There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with getting a double dose of Tom Hardy. The British actor stars as not one, but both Kray brothers in, Legend. Hardy plays twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray, two real-life London gangsters from the 1960s. Their exploits have been so glamorized in their native country that it’s almost as if they were celebrities.
Reggie is the slick brother. Dashing, debonair, silver-tongued and, despite having the strange profession of beating people up for money, he’s portrayed as a pretty decent guy. He likes running nightclubs, and maybe if he didn’t come from the desolate East End of London he wouldn’t have taken the illegal route to get there. Ronnie, is a little beefier, where’s glasses and is definitely more brawn than brain. Medicated for paranoid schizophrenia, he’s always a second away from violent eruption or meltdown. Plus, he’s an out homosexual in an environment that is frowned upon unless, that is, you’re the boss. Either role would be a dream for an actor; Hardy gets both and is outstanding as each brother. It’s sometimes hard to tell that it is actually one actor playing both roles.
In our recent interview Hardy said, that playing the Krays was the hardest thing that he’s to do in his career so far. “The production team didn’t have the means to invest in CGI, so the movie had to be done using split screens and natural shots — good ol’ fashion movie tricks. Everything is as is. We didn’t know what we were doing, well I didn’t but I tried to pretend I did and guess we pulled it off.”
Our guide into the Krays’ crazed world is Francis (Emily Browning), a bit of a troubled girl and sister to a Kray associate who eventually becomes Reggie’s wife. As with Reggie uses the lure of nightclubs and power to woo her, but it eventually becomes clear that there’s not much that can protect Reggie from his brother Ronnie, even though he’s well aware that his behavior is becoming uncontrollable.
Legend premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival where high praise was given to Hardy on his performances. It won’t be surprising if he gets an Oscar nomination for playing the Krays.
Tom Hardy, writer-director Brian Helgeland and Emily Browning recently spoke to press about the Kray’s world and what it was like to work on this film.
Legend is currently playing in selected theatres in the U.S. and opens wide in Canada on December 4th