'Legend' star Tom Hardy opens up about the challenges and benefits of playing both of the Kray twins in his new crime biopic 'Legend', directed by Brian Helgeland. He admits that he was initially only interest in playing Ronnie Kray, while Brian wanted him to play Reggie, and so that's where the compromise arose.
Continue reading: Tom Hardy And Brian Helgeland - Legend Video Interview
The actor credits his stunt double with a lot of the work on 'Legend'.
The Kray twins are part of London lore, iconic gangsters who ran the city in the swinging 1960s. They've been portrayed on-screen before (by the Kemp brothers in the 1990 drama The Krays), and Oscar-winning writer turned director Brian Helgeland opted to cast Tom Hardy in both roles for his new film Legend.
Tom Hardy is double trouble in crime drama 'Legend'
Word has it that Helgeland wanted Hardy to play Reggie in the film, but when he read the script Hardy was drawn to the more colourful Ronnie. "There was a moment when I could have come away just playing Reggie," Hardy says of his first meeting with Helgeland. "We could have gone and found a superlative character actor to play Ronnie, and that would have been the best of everything. But I was like, 'Well, I feel Ronnie!' So which actor am I gonna give up Ronnie to if I play Reggie? I can't have that. Because that's all the fun there, and Reggie's so straight." By the end of their meeting, Helgeland said, "I'll give you Ron if you give me Reg."
Continue reading: Legend Gives Tom Hardy A Double Challenge
Written and directed with a rakish swagger, and featuring two full-on performances from Tom Hardy, this true London gangster drama is hugely entertaining, even if it feels undercooked. Aside from that generic title, the film basically has no plot at all, and it strips real-life people of their complexity. It's as if the filmmakers were afraid to challenge the audience in any way. But the edgy mix of comedy and violence is riveting.
The events recounted took place over about two years in the early 1960s, although the film's anecdotal structure makes it feel more like a decade. As it begins, the fearsome young Kray brothers (both played by Tom Hardy) are consolidating their gangland grip on East London and expanding around the city, with their next target being South London boss Charlie Richardson (Paul Bettany). Reggie Kray is the tough-minded businessman, while identical twin Ronnie is a terrifying thug who happens to be openly gay at a time when being so was illegal. As they blatantly manipulate the rule of law, a Scotland Yard inspector (Christopher Ecclestone) is desperately looking for a way to take them down. Meanwhile, Reggie is romancing the 16-year-old Frances (Emily Browning), much to the annoyance of her imperious mother (Tara Fitzgerald).
The tumultuous relationship between Reggie and Frances is the only thing that adds a sense of narrative momentum to the film. Otherwise, it's a series of set-pieces that take a darkly humorous approach to family clashes and criminal violence. Writer-director Brian Helgeland infuses even the grisliest brutality with an amusing smirk, which makes the movie much more engaging than expected. And Hardy storms through the film with real charisma in both roles, as the steely, magnetic Reggie and the more unstable, fearsome Ronnie. Both performances are scene-stealing, nicely conveying how these men managed to hold the entire city in their grip, even though they were only in their early 30s at the time.
Continue reading: Legend Review
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, London was at the mercy of the terrifying Kray twins (Tom Hardy). Reggie Kray was forced to spend most of his life holding back his identical twin brother, Ronnie, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. As acclaimed night club owners and feared gangsters, the two twins were seen to own London, and lived a life of glitz and glamour, as well as blood and brutality. That is, until Detective Superintendent Leonard "Nipper" Read (Christopher Eccleston) took the task of bringing two of the most powerful and dangerous criminals in the city's history to justice, by any means necessary.
Continue: Legend - First Look Trailer
What could easily have been a sentimental slog is given a spark of intelligent wit by writer-director Helgeland (A Knight's Tale). This is the story of an iconic figure from American sport who had a massive impact on society at large, and Helgeland focusses on the elements we can most readily identify with while quietly stressing how important and, yes, inspirational this story is.
In 1945 post-War America, most states still have segregation laws on the books, and black baseball players are sidelined in their own league. But Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (Ford) wants to break this barrier, and drafts Jackie Robinson (Boseman), making him the first black player in the Major League. Jackie is a determined, principled young man who struggles to hold his tongue in the face of blatant bigotry. But he gets help from Branch and team manager Leo (Meloni), and support from his equally feisty wife Rachel (Beharie). There's also a young black journalist (Holland) who works with him to further both their causes. But it takes Jackie a little longer to win over his teammates.
The film portrays endemic racism as the hideously ugly thing it is: socially accepted cruelty and prejudice. In truth, it was probably a lot worse than shown here, but we certainly don't miss the point. Especially since this kind of abusive language is never heard in today's politically correct climate. And Helgeland also creates complex characters who can't be tagged as heroes or villains, played with cheeky energy by a very strong cast. Boseman oozes charisma in the central role, undercutting what could be a too-saintly characterisation with sensitivity and steeliness. And Ford shines in a rare character role as a cantankerous old guy who simply won't take no for an answer.
Continue reading: 42 Review
Take a look at Jackie Robinson's story in 42
Starring Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, 42 tells the story of two men’s brave stand against prejudice, which forever changed the game of baseball. The New York Times described it as: “An inspiring, old-school biopic that doesn't pull any punches in depicting the ugly racism that Jackie Robinson faced on a daily basis as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball."
Continue reading: 42 - Jackie Robinson's Story Is Finally Told [Trailer & Pictures]
Robin Longstride (Crowe) fought alongside King Richard (Danny Huston) in the crusades but returned to England under shady circumstances with two of his archer buddies (Grimes and Doyle) and a beefy fighter (Durand). Heading to Nottingham to honour an oath, he meets Sir Walter (von Sydow) and his feisty daughter-in-law Marian (Blanchett), who are being squeezed out of their land by the Sheriff (Macfadyen). But there are bigger problems, as Godfrey (Strong) marauds through the country with an army of French goons, plotting to steal the country from the vain new King John (Isaac).
Continue reading: Robin Hood Review
Its dialogue like that that makes Payback the first great film of 1999. Everybody likes to watch jerks on screen. They walk around with a cockiness and lack of respect for anything and everyone that you can't help but love to watch them. In this movie, I think everybody falls into this category.
Continue reading: Payback Review
Assassins is essentially an updating of a well-established story line. Robert Rath (Stallone) is the best in the world at what he does--killing people for money. But he's getting tired of it all and wants out of the business. Unfortunately, you can't just give two weeks notice to your faceless hit contractor; it's a bit more difficult than that. So it's understandable that Rath barely flinches when he finds out Miguel Bain (Antonio Banderas), the #2 assassin, is after him.
Continue reading: Assassins Review
Some manage, but most do not, and River drowns in tedium and cumbersome symbolism as a result. The 73-year-old Eastwood remains a meat-and-potatoes filmmaker. He's not afraid to take chances when selecting material, but his no-nonsense approach regardless of the content dooms this and other projects to a static and mind-numbingly wearisome state.
Continue reading: Mystic River Review
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