Entertainment

Chernobyl creatives explain why cast do not speak with Russian accents

The series instead features actors speaking in their native accents.

The creators of hit Sky drama Chernobyl have explained why the cast do not speak with Russian accents.

The series, about the 1986 nuclear meltdown, stars British actors Jared Harris and Emily Watson, Irish actress Jessie Buckley and Swedish star Stellan Skarsgard – and leads the nominations at the upcoming Bafta television awards with 14 nominations across the main ceremony and craft prizes.

Johan Renck who directed the series, told a Bafta panel: “Accents in film is tremendously stupid.

Women in Film and TV Awards 2019 – London
Emily Watson speaks with a British accent in the show (Ian West/PA)

“It is not a hard question, it is ridiculous. Are we supposed to feel they are more Russian because they are speaking bad English? No.”

Creator Craig Mazin added: “The people that are most pleased about our choice with the accents are Russian speakers, I didn’t hear a complaint. (They say) ‘That is not how we talk, stop doing that.’

“And also, the Soviet Union was a collection of many countries and countless amounts of ethnicities. So what we said to our cast was, take your accent that you normally have, whatever it is. If it is really strong, take the edge off of it, so it doesn’t seem like you are forcing the accent.”

“And Stellan, Swedish English sounds very American, not British so we said, ‘You sound too American, just pretend you are not good at speaking English, more of a Swedish accent’.

“That is how we proceeded and why we have people who sound like they’re Danish and Swedish and all varying kinds of British and Irish, because that’s how we just approached it, it is multicultural as the Soviet Union was.”

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