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Elizabeth Jennings from 'The Americans'
The FX network's period drama set in America during the Cold War tells the story of two Soviet KGB spies posing as an American married couple in a suburb outside Washington, D.C.
American actress Keri Russell, who plays the KGB agent Elizabeth Jennings, says her background in jazz and ballet really helped her pull off the series' intense fight scenes.
"There’s a masculine rawness to Elizabeth, and it helped immensely to be able to do those fight scenes first, and then do the scenes right after," she told Collider. "There’s something, when you’re fighting and pushing and kicking guys’ heads into the wall that’s just more animal."
To learn the fundamentals of hand-to-hand combat, Russell was also trained in the self-defense art of Krav Maga by Israeli expert Avital Zeisler.
"Working out [this way] makes you feel fierce," she told Women's Health. "I tend to be very internal – getting on the subway and keeping my eyes down. But I would leave those workouts looking people in the eye, like, 'Sup.'"