Keri Russell "The Americans": Child Actors Who Played Drastically Different Adult Roles

The opening scene of the pilot episode of The Americans, the FX 80s era Soviet spy hit, shows a risque Keri Russell seducing a business man. For many who remember her as the shy, somewhat innocent Felicity on Felicity, it was a little jarring. Russell, however, has been convincing as Soviet spy Elizabeth Jenkins on the fantastically tense The Americans (Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on FX). Convincing enough that many are forgetting about Felicity. 

She's not the only actor who reinvented herself from a younger performance. Check out Russell, along with three other actors who changed their ways and became a different character later on in life.

1. Keri Russell, Felicity to The Americans 

 

Keri Russell had curly hair and boy trouble on Felicity and changed it out for straight hair and spy games on The Americans. The sultry spy show has been fantastic in its first season, and it looks like Russell found a new role to be typecast as. 

2. Neil Patrick Harris, Doogie Howser, M.D. to How I Met Your Mother 

 

Barney Stinson on HIMYM is a womanizer extraordinaire. Doogie Howser was a kid doctor extraordinaire. I guess they are both geniuses at something, even if Doogie found out at a much earlier age. 

3. Claire Danes, My So-Called Life to Homeland 

 

This one is a little tough. Claire Daines playing the bipolar Carrie Mathison on Homeland allows her to cry a ton. She got to cry as a high schooler on My So-Called Life, too. It's a little bit of a stretch to say that these characters are very different, but counter terrorist agent with boy troubles is a lot more badass than high schooler with boy troubles.

4. (BONUS: She's Trying) Emma Watson Harry Potter to 50 Shades of Grey(?) and The Bling Ring 

 

A bunch of middle and high school boys had crushes on Hermione Granger. Now it seems like a bunch of fresh-out-of-college and creepy old guys are going to have crushes on Emma Watson. Even if she's denying the 50 Shades of Grey rumors, she'll first give us a look different than Hermione in The Bling Ring


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Liam Boylan-Pett

Liam is a culture writing intern at PolicyMic. His work has appeared in "Running Times" and other running publications. He is also a professional middle-distance runner for the New Jersey-New York Track Club. After graduating from Columbia University with his bachelor's degree, he earned a Master's of Professional Studies in Journalism from Georgetown University. Originally from Bath, Mich, he spends his time watching TV, reading longform journalism, and thinking about who is going to be in the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four.

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