An upcoming Netflix show depicting Keri Russell in the role of a career Foreign Service officer appointed the U.S. ambassador to Britain is generating buzz among U.S. diplomats.
"The Diplomat" is a political thriller that sees Russell play Kate Wyler, a career diplomat thrust into a role she's not quite ready for, according to Politico.
"We’ll take what we can get," said Eric Rubin, president of the American Foreign Service Association, the diplomats’ union, according to Politico. "The truth is most Americans have no idea what diplomats do. Anything that helps people understand what it is that diplomats do and what our Foreign Service does for our country is positive."
Barbara Stephenson, who held the No. 2 spot at the embassy in London meanwhile said that the show as a whole may be unrealistic but it was important for the cast and crew to get the little things right — like the fact that American diplomats have advanced degrees and refer to the secretary of state as "S," according to Politico.
"The ambassador is just called ambassador, and people honestly do rise when she walks in the room. That’s just what happens,” Stephenson said.
Lewis Lukens, a former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in London, added that it would be "pretty boring" if the show was "really accurate about life in an embassy."
According to TV Insider, Wyler "quickly finds that her position has severe implications for her marriage and political future" in "The Diplomat." Production began earlier this year in the U.K. and top officials with the show have been doing their homework by reaching out to the diplomatic community for pointers.
Creator Debora Cahn, along with other members of the team, met with staff at the real U.S. Embassy in London and, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, interviewed around 60 experts including current and former diplomats as well as military and intelligence analysts and protocol advisers, over a two-year period.
A senior State Department official noted that, while the department did assist filmmakers, it is rare for a show to focus on the department itself, or one of its embassies.
"Our goal is to do what we reasonably can to inform their work, to highlight the work of the public servants of the department,” said the senior official.
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