Matthew Rhys sparked chaos on 'The Americans' set by playing a drunken prank on the writers.

Matthew Rhys played a prank on the writers while filming The Americans with Keri Russell

Matthew Rhys played a prank on the writers while filming The Americans with Keri Russell

The actor starred in the hit spy show alongside his real life wife Keri Russell and it's now been revealed he once sent the writing team into a spin after coming back from a boozy lunch and scrawling all over cast pictures which were put up behind-the-scenes - prompting bosses to reprimand the staff.

Speaking at a panel event at the Paley Center in New York City to mark the show's 10th anniversary, writer Joel Fields recalled: "In the writers room we had photos of the cast members up, to help inspire us for the characters. [Show creator] Joe [Weisberg] and I walked in [to the writers' room] one day and someone had on Matthew and Keri's pictures – they'd been defaced.

"There's devil horns on Matthew and a funny moustache on Keri.

"And we called the assistants in and we called the staff in and we go: 'Guys, it's all good to have fun it's fine, but this is a professional and respectful place to work and we really need to know who did this?' And one of the assistants finally goes: 'It's Matthew'."

Matthew then confessed to the prank and blamed it on the drinks he had a lunch. He said: "We had a boozy lunch. And I was like: 'New disguise options!'"

During the event, Fields also spoke about how the pilot episode was turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy, which struck America's East Coast in late 2012 and destroyed the sets they had been working on.

He explained: "First seasons are hard. And the first season of this show was hard. It started with Hurricane Sandy wiping out the sets the week before we’re supposed to start shooting. And it sort of and it got harder from there.

"So we spent a lot of late nights into early mornings watching the sun rise together in our writers offices … And we were forged really what has become a great friendship and a great creative collaboration that continues to this day. So we just feel very lucky and blessed for that."

'The Americans' launched in 2013 and ran for six seasons before coming to an end in 2018.