’t believe they killed her off…She was such a great character.

  13. Lisa says:

    Spoiler alert: even if you put *spoiler* over a character’s name that dies to keep it hidden from the fans that just don’t want to know, Google doesn’t. Neither does a URL with a name like: “2016/04/06/the-americans-nina-dies-annet-mahendru-leaving-interview-season-4/#commentform-700975”