The Americans, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Russian KGB agents posing as suburban Americans living in Washington D.C., has been filming many scenes right here in New York City. In the video clip below, the show’s production designer John Mott explains that they had to find locations that would look like Soviet Russia during the 1980s. Though he does not disclose the filming location, we happen to know that the scenes set inside the Soviet Embassy (where one of the main actors, double agent Nina, works) were actually filmed at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America. The crew brought in some incredible set pieces and props to outfit the ground floor galleries and the library, like this huge map of the Soviet Union, portraits and busts of Lenin and other artifacts.

The Italian Academy is a cultural institution affiliated with Columbia University that hosts a range of Italian cultural activities, including art exhibits, concerts, conferences and even an opera. Check out our article about Paolo Ventura’s Fantastical Photos at the Italian Academy.

Got an inside tip on film locations from your favorite movies and TV shows? Email us at [email protected].