There have been questions as to why the HBO series “Chernobyl” features actors who speak English accents instead of Russian when it tackles an important event in the history of the Soviet Union. While it may seem like an oversight on the part of its showrunners, featuring English-speaking actors was actually a decision they made quite early on in the pre-production stage.

Chernobyl” has been creating buzz online for its captivating plot and social relevance. Interestingly, none of its actors comes from the countries where the events in the series are actually set and attempts to incorporate Russian and Ukrainian accents in their acting.

In a ten-minute podcast of the first episode, “The Chernobyl Podcast,” showrunner Craig Mazin mentioned how Russian accents tend to get silly very quickly to an English audience. Mazin said they wanted their audience to focus more on the dialogue and not be tied up by the Russian accents of their actors because that would make the series look comicy.

He also revealed that they had initially thought of having their actors use vague European accents. But they eventually realized that that would only make them act their accents, not their roles.

Although using proper accents in a historical series like “Chernobyl” is key to properly representing the people being portrayed on screen, Mazin pointed out that the series is more about the stories of these people and the events that unfolded during and after the nuclear disaster. In that case, forgoing the use of Russian accents becomes totally acceptable and understandable. After two auditions, they finally decided to skip the accent requirement altogether.

Mazin revealed, however, that while they intended to not incorporate Russian and Ukrainian accents into the series, that does not mean that they did not make an effort to not make their audiences feel alienated. To avoid pulling their viewers out of the story, they did not cast any Americans as hearing an American accent in a Soviet Union based series would not make sense. Instead, they asked their actors to “take the edge off” their strong British accents. Apparently, it worked.

“Chernobyl” tackles the nuclear disaster that took place in Russia in 1986 after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffered a nuclear damage. The series airs every Monday, 9 P.M. on HBO.

'Chernobyl' airs Monday nights on HBO. Facebook/chernobylminiseries

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