Jared Harris Says 'Chernobyl' Explores the "Bromance Genre"
"It's these two people who are completely opposed, at odds, antagonistic to one another at the beginning of the story. And they start to realize, if they're going to succeed, they're going to need to rely on one another," Harris said of Legasov's relationship with Stellan Skarsgard's Shcherbina.
HBO's limited series Chernobyl, a dramatization of events surrounding the 1986 nuclear disaster, earned multiple Emmy nominations, including lead actor in a limited series for Jared Harris, who stars as scientist Valery Legasov.
Harris joined The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to discuss his impression of Legasov, saying, "I always do a lot of research, even if the character's not a biographical character and of course this one was, but there actually wasn't a lot of information on him because the Soviets actually succeeded in scrubbing him from the narrative."
He continued: "What I did see about him, I could see that, as an archetype, he was quite similar to Stellan [Skarsgard]'s character, and that was starting to bump against what [creator] Craig [Mazin] wanted from that relationship, which was a contrast between the two. And I needed to occupy a different space to the space that Stellan was going to occupy. So, my impression of the real Legasov was that he was actually a traditional Russian alpha personality. He came across as actually very confident and he occupied his space, but that didn't work really for what Craig needed to happen in our story and the journey that our two characters were going to take.”
Harris also discussed exploring the relationship between his character and Skarsgard's Boris Shcherbina, giving credit to Mazin, saying, "Craig is a very, very smart writer. … One of the things he was able to deploy was certain structures from different types of movies and use them to keep each episode fresh and that particular thing he employs is the bromance genre, if you like."
"It's these two people [who] are completely opposed, at odds, antagonistic to one another at the beginning of the story and they start to realize, if they're going to succeed, they're going to need to rely on one another, and then they become bonded by the fact that they are the only two people who have consistently gone through this whole experience and that they're sharing the same fate, which is that their lives are going to be drastically cut short because of it. And they can't leave. So, they know that that is the shared fate they’re going to have."
Chernobyl is available now on HBO.