James Norton: “We are all fascinated by the dark side”



There is no mystery in the thriller of Happy Valley, whose letters are uncovered shortly after starting. The rawness of the series, sterile in intrigue but fertile in tension, lies in the drama, which oozes from all four sides of almost only one person, Catherine Cawood. In her flesh, the sergeant played by Sarah Lancashire suffers attacks that would topple a statue, but she resists, motivated by hatred and the obsession that unites her with the psychopath tommy lee royce

(James Norton), rapist of her daughter, who committed suicide after the sexual assault, and father of her grandson. In the third and final season of the British fiction, which premiered yesterday Movistar Plus+one and the other confront each other again with the same rage with which a bull sends a right-handed man.

The clash, of course, promises to be epic, worthy of an ending worthy of this comeback.

“It’s almost like a romance,” Norton describes that toxic bond between the two; “Almost like a romantic comedy”, she orphaned, yes, laughing. “Even though they hate each other, they are united by blood,” she analyzes the duality that eviscerates the soul of ‘Happy Valley’. And she is right, since neither one nor the other wants to give up their son and grandson, now a teenager and with interests different from those of her legal guardian. “It’s a really fun relationship to explore as an actor because it tackles all the extremes, all the complications and all the challenges. And I guess actors love puzzles,” the actor joked in an interview with ABC.

If the soul is that intrinsic hatred between the two, the heart, according to Norton, are those details with which the creator, Sally Wainwright, manages to “capture the essence of what the human being is.” As a sample, a button: «The tea and the discussions between the two sisters in the kitchen, talking about the family, gossip and all the problems. That’s the universal thing,” she admits.

covert politics

The series is much more than that sick relationship between the characters of Norton and Lancashire. It’s a police drama, a crime series, but above all it’s about “family, love and blood.” It’s that dichotomy between legal and moral, entertaining but socially conscious, and also a covert political statement. “It tells the story of a community in the north of England that has been left behind, that doesn’t get the same support or the same infrastructure or the same attention from the government (…) It tells of communities that fell into oblivion and now Thirty, forty, fifty years later, we are seeing the repercussions. And without it being too politicized, the show is making a very powerful statement,” says Norton.

Lancashire in 'Happy Valley'
Lancashire in ‘Happy Valley’ – Movistar+

From ‘Happy Valley’, James Norton also highlights the “humility that brings out the best in oneself but without trying to jump over anyone”, something that creates an ideal environment to work, although, he admits, what motivates him the most it is the challenge of stepping into the shoes of a psychopath like Tommy Lee Royce, for whom he feels compassion. “There’s something really cool about playing a psychopath because they don’t give a shit about anything. It matters less and less to me, we are all fascinated by the dark side.

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James Norton: “We are all fascinated by the dark side”