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Stephen Colbert is unable to break Keri Russell with his Star Wars spoiler tactics

Keri Russell, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Foolish Stephen Colbert. On Tuesday’s Late Show, the host thought that, just because she’s no longer portraying Russian super-spy Elizabeth Jennings since The Americans took its final bow last May, she’d be easy to break. Starring as she is (in some capacity) in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming ninth Star Wars episode (of some title), Russell sat in Colbert’s fiendish chit-chat chamber (the Ed Sullivan Theater) and weathered every line of questioning noted Star Wars geek Colbert employed.

At first, Colbert thought he’d spotted an opening, when his nonchalant, “Oh, I forgot the top secret title, what was that top-secret title again?” gambit appeared to have Russell on the verge of spilling. She quickly recovered her Disney-monitored equilibrium, even as Colbert assured her that Abrams is a pal and he totally wouldn’t mind if Russell just let him (and his televised audience) know some things about who she’s playing in the Christmastime release. (Russell did give out the not-at-all-helpful scrap that her character wears a very elaborate costume, so update your fanfic there, gang.)


Trying one last, time-tested trap on the actress (who’s currently starring alongside Kylo Ren himself, Adam Driver, on Broadway), ordering his minions to push in for a tight closeup on Russell. Admonishing his guest that his cameras could pick up even the slightest change in demeanor or micro-expression, Colbert then peppered Russell with his list of deviously prepared questions as to just which character with a slightly awkward-sounding name she’ll been portraying. Yoda’s ex-wife? A Rebellion super-spy with a lot of wigs? Just a space-lady looking for her keys? If there’s any justice (space-justice), Colbert’s final, Chewbacca-adjacent guess will turn out to be on the money, but, as ever, Keri Russell doesn’t talk.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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