May 16, 2018, 11:42 AM ET

'The Americans' star Holly Taylor on shooting the 'absolutely heartbreaking' final scene

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Holly Taylor has got a message for the "Paige haters," the fans of "The Americans" who dislike her character Paige Jennings.

"People are like, 'Oh my god! Just let them get on with killing the Americans,'" Taylor said in an interview on ABC News' "Popcorn With Peter Travers." "You're an American! Who are you rooting for?"

PHOTO: Keri Russell, as Elizabeth Jennings, Holly Taylor, as Paige Jennings, and Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings, in a scene from The Americans.Patrick Harbron/FX
Keri Russell, as Elizabeth Jennings, Holly Taylor, as Paige Jennings, and Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings, in a scene from "The Americans."

Taylor, 20, has played the teen daughter of the main characters, growing up in the U.S. during the Cold War, since the critically-acclaimed FX drama premiered in 2013.

Early on in the series, Paige is suspicious of her parents, played by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, who turned out to be Russian spies.

"Her parents were being so weird around her, they're not being truthful," Taylor told Travers. "Her parents were lying to her for like 16 years."

Taylor said she understood why Paige was so suspicious, sneaking around the family home's laundry room looking for clues into her parents' secrets, but she still didn't like the choices Paige made.

"I more didn't like them because I knew the audience wasn't going to like them. But if you think about it, Paige was really doing the right thing. Like, her parents are illegal spies in this country, and she's an American," Taylor said. "She was right!"

Now on the show, which is currently in its sixth and final season, Paige is a college student who not only knows about her parents' secret identities, but has joined the cause.

Although the show's filming has already wrapped, Taylor did not reveal the details of the last scene, which she called "absolutely heartbreaking."

"The last day really summed up the whole 'The Americans' experience perfectly," she said. "I was like, 'This is going to be so sad when I'm done. I'm definitely going to cry saying goodbye to everyone.' And then a blizzard comes."

That morning was already freezing cold, Taylor said, and the unplanned snow further complicated the shoot.

"It was just a complete mess, and by the time we were done, everyone was like, 'Bye, we'll see you at the premiere,'" she said. "And that was it. I think I hugged like three people. Everyone just wanted to go home so bad because it was such a horrible night."

PHOTO: Holly Taylor attends the The Americans season 6 premiere at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, March 16, 2018, in New York City.Steven Ferdman/Patrick McMullan via Getty Image
Holly Taylor attends the "The Americans" season 6 premiere at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, March 16, 2018, in New York City.

Taylor said she first auditioned for the role by sending in a self-made tape and was eventually invited to New York to read for the part. Keri Russell also happened to be at the audition.

"That was like a surprise to me when I showed up. So I was like, 'Now I'm extra nervous,'" Taylor said about her TV mom. "But she was so nice and the two of us were able to bond over starting out as dancers. So it was kind of like we bonded straight from the beginning."

As for Rhys, who plays her father, Taylor said, "He's really fun."

"He's always cracking jokes between takes. Even that day when he was like yelling at me, spit flying at my face, ripping out Bible pages, he's still like making people laugh in between," she said. "So it's really amazing how he's able to turn that on and off."

Taylor joked that her real-life parents share an eerie similarity with their TV counterparts.

"I have four passports, and my parents are foreigners," she said. "So I really don't know if they are spies."

PHOTO: Holly Taylor, who stars as Paige Jennings on FXs The Americans, appeared on ABC News Popcorn With Peter Travers.Jeff Swartz/ABC News
Holly Taylor, who stars as Paige Jennings on FX's "The Americans," appeared on ABC News' "Popcorn With Peter Travers."

Taylor got her start as a young girl, as an actress in the Broadway production of "Billy Elliot." She said being on a TV show doesn't faze her, or her friends.

"None of my friends watch the show," Taylor said. "If I'm out and I get recognized with them -- which doesn't happen a lot -- but if I do, they're like, 'Why is that lady talking to you? What are they talking about?' And then five minutes later, they're like, 'Oh yeah, she's on a TV show.'"

Taylor said she sometimes forgets, too, and wonders why strangers might be staring.

"If a man is looking at me on the street, I'll be like, 'Why is this man looking at me?'" she said. "And then I'm like, 'Okay, Holly, you know what. He's a fan of 'The Americans.' Just let it be.'"

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Taylor, who's a college sophomore studying graphic design, said she's happy to have the balance of being both an actress and a regular student.

"I often say that I feel like Hannah Montana because when I'm doing stuff like this, you know I'm in this world. It's great," she said. "But then once I go home, it's like a completely different life and I go to school. And no one at school cares at all."

VIDEO: The Americans star forgets the word to this classic nursery rhyme Play
'The Americans' star forgets the words to this classic nursery rhyme

As for what's next once "The Americans" ends, Taylor has ambitions to do "more [of] everything."

"I still want to pursue acting, as well. But I always wanted to go to college, just because my education's my priority and I kind of stumbled upon graphic design," she said. "It's just been the luckiest experience, especially to start out with something like this. It's given me so much to work with, hopefully going into other projects."

Watch the full interview with "The Americans" star Holly Taylor and Peter Travers in the video above.

News - 'The Americans' star Holly Taylor on shooting the 'absolutely heartbreaking' final scene

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  • Sharp

    I don't see why people don't like the actress. it is a role and she does a very good job playing it. so the heck with haters.

    As far as the character, it is no different than if a kid had been brought up by committed ideological Nazi agents working to further Nazism. They'd be brainwashed too.