The Americans’ Costa Ronin on Oleg’s Mission and Motivation

Craig Blankenhorn/FX
Craig Blankenhorn/FX

For KGB officer Oleg Burov, his primary concern this season on The Americans has been rescuing his onetime girlfriend, Nina (Annet Mahendru) from a Russian prison. He’s even gone so far as collaborating with the enemy, FBI Agent (and Nina’s former lover) Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), in order to try and get her out. While the pairing has made for an unlikely duo–and the characters themselves don’t necessarily trust one another–it’s been a different story for the actors involved. “It’s an absolute joy. Noah is an amazing and generous actor. It’s a thrill to share that world with him,” Oleg’s portrayer, Costa Ronin, tells The TV Junkies.

Working with Stan may not be something Oleg has wanted to do, but if that’s what it takes to rescue Nina then he’s proved time and again how far he will go in order to protect her. And just because he’s working with Stan doesn’t mean Oleg has to like it. “I don’t think there is anything or anyone that can make Oleg do anything. Everything he does is motivated by his genuine desire to help people, make a difference and see the world a better place,” explains Ronin.

While Oleg may have good intentions, his father Igor, the Russian Minister of Railways, does not. He’s tried to wield his power against his son this season in more ways than one. First, Igor visited Nina in prison where she asked him to relay a very special message to Oleg that she “wasn’t pretending with him.” Ronin says it’s one that Oleg may never receive, which may be all right given that, “I don’t think that Oleg needs to get that message,” he says. It won’t change Oleg’s feelings for Nina because, “He loves her. Nina is too special to him and he would want to help, regardless of the circumstances,” explains Ronin.

His father may also throw a wrench in Oleg’s rescue mission in another manner by ordering his son to leave the Rezidentura and return to Russia. It’s an order that Oleg has chosen not to obey, and “no” is not something his father is used to hearing. “Oleg’s father is a very powerful man,” says Ronin, but Oleg has a mind of his own. The actor tells us that “Oleg didn’t leave Moscow and come to Washington to follow the orders of his father.”

As to whether or not Oleg is successful in his mission to rescue Nina this season? Well, Ronin isn’t giving away any hints. When asked about what he could say, Ronin tells us, “Absolutely nothing. And it’s not because of not being able to talk about it, but I wouldn’t want to rob the audience of the opportunity to experience these events with the characters they’ve grown to love.” We don’t know about you but it sounds that just like his character, Ronin’s become very skilled at the arts of secrecy and diversion. That’s alright by us, because just like everything else with this season of The Americans, we are hooked and can’t wait to find out more!


Do you enjoy seeing the scenes between Oleg and Stan? Will they get Nina out of prison? What are your predictions for the final episodes of Season 3? Sound off in the comments below.

The Americans airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.