HOLLYWOOD — Writer, creator and producer Craig Mazin’s HBO hit “Chernobyl” won the American television academy’s Emmy award for best limited series on Sunday.
Mazin was also awarded the best writing Emmy for his script.
In a short acceptance speech, Mazin thanked the “hundreds of people around the area dedicating themselves to telling this story.”
“We thank the Lithuanian people, where we shot most of the [series] as well as Ukraine, and Kiev,” he said, adding that he hopes that in some small way his story promotes telling the truth. “We are incredibly grateful,” he said.
For Mazin, “Chernobyl” launched a new career in a totally different kind of writing. He had been known for his screenplays for two “Hangover” comedies and scripts for two “Scary Movie” installments. Chronicling the nuclear disaster was a challenging task for the comedy writer. “I learned how to write comedy, which is the hardest kind of writing there is,” he told The Moscow Times.
The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl happened when Mazin was 15 years old. Since his teens, the writer has had “an affinity for that place, that part of the world…since my ancestors all came from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine,” he said.
“I’ve always had an interest in science,” he continued, adding that that curiosity was responsible for the creation of the five-part “Chernobyl” series that eventually resulted in worldwide acclaim and 19 Emmy nominations.
“Chernobyl” director Johan Renck won the best director Emmy on Sunday night, while actors Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson were nominated for their performances in the series but did not win.
Icelandic composer Hildur Guonadottir also won in the limited series/television movie music composition category for her haunting score for “Chernobyl.” She dedicated her win to the people of the Chernobyl area who endured the horrors of nuclear disaster.
“To everyone who suffered from Chernobyl, thank you for allowing us to tell this story,” she said.
Guonadottir, who also composed the music for this year’s hit movie “Joker,” recorded sounds for “Chernobyl” at a power plant in Lithuania, where much of the filming took place.