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Posted December 11, 2015 by admin in Resource
 
 

Catatan Produksi Film Legend (2015)


About the Production

From Academy Award winner BRIAN HELGELAND (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River) and Working Title Films comes the true story of the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, both portrayed by TOM HARDY (Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception) in a powerhouse double performance.

Written and directed by Helgeland, Legend tells the story of Reggie and Ronnie Kray as they have the time of their lives, ruling over London in the middle of the Swinging ’60s. With Ronnie fresh out of prison, the brothers set about consolidating their power in the East End of London-taking on the ruthless South London gangster Charlie Richardson (PAUL BETTANY of Avengers: Age of Ultron) and his gang, and working with the American Mafia, who are keen to move from Havana into London. Hailed as celebrities, the Krays are courted by the rich and famous, and their influence extends to the higher levels of the British Establishment. They are unstoppable.

Meanwhile, Reggie falls in love with local girl, Frances Shea (EMILY BROWNING of Sucker Punch), and marries her. Promising to go straight, he expands into legitimate business interests as owner of several nightclubs.

However, nothing lasts forever. As the ’60s tick by, the Krays’ empire is threatened from all sides: from an ongoing police investigation, led by Inspector “Nipper” Read (CHRISTOPER ECCLESTON of Thor: The Dark World); by Ronnie’s violent, paranoid and self-destructive tendencies, which lead him to the cold-blooded murder of Richardson Gang associate, George Cornell (SHANE ATTWOOLL of Kingdom of Heaven); and by the slow disintegration of Reggie and France’s marriage, which has disastrous and tragic consequences…

A classic crime thriller taking us into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray twins, Legend also stars DAVID THEWLIS (Harry Potter series) as Leslie Payne, PAUL ANDERSON (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) as Albert Donoghue, COLIN MORGAN (BBC’s Merlin) as “Frankie” Franck Shea, MEL RAIDO (The Informers) as Ian Barrie, SAM SPRUELL (Snow White and the Huntsman) as Jack “The Hat” McVitie, TARA FITZGERALD (HBO’s Game of Thrones) as Mrs Shea, Grammy Award winner DUFFY (Patagonia) as singer Timi Yuro, TARON EGERTON (Kingsmen: The Secret Service) as Edward “Mad Teddy” Smith, KEVIN MCNALLY (Pirates of the Caribbean series) as Harold Wilson, JOHN SESSIONS (Mr. Holmes) as Lord Boothby and CHAZZ PALMINTERI (The Usual Suspects) as Angelo Bruno.

Helgeland’s accomplished behind-the-scenes team is led by cinematographer DICK POPE (Mr. Turner, The Illusionist), editor PETER MCNULTY (42, The Master), production designer TOM CONROY (television’s Vikings, The Tudors), costume designer CAROLINE HARRIS (42, The Awakening), hair and makeup designer CHRISTINE BLUNDELL (Kingsmen: The Secret Service, Sherlock Holmes) and composer CARTER BURWELL (Twilight series, True Grit).

The film based on the book “The Profession of Violence” by JOHN PEARSON is produced by Working Title Films’ TIM BEVAN (Everest) and ERIC FELLNER (The Theory of Everything), alongside CHRIS CLARK (Johnny English Reborn), QUENTIN CURTIS (London Boulevard) and Cross Creek Pictures’ BRIAN OLIVER (Black Swan).

The crime thriller’s executive producers are KATE SOLOMON (United 93), AMELIA GRANGER (The Theory of Everything), LIZA CHASIN (Everest), OLIVIER COURSON (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), RON HALPERN (Non-Stop), Tom Hardy, PETER MALLOUK (Everest), RAY MALLOUK (Black Mass), CHRISTOPHER WOODROW (Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) and MICHAEL BASSICK (Bernie).

 

Legend

“The first time I heard of the Krays,” says Helgeland, “it was a story that turned out to be a lie. That was a great and fitting introduction to them.”

It was 1998 and Helgeland had been hired by Warner Bros. to work on a Led Zeppelin movie that didn’t quite make it up the stairway to heaven. But as part of his duties, he got to accompany Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on a world tour. One night, he got talking to a member of the Page/Plant entourage, and noticed the gentleman was missing a finger. Helgeland asked how he had lost the digit. The answer was simple and to the point: “He told me a story about how the Krays had cut off his finger. Subsequently, like so much of the of the Krays’ story, I learned it was a lie, or to be generous, a tale that was too good to pass up.”

It was an introduction to a world where it was very hard to separate fact from fantasy. It piqued Helgeland’s interest in the Krays, and set him off on a journey that would, years later, see him write and direct Legend, a movie that tackles head-on the story of Ronnie and Reggie Kray, the most notorious gangsters in the history of Britain. Truth, lies and everything in between.

 

Meet the Firm

In the Swinging ’60s, London was the place to be. Carnaby Street was a cavalcade of colour and celebrities, the Beatles were putting their legacy together at Abbey Road, and the capital was leading the way in fashion, music, film and photography. But the epoch had a dark side as well, and the Krays and their Firm were its version of the Rolling Stones.

Born in the East End in 1933, Ronnie and Reggie were identical twins (Reggie was the eldest of the two, by roughly 10 minutes), who grew up tough on the mean streets of London, and quickly became notorious gang-leaders and criminals with their fingers in a number of pies-including extortion, robbery and intimidation. Maintaining a front as charismatic owners of several London nightspots, the twins courted famous faces (they were photographed by the great David Bailey) and exerted an extraordinary degree of political and social influence, which made them nigh-on untouchable by the police. They didn’t just rule the East End; they owned London. And they weren’t just gangsters; they were celebrities in their own right.

But then things started to go wrong. In 1966, Ronnie shot and killed George Cornell, a member of a rival gang, the Richardsons, in a Whitechapel pub, The Blind Beggar. The following year, Reggie was left grief-stricken when his wife, Frances, committed suicide. Just a few months later, he viciously killed Kray associate, Jack “The Hat” McVitie, at a party in full view of dozens of witnesses. The Krays’ charmed life was over.

In 1968, a longstanding police investigation, headed by Inspector Leonard “Nipper” Read, resulted in the arrest of the Krays and several of their associates. They were sentenced to life in prison for their respective murders. Ronnie never tasted freedom again-eventually certified insane, he spent most of his life at Broadmoor Hospital, before dying of a heart attack in 1995. Reggie was released from prison in 2000 on compassionate grounds; he had terminal cancer that claimed his life just six weeks later.

However, even though the Krays had spent half their lives in prison, their legend continued to grow.

 

The Beginning of the Legend

While the Krays were imprisoned, a subculture grew around them, including dozens of books about their lives. One of the first, The Profession of Violence, was written by John Pearson, a journalist who had first-hand experience with the Krays. Sensing the opportunity to bring Ronnie and Reggie’s notorious exploits to a new audience, producer Quentin Curtis and his partner, Chris Clark, bought the rights to Pearson’s book. (A previous movie, directed by Peter Medak and starring Spandau Ballet’s Gary and Martin Kemp as the twins, was released in 1990.) “I still felt there was more to say on it,” explains Curtis.

Looking for the right partner to help them bring the story to life, they brought it to Working Title and Tim Bevan, who was immediately enthusiastic and had a take on the material that would set it apart from other movies about British gangster movies: “Make an American-style gangster movie here, based on their story.”

Bevan elaborates: “Who hasn’t wanted to make a proper gangster movie? That’s the truth of it. If you make movies and you’re my age, chances are you went into the business because of gangster movies, because of the Coppolas and Scorsese. Because it had been done before as a movie, there had to be something that sets it properly apart, hence the idea of going to someone who was steeped in the tradition of American gangster movies, and giving it that style and feel.”

That someone was Helgeland, who had previously written the script for Working Title’s Paul Greengrass/Matt Damon thriller, Green Zone. More pertinently, perhaps, he was an American steeped in the tradition of American gangster and crime movies, as director of the Mel Gibson revenge movie, Payback, and Oscar-winning co-writer of the classic, L.A. Confidential. Helgeland, interest roused by his first apocryphal encounter with the twins, had learned more about them over the years, but he admits that Bevan’s vision was what initially enticed him. “It was a chance for me to do a gangster movie, which for a director in the United States is almost impossible with what’s gone on before,” he says. “What you’re compared to is almost prohibitive to even making an attempt.”

He also had a classic American take on the Krays. “I see them as the poor kids from the poor neighbourhood who took the only avenue open to them for success, which is crime, which is a much more American gangster way of looking at it,” Helgeland notes. “I was always trying to be ground level with them. Never looking down and never looking up. You have to be on the side of your protagonists.”

Helgeland threw himself into researching the Krays and their lives, visiting the locations that defined their lives, talking to surviving members of their crew (and their enemies), including the colourful retired gangster Freddie Foreman, and reading everything that could be read on the subject. But there was one aspect of the Krays’ lives that he couldn’t find much on: Frances Shea, Reggie’s ill-fated wife. Everywhere he looked, there was a blind alley. Everyone he asked, there was a polite rebuff. “I asked Freddie Foreman about Frances,” explains Helgeland, “and he said, ‘She was just a pretty girl’. I asked Barbara Windsor (a former regular at the Krays’ nightclubs), and she said she was quiet and pretty, but couldn’t recall much more than that.”

But one day Helgeland spoke to former Kray associate Chris Lambrianou, who took him on an impromptu tour of the Krays’ East End. Again, Helgeland asked about Frances. This time, he got an answer: Recalls Helgeland: “He said, ‘Frances was the reason we all went to prison.’ It was as if my whole Kray world tipped over. Chris said when she died, Reggie gave up looking after things.”

Reggie, always the most together of the twins (Ronnie, who would later be diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic, was much more volatile, and was often on heavy prescription medication), began to neglect the Firm. Helgeland continues: “Lambrianou pointed down this gloomy street outside the Carpenters Arms and said, ‘I saw Reggie disappear into the dark one night about two weeks before we were arrested, and he was the loneliest man I’d ever seen in my life.’ I knew at that moment how I wanted to tell the story and how I wanted to use Frances as a way into the story.”

That way was to use Frances as the movie’s narrator, sagely and sadly commenting on the tragic events unfolding from beyond the grave. “It’s very poignant,” says Clark, “and a really interesting viewpoint. She gives something different to the genre. In many ways, the film is a triangle between her, Ron and Reg. It’s really powerful and original and modern.”

 

Finding the Krays

Legend boasts an exceptional cast, with the likes of David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Sam Spruell, Taron Egerton, Tara Fitzgerald and Colin Morgan joining Australian actress Emily Browning as Frances. “She was far and away Frances,” says Helgeland of her audition. “She worked so hard on her homework and on her accent and on the heart of her as well.”

But Helgeland knew that the film would belong to the actor who played Ronnie and Reggie. Crucially, if he could find the right man, he wanted both roles to be filled by one actor, following in the footsteps of the likes of Jeremy Irons in David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers. “I didn’t want my casting to be limited to guys who look similar to each other,” he says. “I thought one actor could potentially really nail that relationship between the brothers rather than negotiate it. It was a short list.”

On it was one name: Tom Hardy.

“Loosely, he played Reggie as a movie star, an old-fashioned Steve McQueen-type” explains Bevan. “Ronnie is a great character part; he was the guy who was on pills and wasn’t so mentally stable. And he found very definitive looks and characters for both of them.”

With the film’s tight budget and schedule, cramming more than 100 London locations (barely any sets were used on the film) into just over 50 shooting days, Helgeland’s dream scenario-allowing Hardy to shoot one half of the movie as one twin, then return for the second role-was unworkable. Instead, on the 35 shooting days when Hardy had to play both twins, he generally started off the day as whichever brother had more screen time in the scene. More often than not, this proved to be Reggie, the brother whom Helgeland saw as the film’s lead. Then, once his scenes were done, Hardy would disappear into makeup and costume and return as Ron to film the remainder of the sequence.

A number of techniques were used to facilitate this. “How they shoot twins hasn’t changed a lot since Hayley Mills did it,” laughs Helgeland, referring to The Parent Trap. Split screens were the films bread-and-butter effect. Occasionally, the much more time consuming motion-control camera was used. Hardy would often record dialogue as one twin, which would then be played back to him via an earpiece, for the afternoon session when he switched characters.

Face replacement was also deployed on rare occasions, with Hardy’s stunt/body double, JACOB TOMURI, giving as close an approximation of the actor’s body language as possible. This technique came into play during the movie’s show-stopper, the fight between the Krays at Esmeralda’s Barn, their casino. “Sometimes, it was just old-fashioned blocking,” reveals Helgeland.

For the sequence where Ron and Reggie face off against Richardson’s goons, Helgeland positioned the brothers as far away from each other as possible so that he could cut from Hardy to Hardy during the hammer-swinging melee that follows. “The biggest thing was dialogue,” explains the director. “What we discovered was that the more they could overlap each other, the more you believed it, as opposed to the ping-pong of Reggie’s line, Ron’s line, Reggie’s line, which makes it a little fake. And Tom can overlap himself brilliantly.”

Helgeland worked with his key crew and with Hardy to create the look and feel of Reggie and Ronnie and their world.

Costume designer Caroline Harris was instrumental in creating the visual tone for Legend. It began with photo research into the Krays, as well as the 1960s world that surrounded them. This world was more classic than swinging, and this classicism formed the basis for the characters who inhabited it. Reg and Ron expected ‘the Firm’ to turn up for work suited and booted. They also expected their nightlife to glitter and everybody dressed up in their finest to go out.

As for the Krays themselves, “Ron Kray once brought a picture of Al Capone in a double breasted suit to his tailor, so it made good sense to run with that look for Ron,” says Harris-who, in contrast, chose for Reggie the Italian cut he favoured, as seen in many of the photos of Reg at the time. The look was sleek and powerful and also worn by European movie stars of the era, including Jean-Paul Belmondo. This resulted in two entirely different silhouettes that did the job of differentiating them in an uncomplicated way…leaving Hardy free to get on with his own impressive physical transformations.

Production designer Tom Conroy oversaw well over 100 sets and locations-the number of which he felt expressed the restlessness of the Twins. “A fascinating real-life detail,” says Conroy, “was that the brothers ended up living in modern apartments, one above the other-at Cedra Court in North West London. We built sets, with Reggie and Frances’ apartment being made cooler, calmer, perhaps with borrowed taste. Ronnie’s, however, was thought of as a darker, dense, packed Aladdin’s cave of gold, chrome, ritual swords and hidden cameras-with these he blackmailed the establishment figures that attended his orgies.”

Conroy also used an iconic David Bailey portrait to inform the look of the movie directly. The wallpaper in Ronnie’s flat in the film is an exact replica of the wallpaper that forms the backdrop of the famous Bailey photo of Reggie and Ron holding two of Ron’s pet snakes.

Makeup artist Christine Blundell was also involved in creating the Kray look, particularly Ronnie. Reggie is pretty much Hardy in matinee-idol mode, but the fuller-faced, darker Ronnie was a more time-consuming creation. “We tested various looks,” explains Blundell, “but we didn’t have time to do full prosthetics. We had to do everything internally, almost.”

She also experimented with moving Hardy’s hairline, using a wig for Ronnie, which “lifts the face up,” then powdering his face to make it rounder. Finally, a dental technician took a cast of Hardy’s mouth and made “plumpers” for him, which changed the shape of his jaw, “for a much squarer look,” says the makeup artist. “We changed his top-teeth line and widened his nose. We did a lot with shading and moving shapes around on his face, too. But as soon as you put the Ron wig on, he becomes Ron.”

The rest, though, is all Hardy, including Ron’s chilling, black-eyed thousand yard stare. “That’s just Tom, turning lights on and off in his head,” says Helgeland, who was amazed by the ease with which his star managed to switch between the two Krays, and amused by how the brothers’ personalities shone through when Hardy was in character. “Ron was much easier to direct than Reggie,” he laughs. “When Ron came to set, he’d come over and put his arm around me and ask me in his Ron voice what we were doing and where the camera was. I’d say what we were doing, and he’d have no questions. When Reggie showed up, he was cautious and quiet and he’d ask what we were doing, and then you would have to talk him through it. I don’t think Tom was aware of it!”

 

The Music

If Reggie and Ron gave London its swagger, then an unprecedented tidal wave of glorious music provided its swing. Good luck finding a decade that rivals the 1960s in terms of shear musical sweep and latitude. Of course, that goes for both sides of “the Pond.”

As British bands spearheaded the invasion of the United States, Detroit sent Motown over in return. As merrily as London exported her sound, she welcomed it as well. Timi Yuro was a Yank who found a home and fans here as well. She not only took her place in the ranks of Northern Soul singers, but in Reggie Kray’s heart as well. He had a thing for that great big voice of hers, and he booked her in his clubs. Of course, it’s singer Duffy who re-creates Timi here. Duffy also wrote the film’s end title track “Whole Lotta Love.”

Reggie loved music, and its milieu as well, and he took as much pleasure in crossing the line between gangland and clubland as the filmmakers did in re-creating it. Celebrities flocked to Kray-owned clubs where they could drink, gamble and dance the night away. Frank Sinatra was a guest, as was Sonny Liston, Shirley Bassey, artist Francis Bacon and actresses Barbara Windsor and Joan Collins.

Whether London or Las Vegas, gangsters and clubs were intertwined in another star-crossed rendezvous of the ’60s, where all things were possible. As for the soundtrack, a case in musical point is that never were the charts so open-armed to instrumental singles. They were bona-fide platinum hits: from the groove of “Sissy Strut” by the Meters to the piano propelled exuberance of “The In Crowd” by the Ramsey Lewis Trio or the dreamy guitars of “Sleep Walk” by Santo & Johnny. In the film, these tracks all align themselves as partners in crime to composer Carter Burwell’s own powerful, yet simple, score.

 

Print the Legend

What’s in a name? Everything, according to Helgeland, who settled on Legend-and not, crucially, Legends-as his title early on. “One of the first research images I saw was a photo of Reggie Kray’s hearse. It held an arrangement of white carnations, which spelled out the word Legend. With everything I had heard and read, the name seemed to fit, and so I adopted it as my title. History is written by the winners, and the Krays will never be counted in that column. They are a myth now, doomed to a tabloid history, demonized as well as apologized for. The Krays have become a legend. They’ve entered a pantheon in England that goes back to the legend Robin Hood or the legend of King Arthur.”

Ultimately, they find themselves at the centre of a million tall tales and wild stories as their reputation continues to grow. Helgeland says he couldn’t mention to a London cabbie that he was making a movie about the Krays without them claiming to have had a relative who worked for the siblings. “What I was really looking for was what sort of things happened that could, 10 years later, be these stories that everyone tells about them,” the writer/director says. “It was trying to find what was, to me, the version of them that could give birth to all the stories that grew around them.”

Helgeland had to sift through the stories, choose what to include and try to fill in the gaps. He was also keen not to follow the advice of William Randolph Hearst and print the legend. So, there’s no re-enactment of the oft-told tale of the time that the Krays nailed a rival to the floor. Or, indeed, a time when they cut off the finger of an associate of Led Zeppelin. “This is my story of the Krays,” he says. “A stunning time and place are long gone and so are its doppelgangers, the Krays; all of it has slipped into the alchemy of legend. I get to be their film biographer, and I’m much more interested in the flip side of that legend…”

Legend-Poster