Emily Browning Legend Interview

Emily Browning talks about playing Frances Kray in gangster biopic Legend starring Tom Hardy. The film charts the rise and fall of notorious London gangster twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray.

Q. When did you first hear about the Krays?

I honestly had never heard of them until I read the script. That’s my whole story.

Q. How did you research the role?

There’s really not as much information available about Frances as they Krays themselves. Which was actually rather nice for me because I didn’t feel like there was as much pressure on me. Because people don’t have as much of a strong idea about who Frances was as about the Krays. I had little bits and pieces. Brian actually managed to get me some of the letters Frances had written to Reggie. That was my lighthouse that was what I held onto and built her around that. I’m not very good at doing my homework either, for me a lot of the research was really about the accent the time ad place. Otherwise I kinda just did it I suppose.

Q. Emily the characters you’ve played including this one have collectively been raped, violently abused, orphaned, institutionalised, lobotomised and killed. What do you think are the dangers and value of evicting the victimisation of women on screen?

Jesus.. um… I think I’ve done seven films where the character I’ve played has been in a mental institution. That’s not intentional; I mean I don’t really know how that happens. I don’t have my career path planned out I just when something comes along and it makes me feel something I go for it. But I don’t see Frances as a victim really. I think she could have easily been written differently. She could have bene a bit wet, sad and pathetic. But I just think the way that Brian wrote her and the way that I wanted to play her was as a human being. She’s complex. I mean obviously her story comes to a tragic end and she’s also quite sad, but I think she’s quite ballsy and she has the guts to stand up to the boys when I don’t know if many people would have had that strength. I don’t see her as a tragic character by any means.

Q. Was it hard for you acting opposite Tom playing two roles?

It wasn’t really an issue for me. I didn’t have to think about the mathematics of it I just got to do everything twice. Tom was there as Reg and then he went away for a bit and he was there as Ron. It was kind of a breeze for me to be honest.

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