Jared Harris nailed why “Chernobyl” resonates so deeply today.
“It’s a story about an ecological disaster and the fact that it was made worse because they ignored the facts,” he explained. “They suppressed an inconvenient truth for a more favorable political reality.”
Harris has had an impressive career with roles in Mad Men, Lost in Space, and recently, the intense historic drama “Chernobyl,” which details the 1986 nuclear incident in Russia.
“I was alive at the time living in Europe so I knew what had happened but I didn’t understand what had happened,” he said.
To prepare for the role, Harris did a lot of research on Valery Legasov, who had effectively been scrubbed from Chernobyl’s history. He was drawn to the fact that Legasov was “a reluctant hero”
“Traditionally what you see with the heroes is that they run into the burning building—that’s what the first responders do [in the show] actually, that you see in that first episode,” he said. “That interested me in a way because we don’t know how we’re going to react when that moment comes—are we gonna run or are we gonna fight?”
“Chernobyl” was released on HBO and saw massive success for its intense reenactment of the incident as well as its allusion to political corruption.