An Interview With Jared Harris of 'Chernobyl'
My guest is jared harris emmy nominee for <unk> noble and we're here to celebrate that and the success of this series which like i was saying to you before how did it happen. How did people get so interested that they told their friends about. It and i'm going to watch five hours about a nuclear disaster. Yeah they will sounds a good way to spend a sunday evening sure how much much yeah word of mouth there's no substitute for word of mouth. Is there <hes> <hes> on on that sort of a reaches. After parliament upon the critical mass of people saying this shows great. You've really got to check it out. You didn't need that. What was the thing that well. I grew up in this subject before i said yes. Yes well. You know actually they had made h._b._o. You know they say okay yeah. They said h._b._o.'s doing this. Series is about noble and i remember i remember the invent myself <hes> sending you the first full of episodes. It's on i twenty pages into it. I was gripped and <hes> craig's did an amazing job and i was absolutely i'm on board. <hes> i'm and and the experience of reading it was very much similar to watching it and that you you have fascinated. It was gripping. It was surprising there was a lot of information mation that you want to wear over at the time and i remember i was alive at the time and i remember it being reported in the news <hes> i was deeply moved by the sacrifice and the heroism of the people people involved <hes> and <hes> there's a lot of very clever aspects to it. If you think about it i mean creek now. He's a he has a very successful podcast. We talks talks about screenwriting me. He is knowledge of of the different genres tobacco unite not first episode. He's constructed it so much like a sort of horror story oy and then episodes two and three <hes> the political thriller and four is a war movie and five zero courtroom drama <hes> <hes> yeah that's that's right and it was shifting the whole time so you never quite knew what to expect. Why are people now going to noble peyton what what because i know the world topsy turvy in many in many ways but really well. It's also taking south-southeast in that not even half off dressed. They've been hanging out there doing that too. When you wouldn't go to you wouldn't go to go down to the world trade center and do that. Let's hope is deeply deeply country insensitive we all knew about it know about it but without really knowing that that was one of the things i really admired about his the way that he decided cray decided to tell the story because it was momentum exactly that and he starts with the the explosion. He doesn't spend the first hour developing relationships that you see these little seventeen disaster films where you have to know everything that's going on. Someone's gonna australian marriage major whatever these things this thing started buying with it right right at the top and and he followed that momentum of the story that was the propulsion policy of that so yeah. I really admired the way that he he came out. This <hes> the construction of the story telling the story when this this show is this acclaimed when you get this emmy nomination. What's it mean to you. What does the whole award thing. I mean i mean obviously yeah well. There's i experienced. Well your head do you in <hes>. Do you get any ballot dacian out of it. I mean i'm really thrilled that it got so many nominated nineteen was incredible and for a one off show a limited series to get recognized across the board almost every single department that was really exciting. I was obviously obviously excited for myself as well and you know. The truth is as well. It's a it's a sort of momentum for from a career point of view genital mean that yeah so obviously becomes important from that side as well <hes>. I'm thrilled to being the minorities. I mean i mean we all. I've seen you in so many things where i would say yeah ill. He must one for that. You you know and we all look at performance that way and we say that was terrific and we remember do we remember in the end three years from now who actually one it. You know i was nominated for them. He was before for madman and i think study of forty minutes. After i lost i was in at the bar and someone congratulated me winning so yeah i mean and you could just be silent and try and correct to komo who won you just ran. I wonder what he was wonderful yeah he he was. I mean that's the thing about it is when you when you got when you got that far everyone you it becomes like saying you know this year. Purple was the best call a ah. I mean they're all brilliant. Performances and they're also brilliant. Performances nine didn't get a look in you know so those two. Emmy nominations were for guys who hang hang themselves right. I don't know what that is. Do you go through scripts now. Where's the handling only uh see because what was going to happen off. This is probably every script that needs a sort of russian scientists. I would be saying now. You've just now how you vote up another guy jared palmer. Let let's do it. You nuke you grew up around this. You know your father and your mother in this business. You know your brothers are based in yes. It was like no escape or no. We were two zero anything else. Did you even consider it. I thought because i'm the the middle child so i was always you have to fight your corner as the middle child so i was very argumentative so they thought that i'd be lawyer. <hes> something like that the way that families decide they start assigning roles to the children and i didn't really light the role that that was headed my way that i so i came to america i went to university. How did the family take you going real because i was the first member of the harris family. They've gone to college on my father's side yeah. Why am i they were they. They were throat and what was this 'cause every time somebody's on who's gone through the british british school system i i had my own version of it but there's always some kind of discipline that goes on in those school. Yes you have one of those schools. They basically tortured you off. Favorite movies were prisoner woman. We we as the media like calling yeah. We would watch them. It'd be decide which one of the german guards with the teachers and we decide who we were in the story. I sti i was part of an escape committee at the school and planned an escape blaze and you made it to north carolina. I got out late but you also since your data's richard harassed. He's at home. What is he teaching teaching you. He's saying to you yeah because he stole larger than life absolutely from this sporting life when i first saw him to dumbledore he was huge. I mean you never you never properly got the sense of his personality on screen because he always had to head to dampen it down for for the camera and the size of his personality the strength of his person ninety you needed to see him on stage to get that because he would fill the whole space and he enjoyed being himself really really enjoyed it and i'm you know i'd be at restaurants and he'd start turning a story and then he'd start. This person over here is eavesdropping so he'd movies is chad so that he's you to acknowledge that person's watching and then he'd see that person is so he pushes chat for the bikes. I'm by the end of the story. The whole restaurants listening hits the punchline and they will applaud and he'd he'd love there. I mean so what are you dealing as this child child. I was very shy really didn't think that i was going to be an actor. I i went to duke and i didn't really have a plan. I remember member you go through that thing called orientation week you arrive that week eilly before the school gates they will the freshman that it's a giant campus and they tried to orientate orientate used where the campuses classrooms are whether it's derogatory is the food hold and everything and then each night they would have a mix away have a keg beer in a pizzas and i remember it was it was sunday and i realized god. I'm back in school monday. I'm back in school. I've been in school since i was seven boarding school since i was seven and i thought well i've sort of pot one of the plan. What is i've gotten out of. I've gotten away from high on. I got to the states but i can quite considered the consequence. Which is i'm back in school. I i thought i couldn't figure out what why am. I done this to myself because i could have been out committed yeah because my elder brother was seventeen boom and he was out no more school and <hes> an isis flyer on the table and it said it was a free keg of beer bryanston theater and <hes> there was a mix of there and i thought oh i'll just i just go there and i'm not gonna think about embarking class tomorrow and i went there and i. I obviously must have been curious about what my father did. I must have been but i really did not think that i was going to have a career as an actor or anything like that. I just i was really very very shy. You know and in america at college no one knew anything about me and i could just it just discover my my myself my personality my own interest and i'm very quickly. I went i start i auditioned and i love the community and i love the the camry of theater. I liked the idea you have your very intense goal very intense relationships to try and get this thing on put put it in front of people and i love the adrenaline of it. I love the learning partner bandit because you study the plane. Then you have to study all the early still they'll do by your face and by looking still there but i i remember seeing you an early movie. Did sometimes you say. How do you cast instance something. How does it happen where you played andy warhol. Oh yeah so. That's what i'm looking at. You've just described how you were growing up what you've studied bodied how you did it in hollywood they say why don't you play andy warhol. Well i mean initially. I went into into met to meet mary harron for that. I mean i i i saw it as an opportunity and it was i. I'm mary and said look. I'll toss me to come back in three days time. I give me give me a couple of weeks. You'll have an the idea of how close i can get the part and so i went off and i did a little research and i came back in and i well came in and character from right from the off walking into the office. I also thought to myself. Andy would never put himself in this position he way he was under this much pressure. He tried flip on somebody else so i bought a video camera and i made a video tape of then would issuing me so that they would feel self conscious <hes> but but you know talking talking about dramas about college when that movie came out here in new york my first acting teacher and director had moved to the new york and <hes> taken a different job and i said come to the premier with me. You know it'd be great you and my first acting teacher. It'll be really good so we we we do the red carpet and we're working our way up the red carpet and somebody else says he was your first director first teacher. You must be so proud. Here area's name up in lights and the premier new york city because yes. I'm very proud so you must have all those years ago. You must have seen something special in him. He said no i didn't is there anything special in doing english play or he does someone to keep an eye on the accents for me truly spiring. Ah love so good. I mean i just think when i think you're impossible to typecast. I just don't think it has tried i to make even a lot of actual people. You've done john lennon. E put uses as grant in lincoln <hes> you are. You've just do this to noble right up to that. Do you take those people home with you i in there. I remember i mean whilst you're doing it they they they stay within once you've finished. Actually the hardest thing is to prepare a role that you don't get to do because that guy not person rumbles around inside you because he never got to do it. Yeah i remember symbol that when i was doing warhol on doing the research now everything i would have very gossipy conversations with my mother on the fine which i didn't have often i sort of regretted not i don't know what it was with her but he was a huge gossip and he'd sit and chat to people on the phone and get them to tally everything about what they did that day and <hes> <hes> anti brought out your mom. This is a good thing yeah well <hes> i- <music>. I'm fascinated by s gone and would love to go back to that character into that story. I was deeply impressed by <hes> how misunderstood <hes> he he is also that his story is and and and his reputation is so at odds with with with what he did. You play too many characters that died so you're you're kind of destroyed for