Happy Valley's James Norton shares how final fire scene was filmed03/09/2023
So how DID Tommy Lee Royce go up in flames? Happy Valley’s James Norton shares a behind-the-scenes glimpse at his VERY dramatic final scene
James Norton shared a behind-the-scenes clip from the final episode of Happy Valley on Thursday.
Warning fans who hadn’t yet finished the series that it would spoil the ending, the actor, 37, showed exactly how the crew made his character go up into flames.
The filming was done with the help of stunt double Leo Woodruff on set, who was actually the one playing criminal Tommy Lee Royce as he caught fire in the scene.
Recording from the side of the set, James captured the moment that his brave stunt double was set on fire – with crew on hand to coat him in a specially prepared flammable gel beforehand, then extinguishing him straight away.
Fans of the drama were shocked to see that the stunt had actually taken place, with many rushing to the comment section to admit that they thought it was the work of CGI.
BTS: Happy Valley’s James Norton shared a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his dramatic final scene on Tuesday – showing exactly how character Tommy Lee Royce went up into flames
Up he goes: During the tense scene, Tommy douses himself in gasoline and pulls out his lighter to set himself on fire after finally giving in to his crimes
The dramatic scene shows villain of the show Tommy (James) finally give in after running from his crimes for three seasons.
Defeated, he finds himself face to face with enemy Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) and admits he ‘doesn’t hate her anymore’.
Dousing himself in gasoline, the criminal decides that he’d rather not be alive than go back to prison – pulling out his lighter to set himself on fire.
As viewers had to excruciatingly watch the character go up into flames, many assumed it was the handy work of computer generated imagery.
But this week, James shared exactly how the scene was organically carried out as he posted a video which captured the moment on set.
James and Sarah had both been swapped out for their stunt doubles, with Leo – who looks incredibly similar to James – taking seat as Tommy.
He is thought to be wearing several layers of protective clothing, including fire-resistant materials like asbestos – while crew could then be seen rubbing specially prepared flammable gel over Leo.
As he gets lit up into flames, the stunt double stands up before falling down to the ground, where Sarah’s stand-in comes to cover him with a crochet blanket, scenes which viewers will recognise.
Stand-in: The filming was done with the help of stunt double Leo Woodruff on set, who was actually the one playing criminal Tommy Lee Royce as he caught fire in the scene
Dangerous: Sarah Lancashire also had a stunt double who covers Tommy with the crochet blanket – scenes which viewers will recognise – before crew come in and extinguish the fire off-camera
Double act: James also added in a snap of himself and stunt double Leo both dressed as Tommy – with the duo looking strikingly similar
But what couldn’t be seen on screen is the two crew members who put the fire out just seconds later with extinguishers.
Impressively, Leo then jumps to his feet and flashes a thumbs up towards the crew, assuring that he’s fine after being set into flames.
James then panned the camera to the rest of the set where a large crew were gathered with equipment, while Sarah also sat nearby watching on.
Directors could be seen watching the scene back on cameras to ensure that they got the correct angle.
The actor also added in a snap of himself and stunt double Leo both dressed as Tommy – with the duo looking strikingly similar.
‘SPOILER ALERT, waited a beat before posting in case people hadn’t caught up,’ wrote James over the video.
While he captioned: ‘HAPPY VALLEY BTS — final scene — Huge respect to @leonardstunts, my stunt double. The man literally goes up in flames #happyvalley #bts’.
Shocked fans couldn’t believe their eyes watching the clip, as one penned: ‘Bloody. Hell. I thought it was CGI!’
‘And here’s me assuming it was CGI,’ agreed another.
While a third dubbed the video ‘better than the final episode’.
Shocked: Fans of the drama were shocked to see that the stunt had actually taken place, with many rushing to the comment section to admit that they thought it was the work of CGI
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