Annet Mahendru speaks about evolving role on 'Americans'

Laura Prepon assured that she had more to do on “Orange Is the New Black,” while Annet Mahendru’s role continues to flourish on “The Americans.”

That was just some of the chat that came out of the Variety/Women in Film party Friday at Scarpetta at the Montage hotel.

Prepon aimed to counter reports that she would not be a presence in the sophomore year of “Orange,” the Netflix show that was a popular follow-up this summer to “House of Cards.”

“I know what’s happening, but I can’t spoil anything,” she said. “But I’m definitely coming back for season two. I know there’s a lot floating around, but I can’t wait to get back there. It’s exciting.”

The actress added that it was too soon to speculate about how the program might do in its first shot at the Emmys in 2014, but the strength of the reaction to it wasn’t something she was prepared for.

“I don’t think anybody was. It’s so awesome, and the fans have just been so supportive,” she said. “It’s really unbelievable. People have said a bunch  of really nice things. I don’t know (about next year’s Emmys) – we’ll see.”

“Netflix is really like the pioneer. We’re all like the new pioneers of the next movement. It’s pretty incredible being involved with it. It’s really where television is going. … I’ve been watching Netflix for a while, so for me, when I heard they were doing shows, I was like, ‘Whoa – this is amazing.”

Mahendru was cast for a small role on FX’s period drama, before eventually becoming a pivotal part as the season progressed and being elevated to series regular status for season two.

“I read on tape for them,” she said, “met them through Skype, went in for one month for possibly four epsiodes, did the four episodes – brought four sweaters with me –  that turned into eight, then 10, then 12. I did the whole season. I had no idea. I was working really hard, and I was getting more work.

“The first was outside, and I had one line. Those are the hardest when you just have one thing. And it was so cold; it felt-like minus-10. Adam Arkin was directing. But I was really excited. They say nervous and excitement is the same reaction in the body, so it was the best ‘one line.’ The writers have been writing such great things for me, so we’ll just get even better. It’s always about story for me. Great stories and great work lead to other things.”

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