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‘Americans’ actor talks character, riding in NM

Russian actor Costa Ronin is an avid motorcycist and stars in the FX drama "The Americans." (Photo courtesy of Jo Pytel)

Russian actor Costa Ronin is an avid motorcycist and stars in the FX drama “The Americans.” (Photo courtesy of Jo Pytel)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Costa Ronin enjoys riding his motorcyle — though he’s been only riding for three years.

But the Russian actor is dreaming about coming to New Mexico and riding the Land of Enchantment’s terrain.

“There are so many places there that I’d love to see,” he says during a recent interview. “I just need to carve some time out in my schedule.”

A lot of Ronin’s time is spent on set of “The Americans,” where he plays the young, sly Oleg Burov.

Burov is a KGB officer who has a talent for technology and an obsession with American culture. He stars alongside Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys. The second season is currently airing at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on FX.

Ronin says filming on the show has been done for awhile, but his work schedule never stops.

Thanks to “The Americans,” audiences are getting a better look at his work.

“I was a fan of the show and wanted to be part of it,” he says. “I haven’t played a character like Oleg ever in my life. The series is all about the people and the spy game. It really plays on the human emotions and all of the layers.”

The hour-long drama is created and produced by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg.

It is set during the Cold War period in the 1980s, and tells the story of Elizabeth and Philip Jennings — played by Russell and Rhys — who are two Soviet KGB officers posing as an American married couple living in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. with their unsuspecting children and their neighbor, Stan Beeman an FBI counterintelligence agent.

The series focuses on the personal and professional lives of the Jennings’, sometimes incorporating real-life events into the narrative.

On April 16, the series was renewed for a third season.

Ronin explains that Burov is the new kid on the block and grew up in Moscow where his father is a high-ranking government official.

“He grew up as part of the upper middle class,” he says. “Oleg always wanted to get away from them and do something bigger and (he) has great ambition.”

Actor Costa Ronin stars in "The Americans."

Actor Costa Ronin stars in “The Americans.”

Ronin says Burov lives in a very complicated world where no one should really be trusted.

“One day someone will bring you cupcakes,(and) the next,  you’re dead,” he says. “It’s very complicated.”

Ronin says he’s having fun with Borev as he figures out who the key players are in the show.

“He’s learning how to get what he wants to get ahead,” he says. “But it’s taking a toll on him.”

Ronin says coming into the series during the second season was a bit frightful for him.

He says with the majority of the characters already established, it was his duty to make his character the best he could make him.

“Oleg existed in this world, though he was never shown,” he says. “That was something I thought about a lot. What is his backstory? How is it all going to play out.”

Ronin was born and grew up on the West Coast of Russia where he discovered his passion for sailing at the young age of five taught by his father and grandfather.

His tenacity showed no bounds when at the age of 15 he began working at a radio station teaching English through music and learning American Culture through the radio waves.

After moving to New Zealand with his mother, he studied international relations and political science at his university before relocating to Western Australia.

He immersed himself in training in the performing arts which landed him a starring role on the Australian Film Institute Award winning TV series, “The Circuit.”

Ronin says he will be seen in a show called “The Extant.”

“I’ve (been) working to keep moving my career forward,” he says. “With every job, it’s getting my name out there more and more. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be in New Mexico filming something.”

Take a look at Ronin’s character on “The Americans”:

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