Five-Part Miniseries CHERNOBYL, An HBO/Sky Co-Production Starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson, Written and Created by Craig Mazin, and Directed by Johan Renck, Debuts May 6 on HBO
Paul Ritter, Jessie Buckley, Adrian Rawlins And Con O’Neill Also Star; Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone And Craig Mazin Executive Produce; Chris Fry And Johan Renck Co-Executive Produce; Sanne Wohlenberg Produces
“Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth.”
— Valery Legasov (Jared Harris)
CHERNOBYL dramatizes the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst human-made catastrophes in history, and tells the story of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster, all the while battling a culture of disinformation.
Debuting MONDAY, MAY 6 (9:00–10:00 p.m. ET/PT), followed by other episodes subsequent Mondays at the same time, exclusively on HBO, the five-part miniseries stars Jared Harris (“The Crown”; EmmyÒ nominee for “Mad Men”), Stellan Skarsgård (“Melancholia,” “Good Will Hunting”) and Emily Watson (OscarÒ nominee for “Hilary and Jackie” and “Breaking the Waves”).
The miniseries will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.
CHERNOBYL was written, created and executive produced by Craig Mazin (“The Huntsman: Winter’s War”) and directed by Johan Renck (“Breaking Bad”); produced by Sister Pictures, The Mighty Mint and Word Games as an HBO/Sky co-production. Carolyn Strauss (Emmy® winner for “Game of Thrones”) and Jane Featherstone (“Broadchurch”) executive produce; Johan Renck and Chris Fry (“Humans”) co-executive produce; Sanne Wohlenberg (“Black Mirror”) produces.
On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe.
Jared Harris portrays Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet nuclear physicist. As part of the response team, he is one of the first to grasp the scope of the unparalleled disaster that has occurred.
Stellan Skarsgård plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident.
Emily Watson portrays Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the mystery of what led to the Chernobyl disaster.
The miniseries also stars: Paul Ritter (“Lovesick”) as Chernobyl deputy chief engineer Anatoly Dyatlov; Jessie Buckley (“Beast”) as Lyudmilla Ignatenko, a Pripyat resident married to a firefighter on the first response team; Adrian Rawlins (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) as Chernobyl chief engineer Nikolai Fomin; and Con O’Neill (“Harlots”) as plant director Viktor Bryukhanov.
The cast also includes: Sam Troughton (“The Ritual”), Adam Nagaitis (“The Terror”), Barry Keoghan (“Dunkirk”), Ralph Ineson (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”), Mark Lewis Jones (“Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi”), Fares Fares (HBO’s “Westworld”) and David Dencik (“McMafia”).
Writer, creator and executive producer Craig Mazin began researching the Chernobyl disaster in 2014, using a wide variety of materials, including several books and government reports from inside and outside of the Soviet Union. He spoke to nuclear scientists to learn how a reactor works, and interviewed former Soviet citizens to gain a better sense of the culture in 1986.
Mazin also read a great number of first-person accounts, which helped bring an additional layer of authenticity and humanity to the story. He explains, “When you’re reading the personal stories of people who were there — people who lived near the plant, people who worked at the plant, people who were sent to Chernobyl as part of the effort to clean it up — in those individual accounts, that’s really where the story came alive.”
Principal photography for CHERNOBYL took place in Lithuania and Ukraine, with a creative team including: director of photography Jakob Ihre (“Thelma”); production designer Luke Hull (“Howards End”); editors, Jinx Godfrey (“The Theory of Everything”) and Simon Smith (“Endeavor”); costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux (“Brooklyn”); casting directors Nina Gold and Robert Sterne (both two-time Emmy® winners for HBO’s “Game of Thrones”); and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir (“Trapped”).
Follow @HBOPR for more news and information.