CHERNOBYL

Five-part HBO/SKY Series

2019


director.gif (905 bytes) Johan Renck

CAST

Jared Harris - Valery Legosov
Stellan Skarsgård - Boris Shcherbina
Emily Watson -  Ulana Khomyuk
Paul Ritter - Anatoly Dyatlov
David Dencik - Mikhael Gorbachev
Jessie Buckley - Lyndmilla Ignatenko
Adam Nagaitis - Vasily Ignatenko


 


SYNOPSIS

Chernobly is a five-part miniseries co-production from HBO and Sky. It dramatizes the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history — and of the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe.
 

button_box.gif (205 bytes) PRODUCTION NOTES

The series was filmed in Lithuania, a former Soviet Republic just northwest of Ukraine, during the spring and summer of 2018. Production took place at Chernobyl's sister power plant, Ignalina  in the town of Vilnius, which represented Pripyat in the series. The production also built some sets and added visual-effects extensions to re-create the feeling of the disaster.

button_box.gif (205 bytes) STELLAN:

"It's a five-hour HBO mini-series that comes out in May. I think it will be good. It’s very well written. It’s with Emily Watson who I haven’t worked with since Breaking the Waves. We don’t fuck in this one though! There’s no market for it any more. Jared Harris is playing the main role and he’s fantastic. I play the Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina who had the responsibility to take care of the 1986 Chernobyl accident and the clean up. Jared plays a Soviet scientist who Shcherbina brings in because he knows about nuclear reactors and Shcherbina doesn’t. What’s interesting about it is not the catastrophe itself but what makes or creates a catastrophe like that. It’s because it’s a system, an infallible system. The Soviet system was infallible, that was the ideology. It’s like any religion. It could be nationalism that goes too far. You think your nation is infallible–we’ve seen examples of that. What happens then is that you have to adjust reality to fit this image of infallibility. So there were flaws in those reactors that were hidden even from the people running them because it couldn’t be that they had bad reactors in the Soviet Union. Why don’t we immediately say we have a catastrophe and we need all the help we can get? No they said nothing happened; they said it’s all fine. Then of course that wasn’t correct."

button_box.gif (205 bytes) IMAGES:

 

  PHOTOS FROM SCREENING AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

button_box.gif (205 bytes) PRAISE FOR STELLAN:

"Legasov and Shcherbina, real people who are now deceased, are brilliantly played by Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård, respectively."   ...Kent German, Cnet.com

"Together, the formidable trio of Harris, Skarsgård, and Watson give the series its bleeding heart, untangling their characters’ respective inner conflicts and ultimate determination to tell the truth in the face of extraordinary opposition from their own country with expert ease."   ...Caroline Framke, Variety

"Skarsgård is fantastic as the party man who slowly comes around to doing the right thing. His arc, as he goes from hard-nosed bureaucrat to heartbroken truth-teller, is a true highlight."   ...Chris Evangelista, Slash Film

"All three actors are titans, and they manage to carry off dialogue that could be cumbersome in lesser hands. Skarsgård and Harris both exude weariness like perspiration, with Harris’s features stretched permanently into a grimace and Skarsgård so craggy, he seems carved out of granite."   ...Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic

"Stellan Skarsgård is immediately believable as his hard-nosed USSR officer, Borys Shcherbina. A vaguely malicious government head is a role the actor was practically born to play."   ...Kayla Cobb, Decider

"Skarsgård gives one of his career-best performances as a man who has been a mouthpiece for his government for years, but realizes that party lines won’t get the job done here."   ...Brian Tallerico, rogerebert.com

"'Chernobyl' has been nominated for 19 Emmy Awards, and it deserves all of them – especially for Harris and Skarsgärd but also for Emily Watson, whose character is an amalgam of all the brave nuclear engineers who worked to get at the actual truth."   ...Dan Webster, Spokesman Review

"There isn’t a wasted performance in any of the five episodes, starting with the masterful work of leads Harris, Skarsgård, and Emily Watson."  ...Warren Cantrell, The Playlist

"Harris’s rational scientist and Skarsgård’s rigid Soviet official prove to be initially dissimilar, but Chernobyl superbly elucidates their dawning understanding that some actualities—including their own cancer-riddled future—are indisputable, and thus must be faced. The esteemed actors bring nuanced, complicated baggage to their protagonists, who are navigating a bureaucracy uninterested in failure."   ...Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

"One cannot commit to watching 'Chernobyl' without understanding how tough this viewing experience is. At the same time, the performances turned in by Skarsgård, Emily Watson and Jared Harris are passionate and nuanced enough to compel the tough viewers to gut out the squeamish parts."  ...Melanie McFarland, Salon,com.