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'Godfather of London' had secret meetings with Tom Hardy to help him prepare for Legend role

Jake Massey

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'Godfather of London' had secret meetings with Tom Hardy to help him prepare for Legend role

A gangster once known as the 'Godfather of London' said he helped Tom Hardy prepare for his role in Legend. Watch the trailer here:

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Back in 2015, Hardy appeared on screen as both Reggie and Ronnie Kray – the twins at the forefront of London's criminal underground in the 1960s – in a biographical crime thriller about the brothers.

To make sure he nailed the part, the Kray's hitman Freddie Foreman said he had meetings with the much-loved actor.

He told The Mirror: "I helped him get into character. Reggie always had a quizzical look on his face and he had to get that right.

"He used to be suspicious of everything and was looking around all the time. I sat down with Tom and helped him out as he needed some pointers."

Evidently he took these pointers on board, as 'Brown Bread Fred' said Hardy knocked the role out of the park.

"I went down to the set and there he was stood in front of me as Ronnie," Fred said.

"And he nailed him off to a tee. I told him 'It is scary here talking to you, it is scary.'

"It was like being with Ronnie. I told him 'You have f****** nailed this, you are f****** Ronnie Kray.'"

Fred was blown away by Hardy's portrayal. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
Fred was blown away by Hardy's portrayal. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Hardy was able to portray the two brothers through a clever combination of CGI, ear pieces and body doubles – having roped in his stunt double from Mad Max, Jacob Tomuri. 

Along with using Tomuri as a body double for scenes involving both Kray twins, when Hardy was playing one twin he'd have the other's dialogue fed through via an earpiece.

Cinematographer Dick Pope previously told CNET that they sometimes went even more lo-fi, saying: "If we couldn't get the stand-in in there, we'd put in a tennis ball on a stick that Tom would look at."

In another interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Brian Helgeland also said: "There’s different tricks you can use, 70 percent of which are not anything really different than Hayley Mills did in the Parent Trap [in] 1960-whatever."

Hardy added: "The two characters, they were pretty easy to slip between.

"The complicated part was to make an audience believe it wasn’t one performer doing both parts."

If you still haven't seen the movie, you can currently catch it on Netflix.

Featured Image Credit: WENN Rights Ltd/Alamy/Universal Pictures

Topics: TV and Film, Tom Hardy, Crime

Jake Massey
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