'Chernobyl' characters didn't have a Russian accent because 'it can turn comic very easily', says creator

Craig Mazin shared that Russian accents can turn comic very easily and hence he decided to avoid the use of Ukranian/ Russian accents


                            'Chernobyl' characters didn't have a Russian accent because 'it can turn comic very easily', says creator

HBO and Sky network's TV series 'Chernobyl' has become one of the highest rated shows of all time and has even managed to overtake 'Game of Thrones' and 'Breaking Bad'.

The series follows the story of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant which exploded in 1986. The accident changed the lives of residents who lived in the Ukranian town of Pripyat.

Given that the show has been based in Ukraine and neighboring Russia, fans have questioned why the majority of the cast did not put on Ukranian or Russian accents.

The show's creator Craig Mazin was asked about the decision to not have these two accents while speaking on the show's official podcast. 

Craig Mazin opens up on why the majority of the cast in HBO and Sky's Chernobyl series does not use Ukranian or Russian accents (Source: Getty Images)

"The decision not to use Russian accents was a big one that we made early on. We had an initial thought that we didn't want to do the 'Boris and Natasha' cliched accent because the Russian accent can turn comic very easily. At first, we thought that maybe we would have people do these sort of vaguely Eastern European accents — not really strong but noticeable," Mazin said.

"What we found very quickly is that actors will act accents. They will not act, they will act accents and we were losing everything about these people that we loved. Honestly, after maybe one or two auditions, we said 'Ok, new rule. We're not doing that anymore," he continued. 

Mazin also added that he had taken inspiration from another very popular HBO show when he had made his decision.

"For example, in 'Game Of Thrones', anyone from Manchester will be asked to push that a bit so they can clearly be defined as Northerners. We would say 'take the edge off of it' a bit here and there, we'd let someone be Irish or Scottish because they sounded great and their character was good. Also, we're hearing people as they would have heard themselves."

The abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine (Source: Getty Images)

"There's no consciousness there. My hope is that the accent thing just fades away in seconds and you stop caring about it. Ultimately, a person's accent is completely irrelevant to what's going on because there are things happening that don't even need an accent to be communicated—panic, fear, excitement, worry, sadness. They're just emotions," he concluded.

The final episode of Chernobyl aired on June 4 on NOW TV.

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