||Keri Faces Her Felicitous Future (The
''I'm really not the one to say what teenagers want,''
chuckles Keri Russell, star of the teen drama Felicity, in town to promote
CTV's fall schedule.
''I'm not a teenager,'' says Russell. ''Although I play one, I'm a bit older (she's 23).
So are the other cast members. We
remember what it was like but, who knows, it may have changed in the past few years. ''I'm
surprised at the number of adults
who stop me and say they know the series. I just think we deal with issues anybody has to
face at one time or another.''
For those not in the know, Felicity is a winsome 17-year-old from California who, on the
spur of the moment, decides to follow
the boy of her dreams, Ben Covington (Scott Speedman), to college in New York City.
She becomes disillusioned with Ben, goes to New York University and starts looking for
friends in the big city. She finds herself
getting involved with the shy dorm adviser, Noel (played by Scott Foley).
Felicity is a roaring hit for the new WB weblet in the U.S., and an even bigger
ratings splash up here. Now running Mondays at
8 for the summer, Felicity returns to its normal slot of 7 p.m. Sundays on CTV in the
In person, Russell is demure and petite. With her no-makeup look and pulled- back hair,
she looks like any 20-year-old. Except
she's making a weekly salary near the six-figure mark and is familiar to millions of
Russell was ''somewhat prepared'' for the onslaught of publicity by Felicity's producers
at Disney. She was a Mouseketeer on
the '80s revival The All New Mickey Mouse Club. As a youngster, she appeared in Honey
I Blew Up The Kid and the
prime-time Aaron Spelling soap Malibu Shores.
''I just kept trying to concentrate on my job,'' she recalled last week.
It's the biggest job on the show - while other actors get days off, Russell is in almost
every scene. ''It means long days inside a
dark studio. But it means I'm getting fabulous experience any actor my age would die for.
The scripts aren't the usual stuff;
there's a challenge every week.''
Russell protests she did not really want to act when she was growing up. ''I had vague
thoughts about wanting to be a dancer. I
sort of slipped into acting and it wasn't until a year ago that I made the key decision to
get really involved. I feel very connected
to Felicity, I'm very protective of her.''
So far Russell has managed to keep her private life under wraps, although a tabloid
recently made a big deal of her having her
wisdom teeth out.
Russell says she's getting on very well with Felicity's object of desire, 23- year-old
former Torontonian Scott Speedman, whom
she calls ''Scottie.''
As for Speedman, ''I thought there would be more pressure on me than this. This I can cope
with. If it gets too much, I take a
book and head into the canyons around Pasadena.''
The young star was brought up in Willowdale and swam with the Canadian national team in
1988 and 1992. ''Also, I flunked out
first year of university, as some people fear my character Ben is going to do. For me U of
T was just too much freedom and too
many late-night parties.''
Both Russell and Speedman have films awaiting release as they try to distance themselves
from their TV characters. He's in the
new Gwyneth Paltrow film Duets; she's in ''a small Irish production,'' Mad