Jared Harris talks 'Chernobyl' and his role as a Soviet scientist originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
Even the biggest celebrities remember their most humbling moments.
Jared Harris, star of the hit mini-series "Chernobyl," told ABC News there's one moment that particularly stands out for him. It happened just after he'd landed a starring role in the film "I Shot Andy Warhol," early in his career.
"When that movie came out in New York, my first acting teacher and director had moved to New York and taken a different job," Harris said in a recent appearance on "Popcorn with Peter Travers." "And I said, 'come to the premiere with me. It'll be great. You were my first acting teacher. It'll be good'. So we do the red carpet, and we're working our way up the red carpet and somebody said, 'all those years ago, you must have seen something very special in him.' He said, 'no, I didn’t see anything special in him.' He said, 'I was doing an English play and I needed somebody to keep an eye on the accents for me,'" Harris quipped. Harris told Travers the incident made him laugh.
Years later, Harris has solidified his place in the acting world. He's now nominated for an Emmy for his role as a Soviet scientist in the surprise hit series about the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, the worst nuclear disaster in history. It happened near the city of Pripyat, north of Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). As a result, some 49,000 people left their homes and were never able to return. Oddly enough, there's been an increase in Chernobyl tourist bookings since the premiere of the series.
"They're taking selfies and they're not even half dressed. They've got their butts hanging out," Harris, 58, told Travers. "You wouldn't go down to the World Trade Center and do that. It's deeply, deeply culturally insensitive."
Harris told Travers he is pleased with how the shows portrayal of events has been received.
"There's no substitute for word of mouth," Harris said. "It reaches a critical mass of people saying, this show is great. You've got to check it out."
He added, "The experience of reading it (the script) it was very much similar to watching it, in that you were fascinated. It was gripping. It was surprising. There was a lot of information that you weren't aware of at the time. And I was alive at the time and I remember it being reported in the news. I was deeply moved by the sacrifice and the heroism of the people involved."
Watch the full interview with Peter Travers Jared Harris in the video above.