Did you spot James Norton’s War and Peace reference hidden in Happy Valley?

Prince Andrei was pretending to read Tolstoy's Russian epic way before he actually became Prince Andrei...

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War and Peace star James Norton has been keeping us entertained for the last six weeks as Prince Andrei, the proud, disillusioned heart-breaker of the BBC1 period drama. 

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But this wasn’t Norton’s first involvement with Tolstoy’s Russian epic.

Journalist Kevin O’ Flynn, who reports from Moscow, pointed out that the actor’s Happy Valley character Tommy buys a copy of War and Peace in series one. 

Earlier this year, Norton himself told 5050London that, “weirdly enough, when I did Happy Valley, I carried War and Peace at one point as my character (psychopath Tommy Lee Royce) goes into a charity shop to disguise himself.

“And he picks a red book which is War and Peace. Sitting at that bus stop and waiting for the cameras to turn around, I got through about ten pages.”

Frankly, this is all a bit too meta for us…

Norton’s War and Peace casting was announced in December 2014, a year after filming took place on Happy Valley series one. So yes, this little Russian ‘easter egg’ is just a lucky coincidence.

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Wonder what he’ll be reading in series two?