For the cockney gangster royalty, Odeon Leicester Square pulled out the blue carpet. Hardy attended the fitting family affair with pregnant wife Charlotte Riley and their canine companion, Woody, who entertained himself pigeon-chasing along the carpet.
Scribe and helmer Brian Helgeland greeted fans and press, accompanied by talent Emily Browning, Christopher Eccleston and David Thewlis.
Hardy revelled in the Ronnie Kray paranoid schizophrenic experience. “Ron was more pleasurable, as there was a certain predictable unpredictability about him — as a performer, you have a bit more fun,” he explained. “Reggie was written as a straight lead, which I find intrinsically quite boring.”
Eccleston gave his humorous casting insight, having sent his phone-recorded audition to Helgeland. He quipped, “Brian realized I was the cheapest option; met me, we got drunk and he gave me the role. But I didn’t sleep with him. No matter what he says later!”
Wanting to escape the shadows of the much-exhausted American gangster scene, Helgeland had targeted U.K. shores, claiming, “The chance to do a British gangster film, for me, meant I got to get away from all that, and got to not hold back.”
The after-party was a close-knit outing up west, at One Mayfair, kept between cast and crew and, of course, honorary guest Woody the dog.