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Wayne Hills Alum Wins Golden Globe

By Joe Mezza, Senior Editor

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As a member of the cast of The Americans, Holly Taylor (WHHS ’16) has won the 2019 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Drama.

Taylor told the Patriot Press, “I’m so happy that we were recognized and I was lucky enough to be a part of this show. Everyone worked so hard. Thanks to Wayne Hills for supporting me while I worked.”

The Americans has won the 2019 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Drama. Taylor was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Taylor was born in Canada but has lived in Wayne since she and her family moved in 2000. Her mother and father are immigrants from Ireland and Scotland respectively and her older brother is a veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan. She began taking dance classes when she was three years old and landed her first major role when she was eleven as a dancer in “Billy Elliot” at the Imperial Theatre in New York. Two years later, after sending in an audition tape, Taylor began filming for The Americans and has stayed with the show for the entirety of its run. Despite her demanding acting schedule and rigorous academic course-load (an article in The Bergen Record cites her as having taken, among other classes, “Honors English, AP environmental science, psychology and art” her Junior year), Taylor was able to maintain impressive grades during her time at Wayne Hills. However, Taylor has said she was shy in high school and actually not as well-known as one might imagine. She attributes this to The Americans niche viewership, which she feels does not include many high school students.

WARNING: The following paragraph contains minor spoilers for The Americans.

The Americans is an FX period drama set in the 1980s during the cold war and centers on Elizabeth and Philip Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys), two KGB officers posing as a suburban American couple. Their children, Paige (Taylor) and Henry (Keidrich Sellati), begin the show unaware of their parents’ Soviet allegiances. As the show progresses, Paige learns more about her family and her role in the show expands. By the final season, Paige is wholly aware of her parents spying and becomes something of a KGB agent-in-training herself. Taylor welcomed this character development, as she always felt that her inquisitive character was disliked by viewers for her constant pestering of her parents in the show’s earlier seasons. Taylor told The Cut in 2018 that she “used to feel frustrated when she [Paige] was always asking questions. I could see the [mean] tweets as soon as I read the scripts.”

The Americans is no stranger to critical acclaim. Indeed, the show has been nominated for 84 awards and won 19, among them the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama (awarded to Matthew Rhys) and the Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Writing for a Dramatic Series. A 2015 Rolling Stone article described the show as the “greatest drama on TV right now” and it currently has an aggregate score of 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Taylor is also well-liked by critics: she was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series and won a Young Artists Award for Best Supporting Younger Actress in a Television Series.

In May 2018, Holly told BUILDseries.com that her favorite moment during the production of The Americans was when her costar Keidrich, after making a “snarky” comment to her, immediately “face-planted to the ground.”

Taylor is currently studying graphic design at Kean University and has not decided if she will continue her acting career now that The Americans has come to an end.

Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
Holly Taylor (left in red) and the cast of The Americans accept the Golden Globe for Best Drama

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About the Writer
Joe Mezza, Senior Editor

Joe Mezza, alongside Nick Tulino and Jenna Sundel, is a Senior Editor for the Patriot Press and has written for the paper since 2016. When not writing...

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Wayne Hills Alum Wins Golden Globe