James Norton at a Happy Valley screening earlier this month
Happy Valley star James Norton has revealed filming the show’s more intense moments come at an emotional “cost”.
James played the villainous Tommy Lee Royce in the first two seasons of the Bafta-winning crime drama, which will return for a third and final run beginning on New Year’s Day.
However, at a recent screening of the new series, James told those in attendance about how it wasn’t always an easy process for him to get into character – and it often took an emotional toll.
“I’ve been filming horror movies, and with this too you have to find authenticity but it can cost you,” he said (via The Independent). “You have to keep the other part of you sane.
“I got rid of Tommy and have a feeling of losing the family and friends you make on the show.”
James Norton pictured on the set of Happy Valley's second season
He added: “I do remember from the first series, I had really violent scenes.
“It was written and filmed much darker, and I would spend ages beating her up. It goes into your subconscious and somehow it emerges in your dreams.”
James as seen in the first episode of Happy Valley's final season
Joining James – whose character is still in prison – in the upcoming series of Happy Valley will be co-stars Sarah Lancashire, Rhys Connah and Siobhan Finneran.
There’ll also be new additions to the cast in the form of God’s Own Country star Alec Secareanu and Jack Bandeira, who previously appeared in the Netflix teen drama Sex Education.
Happy Valley will return to BBC One on 1 January, with new episodes airing every Sunday night.