Long before Ronald and Reginald Kray were sentenced to prison in 1969, the hardboiled siblings ruled over London’s infamous West End, where they operated a water-tight crime ring out from a high-end club. It was during this time that the Kray twins were feared by all, and held a marked influence over the city’s criminal underbelly. Documented in John Pearson’s acclaimed novel The Progression Of Violence, it proved to be a meteoric rise to infamy followed by the inevitable fall when the pair were caught at the tail-end of the decade.
But for Brian Helgeland’s upcoming crime drama, Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road star Tom Hardy will play both brothers while they were operating on the top of the proverbial food chain.
In preparation for the dual role, the esteemed actor would drop in and out of each character, portraying Ronnie one day before transitioning into Reggie the next. Of course, credit to the editing department for ensuring that – at least from the trailers – Hardy’s performances appear relatively seamless, but Legend is certainly cropped up on our collective radar for its intriguing take on the gangster genre.
He went, from hour to hour, he would be one or the other. There were exceptions, but he usually Reggie during the first part of the day because it was the bigger part. Then many days Ron didn’t work at all. But if it was the two of them, Tom and I would rehearse in the morning and he’d read both parts and we’d work out blocking. He’d record Ron’s side of the dialogue, give it to sound guy who’d cut it together in a way he could fit his Reggie dialogue in between his Ron dialogue.
Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Chazz Palminteri, Tara Fitzgerald, and Taron Egerton complete the casting list, though it is really Tom Hardy’s dual performance that has us gleeful with excitement.
Legend opens on September 11 in the UK.