Happy Valley: Sarah Lancashire stars in season three trailer
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Happy Valley has gripped the nation since the final season started airing on New Year’s Day. The BBC show will be ending after the current run as the trilogy is concluded. Sarah Lancashire reprises her role as no-nonsense Yorkshire police officer Catherine Cawood, who will be trying to protect her grandson Ryan Cawood (played by Rhys Connah) from his violent father Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton).
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Happy Valley star Shane Zaza opened up about working with veteran actress Lancashire and coming back to the show after a seven-year hiatus.
Zaza is better known to viewers as PC Shafiq Shah, who is often the object of Catherine’s chagrin.
Reflecting on coming back to Happy Valley after such a gap, Zaza, 39, said: “It was a long time.
“Oddly enough I remember the first day coming back on set and it felt like it had been six or seven days rather than years, to be honest.
“We all got straight back to it. As soon as the uniform’s back on, it all fell into place. It was peculiar that it was that long ago but it all fell into place.”
Zaza said despite the onscreen darkness, there was “a lot of light” when the cameras weren’t rolling.
“We had lots of fun and jokes and I think that was important the light and shade. You need the light to get through the darkness sometimes,” he said.
The Yorkshire-born star said he was “proud” of working on Happy Valley, which has shone a spotlight on the region and has become a smash hit around the globe.
Zaza has been working with Lancashire since the beginning of the Sally Wainwright show, which debuted back in 2014.
The actor paid tribute to Lancashire: “Sarah is a magnificent actress but also a magnificent person. Just great on and off set. So, we got on really, really well.
“I think what was great about it is so much of filming is off-camera and we got on really well and had fun.”
He went on to hail Lancashire’s devotion to the craft as well as serving as an executive producer on Happy Valley.
Zaza said: “She’s a work horse and she has so much material to get through.
“Not just material in terms of lines and things, there’s so much she has to carry as a character.
“So, she works ever so hard and she makes deliberate, bold choices. That is something to admire and it’s inspiring to see that.”
Adding: “She knows what she’s doing and she does it with force. It shows on screen. She’s phenomenal on screen.”
He also said Lancashire balanced the dual roles of the lead and executive producer well and “just got on with it with the same vein” and “didn’t change her way of working in any way”.
Zaza said: ”She knows the character so well, she’s going to have a strong say whether she’s an exec producer or not, to be honest because she knows her character as well as Sally does now. So I don’t think it made an effect on getting on.
Following on from Happy Valley, Zaza will be starring in a new project for Apple TV+.
He is also appearing in the upcoming BBC series Best Interests with Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen, which will be airing later this year.
Happy Valley season 3 airs on BBC One on Sundays at 9pm
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