Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson on HBO’s “CHERNOBYL”

Chernobyl filmmakers on the red carpet

In April 1986 the most catastrophic man-made incident the planet had ever seen occurred when reactor 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded during what should have been a safety test. The effects of the accident still wreak havoc over the landscape and containing the fallout has become an industry unto itself. It’s a job which will require centuries of human support. Tonight on HBO, Craig Mazin’s five-part miniseries, CHERNOBYL, dives deep into the the accident as it happened and the human cost and bravery it required to ensure that this tragedy did not engulf still millions more.

This past week at the Tribeca Film Festival, Mazin and his talented cast debuted the first two episodes of the series on the accident’s 33rd anniversary. The premiere episode was nothing short of a nightmare as the series delves into, in brutal detail, the accident and the shocking mishandling of both the initial fire and the surrounding population in those crucial first hours and days of fallout. It was a tense first hour and a brilliant setup into the second which saw the introduction of the scientists and politicians who then had to set about handling what was to come. The second episode in particular sees a stellar performance from Stellan Skarsgard as he plays a man coming to grips with his own mortality and entreating fellow countrymen to show selflessness so that millions can be saved. I spoke with Skarsgard, who also offered brief comments on his upcoming work in DUNE, as well as co-star Emily Watson on the red carpet about their own knowledge of the accident as it happened and the timely message this series has to offer in regards to listening to scientists.

“I think it’s a parable for our times. I think you ignore the truth and scientists at your peril. ” – Emily Watson

Emily Watson plays Ulana Khomyuk, a character created for the show as an entry-point into the role of a collection of European scientists in the fallout of Chernobyl.

Lauren Damon: Your character isn’t one specific person, but represents a collection of people involved with the accident, did you speak to people who experienced this?

Emily Watson: No. It’s sort of in tribute to many of the scientists who worked on the discovery of what happened. So I kind of had a bit of a blank sheet really to make up what I wanted to do. But Craig had written the character as coming from Belarus, which is a place that suffered terribly in the second world war. And she would have been a young child at that time, so that gave me a sense of just finding someone who was very very tough. It made her the perfect person really to go after the truth and find out what happened.

Do you remember when you were first aware of the Chernobyl accident in your life?

Watson: Yeah, I was a student at university and I remember there were students at my college who were on a year out, away in Kiev, and they all had to come home pretty quickly, it was very scary.

Did you have any misconceptions about the event going into this project that the script changed for you?

Watson: Oh my god, when I started reading the script, I had no idea that sort of within a few days–sort of 48 hours after the first explosion–there could have been one that was ten times worse. That would have taken out half of Europe.

In theory you could have been in range of those effects?

Watson: Definitely in range of radiation fallout…But yeah, it could have been much much worse. It was due to the heroism of the people on the ground who contained it and prevented it from being much worse.

What’s the biggest take away you’d like viewers to get from this series?

Watson: I think it’s a parable for our times. I think you ignore the truth and scientists at your peril.

Stellan Skarsgard plays Boris Shcherbina, the Deputy Head of the Soviet Government at the time.

What did you find surprising from hearing about Chernobyl originally in 1986 and then from working on this project?

Stellan Skarsgard: What I knew from ’86 was what you got from news media, which gave you a sort of superficial idea of what actually happened. What we learned through working with this material is I know now what technically went wrong, how the reactor works and what the mistakes they made were.

You also learn about it [was] more grave, the sort of the political system–the impact that had on the accident. When you have a system that is supposed to be perfect, you cannot allow any dissent in terms of somebody criticizing anything you do or any flaws cannot be accepted. And that then means that the truth was suppressed. It was all over the Soviet Union at the time. I mean truth is suppressed also for other reasons in the west now. I mean when you talk about Fukushima that was money that suppressed truth and created disaster there. In Boeing, you sent planes that are not fit for flying because you want to make money. So another way of suppressing truth and science. I think it’s important, an important film because it–not only because it talks about what we’re doing to this planet, the environment, which is really scary, but it also talks about how important it is that we listen to people who know what they’re talking about.

Facts are facts. They are not just individual ideas. Some facts you have to deal with and you have to accept and we have to listen to scientists. I mean 98% of the scientists in the world say that we are heading for a catastrophe in terms of global warming. We cannot ignore that. Do not ignore that.

Tell us about your character

Skarsgard: My character I’m playing Boris Shcherbina who was a minister in the government and who got the responsibility for cleaning up the mess. And he’s a man who spent his entire life working within the system and defending the system and he ends up realizing that this accident is a result of the system. And he has to question the system and he also has to decide whether he should keep on defending the system that is flawed. Or if he should start defending the truth.

Skarsgard’s next film role is in the highly anticipated adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, DUNE, where he’ll play the villainous Baron Harkonnen

Lauren Damon: Have you begun work on DUNE as Baron Harkonnen?

Skarsgard:I haven’t started shooting yet, we’re still doing prosthetics work

That’s what I was wondering! Because the Baron is such a grotesque character but when you were cast I remember looking at a shot of you as Bootstrap Bill [Skarsgard’s heavily barnacled Pirates of the Caribbean role] and thinking ‘This man can handle anything they put on him!’

Skarsgard: [Laughs] That’s very nice of you! Thank you. I will probably spend probably six to eight hours a day in makeup and it will look fantastic.

“I will probably spend probably six to eight hours a day in makeup and it will look fantastic.” -Stellan Skarsgard on his upcoming DUNE role

What are you most excited about in doing that project?

Skarsgard: It’s a great story. It’s a fantastic world and Denis Villeneuve is a director that I’ve always wanted to work with. So I’m really happy, he’s a wonderful man and a great director. So I think–except for the eight hours in makeup–I think I’ll have a fun time.

Chernobyl airs tonight at 9pm on HBO

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Hunter Killer”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Lionsgate Films to give (50) lucky readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Hunter Killer,” starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman.

The screening will be held on Wednesday, October 24 at the Screenland Armor Theatre in North Kansas City and will start at 7:00 p.m.

To win all you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  When the allotted (50) passes have been claimed, the giveaway is ended.  GOOD LUCK!

HUNTER KILLER

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

Screenland Armor Theatre, North Kansas City, Missouri

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at 20th Century Fox to give (25) lucky readers and their guest the chance to be among the first to see one of the most anticipated films of 2018:  “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The film will be screened on Tuesday, October 23 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas.  The screening begins at 700 p.m.

 

 

To attend, all you have to do is click HERE.  The first (25) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first-come/first-serve giveaway.  When the (25) pair of passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.  GOOD LUCK!

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY opens nationwide on Friday, November 2.

 

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

AMC Studio 28 Theatre, Olathe, Kansas

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Mission: Impossible – FALLOUT

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Paramount to give (25) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest adventures of Ethan Hunt and company:  “Mission: Impossible – FALLOUT.”

The film will be screened at the AMC Barrywoods 24 Theatre in Kansas City on Monday, July 23 and will begin at 7:00.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (25) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the allotted (25) passes have been claimed, the giveaway is over.  Good luck!

 

“Mission: Impossible – FALLOUT”

Monday, July 23, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

AMC Barrywoods 24, Kansas City, Missouri

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “I Feel Pretty”

 

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy starring Amy Schumer, “I Feel Pretty.”

The screening will be held on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the B&B Overland Park Theatre in Overland Park, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (50) passes have been claimed, the contest is over.  GOOD LUCK!

 

I FEEL PRETTY

Tuesday, April 17, 2018  –  7:00 p.m.

B&B Overland Park Theatre – Overland Park, Kansas

 

Related Content

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Super Troopers 2”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Fox Searchlight Films to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy from the gang at Broken Lizard, “Super Troopers 2.”

The screening will be held on Monday, April 16, 2018 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (50) passes have been claimed, the contest is over.  GOOD LUCK!

 

SUPER TROOPERS 2

Monday, April 16, 2018  –  7:00 p.m.

AMC Studio 28 Theatre – Olathe, Kansas

 

 

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Isle of Dogs”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Fox Searchlight to give (35) Kansas City-area readers and their guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest film by Wes Anderson, “Isle of Dogs.”

The film will be shown on Monday, April 2, 2018 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (35) to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once (35) passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.

Good Luck!

 

ISLE OF DOGS

Monday, April 2, 2018  –  7:00 p.m.

AMC Studio 28 Theatre  –  Olathe, Kansas

 

Related Content

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Love, Simon”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at 20th Century Fox to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film, “Love, Simon,” in Kansas City.

 

The film, starring Nick Robinson and Katherine Langford, will be screened on Wednesday, March 14, at the B&B Shawnee Theatre in Shawnee, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm.

 

All you have to do to receive your pass for (2) is to click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.  Good luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Gringo”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Amazon Studios to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new comedy, “Gringo,” in Kansas City.

 

The film, starring David Oyelowo and Charlize Theron, will be screened on Wednesday, March 7, at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm.

 

All you have to do to receive your pass for (2) is to click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.  Good luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Annihilation”

 

MediaMikes has teamed up with their friends at Paramount to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest film by Alex Garland, “Annihilation.”  The film, starring Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, will be shown on Wednesday, February 21 at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.  The screening will begin at 7:00 pm

 

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once (50) passes have been claimed the contest is over.  GOOD LUCK!

 

ANNIHILATION

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

Cinemark Palace on the Plaza – Kansas City, Missouri

 

CAST : Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac

 

DIRECTOR: Alex Garland

 

SYNOPSIS: Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X – a sinister and mysterious phenomenon, known as THE SHIMMER, that is expanding across the American coastline.  Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscape and creatures, as dangerous as it is beautiful, that threatens both their lives and their sanity.

 

It’s writer/director Alex Garland’s follow-up to his critically-acclaimed 2015 film EX MACHINA. Garland adapted for the screen based on Jeff VanderMeer’s acclaimed first volume of the best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy.

 

WEBSITE: www.AnnihilationMovie.com

 

RATING: Rated R

 

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

 

Related Content

Of Mice & Men + SiriusXM Premiere Cover of Pink Floyd’s “Money”

OF MICE & MEN + SIRIUSXM
Premiere Cover of Pink Floyd’s “Money”

New Album “DEFY” Out January 19

Winter 2018 Headline Tour With BLESSTHEFALL, CANE HILL, & FIRE FROM THE GODS Kicks Off On January 31

Of Mice & Men —vocalist/bassist Aaron Pauley, guitarist Alan Ashby, drummer Valentino Arteaga, and guitarist Phil Manansala— have shared another new track from their forthcoming and much anticipated album “Defy”, out January 19 through Rise Records. The song “Money,” which is a Pink Floyd cover, premiered via SiriusXM’s Octane earlier this week and is now available at all DSPs.

Listen to “Money” here.

The band will embark on a headline tour, which kicks off on January 31 in Berkeley, California, with Blessthefall, Cane Hill, Fire From the Gods, and Mscw in tow. The trek runs through March 7 in San Diego. All tour dates are below. Tickets and VIP packages are available here.

Defy was produced by Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Three Days Grace, Skillet, The All-American Rejects) and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, Rise Against).

Of Mice & Men released the explosive and unforgettable new tracks “Warzone” and “Defy,” which followed the previous one-two punch of the singles “Unbreakable” and “Back to Me.”

OF MICE & MEN ON TOUR:
With Blessthefall, Cane Hill, Fire From the Gods
1/31 — Berkeley, CA — The UC Theatre*
2/1 — Santa Cruz, CA — Catalyst*
2/2 — Portland, OR — Wonder Ballroom*
2/3 — Seattle, WA — El Corazon*
2/4 — Boise, ID — Knitting Factory*
2/5 — Salt Lake City, UT — Complex*
2/6 — Denver, CO — Summit Music Hall*
2/8 — Minneapolis, MN — Music Hall MPLS*
2/9 — St. Louis, MO — Ready Room
2/11 — Chicago, IL — House of Blues
2/12 — Detroit, MI — Crofoot
2/13 — Toronto, ON — Opera House
2/14 — Montreal, QC — Corona Theatre
2/16 — Boston, MA — Paradise Rock Club
2/17 — New York City, NY — Gramercy Theatre
2/18 — Asbury Park, NJ — Stone Pony
2/19 — Philadelphia, PA — Trocadero
2/20 — Charlotte, NC — Underground
2/21 — Atlanta, GA — Masquerade Heaven
2/23 — Orlando, FL — Beacham
2/24 — Destin, FL — Club L.A.
2/25 — New Orleans, LA — House of Blues
2/27 — Houston, TX — White Oak
2/28 — Dallas, TX — Canton Hall
3/1 — Albuquerque, NM — Sunshine
3/4 — Vegas, NV — Vinyl @ Hard Rock Live
3/5 — Flagstaff, AZ — Orpheum
3/6 — Phoenix, AZ — Nile Theatre
3/7 — San Diego, CA — SOMA
*No Cane Hill

DEFY TRACK LISTING:
1. Defy
2. Instincts
3. Back to Me
4. Sunflower
5. Unbreakable
6. Vertigo
7. Money
8. How Will You Live
9. On The Inside
10. Warzone
11. Forever YDG’n
12. If We Were Ghosts

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “The Commuter”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Lionsgate Films to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new Liam Neeson thriller, “The Commuter.”

The screening will be held on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the AMC Studio 28 in Olathe, Kansas and will start at 7:00 pm

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the advance screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (50) passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.

LINK HAS BEEN ACTIVATED – MY APOLOGIES – THANK YOU

 

The Commuter

                                 When:  Tuesday, January 9, 2018 – 7:00 pm                                                                       Where:  AMC Studio 28 Theatre – Olathe, Kansas

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Downsizing”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Paramount to give (25) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest film by Alexander Payne, “Downsizing.”

The film, starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz, will be screened on Monday, December 18, 2017 at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza in Kansas City.  The screening will begin at 7:00 pm

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (25) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway. When the allotted number of passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.

Good luck!  “Downsizing” opens nationwide on December 22nd

DOWNSIZING
Where:  Cinemark Palace on the Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri
When:  Monday, December 18, 2017 – 7:00 pm

 

Win Passes to the Kansas City Premiere of “Molly’s Game”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (20) of our readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner.

 

The film, based on a true story and written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, will be shown on Monday, December 18, 2017 at the B & B Shawnee 18 Theatre and will begin at 7:00 pm.

 

All you have to do is click HERE  The first 20 readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.   Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.  Good luck!

 

SYNOPSIS: MOLLY’S GAME is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe.

WEBSITE: http://mollysgame.movie/

RATING: R for language, drug content and some violence

RUNNING TIME: 140 minutes

Win tickets to the Kansas City Premiere of “All the Money in the World”

 

 

 

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Sony Pictures to give (25) of our readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the latest film from acclaimed director Ridley Scott, “All the Money in the World,” at an advance screening to be held on Monday, December 11, 2017 at the AMC Studio 30 in Olathe, Kansas.

 

The film, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams tells the story of the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, whose grandfather, one of the richest men in the world, refused to pay the ransom.  The screening will begin at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do is click  HERE   

The first (25) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the allotted number of passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.  Good luck!

 

“All the Money in the World”

Where:  AMC Studio 30 Theatre – Olathe, Kansas
When:  7:00 pm

 

 

“All the Money in the World” opens nationally on December 25, 2017

 

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom.  When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal.  With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.