How Happy Valley’s James Norton communicates his trauma


His character may be in prison, but James Norton is still the most chilling happy valley.

BBC One’s hit crime drama returned for a third series on New Year’s Day, with new episodes airing every Sunday.

Norton will reprise the role he is best known for as villainous sex offender and murderer Tommy Lee Royce.

In the first few episodes, Lois remains in prison after the events of Series 2. However, as Annabel Nugent speculated in the Episode 3 recap, there may be signs that a prison break could be in the cards.

talk Independent Recently, Norton opened up about the trauma he experienced as a child and how he used it as an actor.

Growing up, Norton attended Ampleforth College, a Catholic boarding school in North Yorkshire. The school, sometimes called “Catholic Eaton,” has been closed to new students from November 2020 to April 2021. [had been] It was inflicted for decades by seven-year-old children.

Norton revealed that he was never a victim of sexual abuse while attending school, and in fact received “a great deal of support and comfort from several monks”.

Like Lois, Norton has played many dark and psychologically complex characters, including Jude, the lead in Hanya Yanagihara’s traumatic 2015 best-selling new West End adaptation. Little life.

James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce in ‘Happy Valley’

(BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

“What I share [with Jude]I think that’s how I do it, and I think this is why this book is so loved and cherished, because everyone knows what it’s like to be traumatized.” said Norton.

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“When you experience something like bullying or abuse as a child, if you don’t have the equipment or the maturity to fight it and understand it, you internalize it and blame yourself.” There’s a lot of forgiveness that happened. It happened to me.

“I hated kids who were bullied all along because I thought I brought the bullying on myself. And it’s a very small thing — and a small fragment of what Jude went through, so my I’m never going to compare my experience to Jude’s – but it’s the way to go for me.

Norton went on to describe the character as an example of someone who is not only “full of goodness and warmth” but also “full of self-loathing because of the way he is treated.”

“Everybody can relate to that,” he added. “Everyone knows what it’s like to look inside yourself and say, ‘Oh my God, I hate myself right now.'”

read IndependentHere’s the full interview with Norton.

happy valley Continues next Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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