Happy Valley season 3: Who plays Ryan Cawood in James Norton drama?

Happy Valley season 3: Who plays Ryan Cawood in James Norton drama?

Updated: 2 months, 18 days, 14 hours, 29 minutes, 28 seconds ago
Rhys Connah plays Ryan Cawood in Happy Valley season 3 Ryan Cawood is now a teenager in Happy Valley season 3 (Picture: BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt Squire)

While Sarah Lancashire and James Norton are among the cast reprising their roles in Happy Valley, will the same actor from seven years ago play Ryan Cawood?

Sally Wainwright’s crime drama, which also stars Siobhan Finneran, was last on our screens back in 2016 but is back for its final and third season this year.

The latest instalment sees Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Lancashire) discover the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir, sparking a chain of events that leads her straight back to Tommy Lee Royce (Norton).

Elsewhere in another part of the valley, a local pharmacist gets in over his head when a neighbour is arrested.

As well as investigating crime in West Yorkshire, Catherine is also struggling with her grandson Ryan, who is showing interest in his father Royce – his late mother’s rapist.

In series one and two, Ryan was played by Rhys Connah, who was just eight years old when he joined the blockbuster series.

James Norton James Norton also returns as the terrifying Tommy Lee Royce (Picture: BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

And Rhys, now 16, is returning as Ryan in Happy Valley season 3, having enjoyed roles in the likes of The White Prince, which starred Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, in the meantime.

Speaking to the BBC, Rhys explained that, despite nearly a decade passing since the first batch of Happy Valley, he remembers his fist day ‘very well.’

He continued: ‘It was a scene where I went to see Daniel for dinner, and I remember the first shot we did was when I opened the door to walk in.

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley Sarah Lancashire plays a no-nonsense detective (Picture: BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt Squire)

‘I remember the first ever time we did it I looked directly at the camera – I didn’t look at anyone else, I just looked straight at the camera. They had to stop and say “Rhys, the most important part about filming is don’t look at the camera!”.’

Rhys also said that Ryan in season 3 is ‘bringing lies into question’ now that he is ‘finally old enough’ to learn the truth. Intriguing!

On his relationship with Catherine, Rhys said: ‘It’s a family dynamic, so there’s obviously better times and worse times. There’s more of a tension in it as Catherine sees more of Ryan’s dad in Ryan, more than she’d like to see obviously.

SIOBHAN FINNERAN in Happy Valley The new and final season of Happy Valley promises to be thrilling (Picture: BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt Squire)

‘Sarah just plays the character great, she plays all of the aspects of a police officer but also the vulnerable side to her, she does it really well.’

Meanwhile, Rhys described Ryan’s relationship with Royce as ‘confusing’ but despite having heard him being branded a ‘psychopath and a murderer’ wants to judge for himself.

‘There’s enough doubt there, and of course he wants his dad to be a
good man so he wants to believe things are different now,’ he added.

Happy Valley continues on BBC on Sunday at 9pm.

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