Chernobyl’s cast look so similar to the real life people they play

CHERNOBYL viewers can’t believe how much the cast of the gripping Sky Original drama look like the real life people involved in the nuclear disaster.

The five-part miniseries became the best rated show EVER on IMDb and has been hailed as “the greatest drama of all time”.

 Sky Original drama Chernobyl has been hailed the greatest drama of all time

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Sky Original drama Chernobyl has been hailed the greatest drama of all timeCredit: ©Sky UK Ltd/HBO

Made as a joint venture by Sky, HBO and Sister Pictures series, Chernobyl stars Emily Watson, Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgard.

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It has been such a hit with viewers that it has beaten Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad with its IMDb ratings of an average 9.6 out of 10.

Here we look at the similarities between the actors who told the story of the catastrophic events at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986.

Con O’Neill as Viktor Bryukhanov, manager of Chernobyl

 Actor Con O'Neill

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Actor Con O’NeillCredit: HBO
 Manager of Chernobyl, Viktor Bryukhanov

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Manager of Chernobyl, Viktor Bryukhanov

O’Neill has acted in a number of British films and TV shows including Criminal Justice and the mini-series The Bible. He’s also an accomplished theater actor.

Bryukhanov also served a 10-year prison sentence for his involvement with the disaster. As of 2006, he was still alive and living in Kiev.

Jared Harris as Valery Legasov

 Jared Harris plays Valery Legasov in Chernobyl

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Jared Harris plays Valery Legasov in ChernobylCredit: HBO
 His suicide forced officials to acknowledge the RBMK nuclear reactor flaws

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His suicide forced officials to acknowledge the RBMK nuclear reactor flawsCredit: AP:Associated Press

Legasov was a physical chemist who investigated the Chernobyl disaster.

Jared Harris is known as Lane Pryce on Mad Men and King George VI in The Crown.

He played Valery Legasov who took his own life aged 51 on April 26, 1988 exactly two years after the explosion at Chernobyl.

The audio tapes of his memoirs were circulated throught the Soviet scientific community, which forced officials to finally acknowledge the RBMK nuclear reactor flaws.

Adrian Rawlins as Nikolai Fomin, chief engineer at Chernobyl

 Adrian Rawlins took on the role of chief engineer at Chernobyl

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Adrian Rawlins took on the role of chief engineer at ChernobylCredit: HBO
 He plays as Nikolai Fomin

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He plays as Nikolai Fomin

Adrian Rawlins is known for starring James Potter in the Harry Potter films and Arthur Kidd in The Woman in Black.

He played Nikolai Fomin who was sentenced to a ten-year prison sentence.

He kept a low profile after leaving jail. It’s not known if he is still alive today.

Stellan Skarsgård as Boris Shcherbina

 Stellan Skarsgård starred in Mamma Mia

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Stellan Skarsgård starred in Mamma MiaCredit: HBO
 He acted as Boris Shcherbina for the five-part series

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He acted as Boris Shcherbina for the five-part seriesCredit: AP:Associated Press

He starred as Bill Anderson in Mamma Mia and played ‘Bootstrap’ Bill Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Boris Shcherbina was a Deputy Prime Minister in the Soviet Union .

He headed up the special commission named to investigate the disaster.

After a long illness, he died almost four years and four months after the disaster.

Jessie Buckley as Lyudmilla Ignatenko

 Jessie Buckley played Lyudmilla Ignatenko

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Jessie Buckley played Lyudmilla IgnatenkoCredit: ©Sky UK Ltd/HBO
 She was the wife of Vasily Ignatenko

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She was the wife of Vasily IgnatenkoCredit: Getty – Contributor

Jessie Buckley began her career on the BBC talent show I’d Do Anything, finishing in second place, before going on to star in the West End and in the TV series War and Peace and Taboo.

Lyudmilla Ignatenko was the wife of fireman Vasily Ignatenko.

She lives with her son in Kiev and refuses to talk about Chernobyl and her husband’s death publicly.

Paul Ritter as Anatoly Dyatlov, deputy chief-engineer of Chernobyl

 Paul Ritter acted as the deputy chief-engineer of Chernobyl

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Paul Ritter acted as the deputy chief-engineer of ChernobylCredit: HBO
 The real-life character was Anatoly Dyatlov

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The real-life character was Anatoly Dyatlov

Paul Ritter is known as Eldred Worple in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Guy Haines in Quantum of Solace.

His character Anatoly Dyatlov was found guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced to 10 years in prison after being the engineer in charge of reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

He died of heart failure on Dec. 13, 1995, nine years after the disaster.

Sam Troughton as Aleksandr Akimov, night shift supervisor at Chernobyl

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Credit: HBO

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Sam Troughton has been in Robin Hood and The Town before becoming a star of Cherynobyl.

Night shift supervisor Aleksandr Akimov died two weeks after the accident from the high exposure to radiation.

Ralph Ineson as General Nikolai Tarakanov

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Credit: Alamy

Ralph Ineson’s career highlights include roles in Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and The Office.

He played General Nikolai Tarakanov who is now 85 years old.

He’s said to have been living with “radiation disease” for the last 33 years.

David Dencik as Mikhail Gorbachev

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Credit: HBO

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Credit: Rex Features

Swedish-Danish actor David Dencik has acted in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

His character Mikhail Gorbachev is the former first president of the Soviet Union who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in helping end the Cold War.

He still works in politics today.


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