Jared Harris, star of HBO’s hit mini-series Chernobyl, has discussed the challenges of portraying the real-life figure of Valery Legasov.
There is no question that HBO’s historical min-series Chernobyl has turned into quite the hit, with the show receiving critical acclaim from all corners. The show stars Jared Harris as Valery Legasov, one of the men tasked with fixing the crisis – a real-life catastrophic nuclear incident in the Soviet Union during the 80s.
Jared Harris, in a recent interview with The Cheat Sheet, discussed some of the biggest challenges portraying Legasov, saying preparing for the role was no easy task as the Soviets simply erased much of the historical record, there weren’t even audio tapes like in the show:
“There weren’t audio tapes. He left behind journals. But that’s not as cinematic as audio tapes. They’re very hard to get a hold of. In fact, there’s not a lot of him left in the historical record because they basically wrote him out of the story. They erased him from history. That’s what they were trying to do as a threat … to stop him from trying to get the story out.”
The propaganda, misinformation, lies, and paranoia are certainly apparent in the show which airs on HBO in the US and on Sky Atlantic in the UK.
Chernobyl is a tale of lies and cowardice, of courage and conviction, of human failure and human nobility. The mini-series focuses on the heart-breaking scale of the nuclear plant disaster that occurred in Ukraine in April 1986, revealing how and why it happened, and telling the shocking, remarkable stories of the heroes who risked their lives to save others.”
Chernobyl features a cast that includes Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson, Paul Ritter, Jessie Buckley, Barry Keoghan, Ralph Ineson, Adrian Rawlins, Con O’Neill and Fares Fares.