Russell Tovey on His ‘Arrogant and Heroic’ ‘Years and Years’ Character

Variety | 7/15/2019 | Danielle Turchiano
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SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fourth episode of “Years and Years.”

Russell T. Davies’ limited series “Years and Years” began with a birth, but it did not wait until the finale to book-end the story with a death.

Episode - Family - Drama - Lyons - Family

In the fourth episode of the multi-year spanning family drama, the Lyons family lost Daniel (Russell Tovey), who drowned while trying to cross back into the U.K. illegally with his boyfriend Viktor (Maxim Baldry).

“He’s arrogant and he’s heroic,” Tovey tells Variety. “Yes, it’s what you do for love in a desperate situation, but he’s very arrogant. He thinks, ‘People like me don’t die. We’re going to survive and I’m going to get the life I want, because that’s what I get.'”

Tovey - Davies - Plan - Viktor - Journey

Originally, Tovey says, Davies’ plan was for Viktor to be the one who didn’t make the journey. “I was like, ‘Oh s—, that’s awful,'” Tovey recalls, “but in my head I was thinking I could do a eulogy, have a big cry, do all of the acting stuff to be sad — this will definitely be the BAFTA!” But then Davies told him he changed his mind — because he was seeing too many real-life refugees dying on beaches. Tovey admits he was conflicted about the idea at first: “If I wasn’t in it, I would think it’s the best idea ever, but the fact that I’m in it, I think it’s a terrible idea!” Knowing he wasn’t missing out on a chance to be in a long-running series (Davies planned “Years and Years” to be a definitive one-season series from the start) helped soften the blow, though. As did the fact that the fourth episode proved “the key point of the whole show,” says Tovey.

“History seems to come in waves, and things like this have happened...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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