Rahul Khanna is back on The Americans


Rahul Khanna is back on The Americans

After signing the most terrifying contract of his life

By Vatsala Chhibber  January 25th, 2015

His script was CIA-approved.

The Americans was created by Joe Weisberg, a former CIA agent. And since he knows stuff that the CIA would like to keep secret, they’ve reserved the right to censor anything they don’t like! So every script has to be cleared by them. But the show has many fascinating details about the lives of spies during the cold war – I particularly love their disguises, gadgets and the extremes they would go to for their cause (including murder, seduction, torture and even marriages).”

His contract gave him the jitters.

“When I was initially approached for the part, they were upfront about the fact that there was a sex scene. I read the draft and it seemed manageable. However after I signed on, they sent me an updated draft of the script (which was much more risqué) and a ‘nudity and simulated sex consent agreement’, which actors are legally required to sign, upfront. That’s when things got pretty terrifying! I tweeted that I have bungee jumped, but signing that document was much scarier.”

His character is in for a surprise.  

“I play a high-ranking ISI officer named Yousaf. He’s an Oxford educated ex-cricketer with a bit of a roving eye who often visits Washington for meetings with the CIA. Towards the end of Season 2 the KGB had set a ‘honey trap’ for him using Annelise — a sexy Washington socialite. They then covertly engineered to have him promoted within the ISI to serve their own purposes. In the premiere of season 3 there’s a shocking twist and Yousaf finds himself unexpectedly beholden to the KGB.”

His worst nightmare on set was a ‘modesty pouch’.

“The modesty pouch is a contraption invented by Satan himself. It’s basically a cod-piece that’s supposed to stick onto your skin like a band-aid and give the illusion of nudity while maintaining a degree of modesty and hygiene on the set. Ironically, especially if there’s a lot of movement and you get a little sweaty, it doesn’t really stay stuck — which can be mortifying!” 

The Americans season 3 premieres January 29 at 10.00 pm on Star World Premiere

Photograph:Paul Gregory