Tom Hardy had to “wade through sh*t” to get to the heart of his latest film.
The British actor takes on his most challenging job to date in Legend, in which he portrays real life criminal twins Ronald and Reginald Kray, who terrorised London during the 50s and 60s.
The siblings were responsible for countless armed robberies, arson, assaults and even murders, which made it difficult for Tom to fully embrace them at first.
“One has to approach these things thinking about the families of the victims who were involved in the other end of it. Before you find the heart to like somebody, you’ve gotta look at their track record as best as possible: the people who’ve been hurt, the bodies, the suffering, people who were bullied, who lived in terror, who lost significant parts of their lives in the wake of these two men,” he explained to British magazine ShortList. “There’s a lot of sh*t to wade through. And a lot of people who do not, quite rightly, want to see anything to do with these two men. And if I were them, I wouldn’t want to be involved myself, but there’s also part of me that wants to know. That wants to get under the skin.”
While the movie is focused on the brothers, there is another prominent figure: Frances Shea, Reggie’s wife, who died in 1967. Played by Emily Browning in director Brian Helgeland’s production, Tom believes the filmmaker’s decision to bring Frances to the forefront of the tale was one which brought everything together.
“We could have put more of the carnage and the crimes in that film. Not to say that it is not there, but what you do see, really, is Reggie, Ronnie and Frances. That’s the dynamic we focused on, that space, which hasn’t been seen before,” he added. “I don’t know if we came anywhere near the truth, because we weren’t there. But that was the playing field, if you like: Frances Shea, future ahead of her, caught up in something, and no one with her, the suicide. That sits with me in a way as the lead. She’s who we forgot. Ronnie, Reggie, they’ve done their bit. Frances was forgotten. And that kind of all ties it together for me.”
– Cover Media