The HBO series Chernobyl has emerged as one of the undisputed critical darlings of television in 2019. Craig Mazin’s achingly precise dramatization of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster has been praised for its riveting portrayal of one of modern history’s most devastating events. With a startling attention to detail and refusal to dumb down a frequently tangled situation, Chernobyl is a triumph of craft and unflinching depiction of humanity’s horrors.
At its centre are a trio of staggering performances, but there is a reason that Jared Harris has been singled out so much in those rave reviews. As Valery Legasov, the Soviet chemist who was the chief of the commission investigating the disaster, Harris imbues the narrative with a much needed moral certainty. Weighed down by the crushing inevitability of his fate and that of everyone around him, his Legasov walks a fine line between weary resignation and exhausted fury. In a career full of impeccable and sinfully overlooked performances, it may be his work in Chernobyl that finally gets him his dues.
Also, did I mention that Jared Harris is hot as f*ck?
Because Jared Harris is hot as f*ck.
(Image via Gyfcat)
No seriously, have you listened to him talk? Have you been honoured with the sumptuous experience of listening to him say basically anything? Harris has the kind of voice that would melt icebergs. It’s the voice you want whispering you dastardly schemes about the many ways he’s going to kill James Bond (or Sherlock Holmes, because remember, he’s Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, yet another reminder that my Guy Ritchie apologist stance pays off!) And it’s malleable, because he can do different sexy accents to go with his sexy voice and still sound like he’s letting you in on his dastardly schemes. Really, what more could you want?
Look, I am an absolute sucker for older guys with character actor faces who don’t need to worry about all that pretty boy crap. I need a man to have a face that can convey weary awareness of the smothering hubris of mankind with a mere sigh and eyebrow raise. When the world ends and someone makes a television drama about it, I’ll need Jared Harris to play the guy who spent years telling everyone it was going to happen, only to be ignored until it’s too late (it will probably also end in tragedy for his character because he seems cursed to die more than Sean Bean in his work). Are you able to give devastatingly withering smirks or clench your jaw just so in a manner that makes you fear for society? Then I am all in on you, and Harris is a goddamn king at it. May I direct your attention to this moment in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows where Moriarty basically tells Holmes he’s going to ruin his life but it’s nothing personal, he’s just better than him.
You’ve probably seen him in dozens of things and not even known it was Harris because he’s that bloody good and talent is hot. Did you see him play Andy Warhol? Or John Lennon? Or George VI? Here he is playing a drunk fetish photographer!
But then, of course, there is Lane Pryce. I could wax lyrical about one of the best Mad Men characters all day if possible (yeah, I said it), but I’ll keep things reasonably brief. Lane was basically The Englishman when first introduced in season three, the epitome of the stiff upper lip who mostly seemed to exist to show how delightfully un-square the freewheeling Americans of Sterling Cooper were as the sixties began to swing. He had the horn-rimmed glasses, the impeccably tailored suits just a few years out of date, and not a hair out of place, plus a heightened accent that hearkens back to David Tomlinson in Mary Poppins. It takes him a while to loosen up and embrace the American dream he’s been tasked with selling, but there are few moments on the series so unabashedly giddy as Lane getting his groove on, and yes, it’s sexy as hell.
But his peak sexy moment comes in season five when he fulfils every viewer’s dream: He knocks the f*ck out of Pete Campbell! He gets mad at that snivelling snail, takes off his jacket and rolls up his sleeves like a proper gentleman, then utterly humiliates him! Then, once he’s done, he leaves with a witty quip then puts his hand on ice then kisses Joan but she says no but it’s not awkward and it’s basically his best day ever. That whole scene is to me what Joe Manganiello writhing around in a gas station in Magic Mike XXL is to the rest of the world. It was my personal declaration that Jared Harris is mega f*cking hot and HE KNOWS he’s mega f*cking hot.
(Image via Imgur)
Jared Harris has plenty of opportunities to sate my thirst in the future. He’s playing the mentor of the lesser Jared, Mr. Leto, in that Morbius the Living Vampire movie Sony is apparently making, so if he does end up playing some sort of vampire, I may never fully recover. Seriously, I find this man so hot that I’m willing to put up with Jared Leto. Think about that power. He’s also starring in the kind-of but not really Braveheart sequel, Robert the Bruce, so no pressure on nailing the accent or anything! And then there’s Amazon’s upcoming series, Carnival Row, an urban fantasy drama where Harris plays a character called Absalom Breakspear. Yes. Really. I love this show already, and frankly, they know they’re pandering to me right now.
Look at that f*cking caption. They get me, and you should too. Vote wisely!
Also, every time I make a comment on Twitter about fancying Jared Harris, his wife likes it and she’ll probably see this post so HELLO, ALLEGRA!
When you're over here just trying to be a shameless pervert about an actor you fancy on social media and his wife is into it. pic.twitter.com/75fPhrMP1M— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann) 22 May 2019
Header Image Source: Getty Images.