“Chernobyl” actor Alex Ferns has a personal connection to the show he stars in.

Speaking with Scotland’s Daily Record, Ferns said that his uncle, Robert Stephenson, worked for the Scottish Water Board and was exposed to poison rain from the 1986 nuclear meltdown in Pripyat, Ukraine.

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“’Chernobyl’ is a hard story, especially for me,” Ferns recalled.

“I’ll tell you why it’s a hard story. My uncle Robert used to work for the Scottish Water Board. When Chernobyl happened, the poisoned rain came over the west and center of Scotland. My uncle and his colleagues were out working in the rain in the Killearn area and asked to come in but were told by their [manager] to stay outside and to carry on working. They carried on. Not one of them reached the age of 50, including Robert. They all died of cancer. I think that’s a f**king tragedy.”

Ferns who plays a miner on the show added, “That’s a reflection of the bigger picture of Chernobyl that we see in the show. Some people just don’t f**king care about anybody else. It’s personal to me, it really is. Whether the Chernobyl rain is what gave him the cancer, they don’t know 100 percent but the family are convinced it had something to do with it. Apart from telling me himself numerous times that he felt Chernobyl had made him sick, Robert’s closest friend said he believed it too.”

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You can watch “Chernobyl” starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, and Emily Watson on HBO.

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