If you're not already watching FX's "The Americans," you might want to get on that because everything about it is incredible, especially Keri Russell.

Keri Russell as Elizabeth in "The Americans." Photo via"The Americans"/FX Networks.


After four seasons of revelatory work, Russell is finally being recognized at the Emmys with a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. This year, the show also received four other significant nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor for Russell's co-star (and real-life partner) Matthew Rhys.

Though the couple isn't known for doing much publicity, with all the hype around the show, they recently agreed to sit down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, which took ... an interesting turn.

While most of the interview was about the brilliance of the show and their work on it, the interviewer couldn't help asking about Russell's "infamous" short haircut from back in her "Felicity" days.

Keri's so over it. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

It was a weird thing to bring up — first, because it happened almost two decades ago, and, second, because Lacey Rose, the reporter, brought it up in a way that made it seem like she wasn't bringing it up, even though she totally was:

"I'm sure you're horrified that we're still talking about the uproar caused by Felicity's decision to cut off her hair, but you've said you don't think it would have been nearly as big a deal if it were to happen today."

For anyone who isn't familiar with one of the biggest "scandals" in television history, this is what the offending hair cut looked like:

Keri as Felicity with the dreaded pixie cut. Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

As Decider reports:

"The story went that Keri Russell sent the producers a photo of her wearing a short wig as a prank, but after the initial freakout, the producers thought it might be a fun idea for the character. Russell herself talked about how that signature mane of curly hair had become her public identity, so no doubt there was probably an impulse to rebel against that image."

When the pixie cut was revealed in the second episode of the show's second season, there was an immediate uproar. How could Russell destroy the thing that made "Felicity" Felicity? What right did she have to do what she wanted with her own body?

The "risky move" negatively affected the show's ratings to the point the WB Entertainment president at the time, Susanne Daniels, jokingly said, "Nobody is cutting their hair again on our network and our staff."

While the producers might've been glib about the whole thing, the show's viewers certainly were not.

They were furious.

Over a haircut.

So, when the haircut came up in that recent Hollywood Reporter interview, Russell pointed out why it's ridiculous that she's still being asked about it today, while also gently calling out Rose for doing exactly that:

"Just because it's not kosher to talk that much shit about some girl's hair anymore. Like, Hillary might be president. You gotta be cool with that shit. Tone it down. And I hope that someone would call someone out on that if it happened now."

Because Keri Russell is a class act.

BOOM.

Keri Russell as Elizabeth on "The Americans."

There seems to be a push-pull when it comes to the conversation about women's bodily autonomy and representation in Hollywood right now.

On one hand, there are movements like #AskHerMore where the industry seems fervently invested in doing away with sexist, image-based comments on the red carpet. We have female Ghostbusters. Actresses like Rose Byrne and Jessica Chastain have started women-run film production companies.

But on the other hand, there are people who feel it's totally OK to write a review of Renee Zellweger's latest movie with the absurd headline: "Renee Zellweger: If She No Longer Looks Like Herself, Has She Become a Different Actress?" (The answer, of course, is NO. She's the same actress, just 20 years older and with maybe a little work done. She looks different, in part, because aging and the linear progression of time are universal constants that no human being can escape form nor should they be shamed for.)


The good news is more and more powerhouse women like Keri Russell are refusing to let sexist criticisms go unchecked.

The more women and men who come forward to declare how absurd such scrutiny is (especially when it often applies only to women), the sooner Hollywood will become a place where actresses feel safe to show their true faces.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less