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Watch: ‘Legend’ TIFF Press Conference with Tom Hardy (VIDEO)

Watch: 'Legend' TIFF Press Conference with Tom Hardy (VIDEO)

Two rival gangster pictures vied for attention at TIFF: Scott Cooper’s Boston-set James “Whitey” Bulger biopic “Black Mass” (Warner Bros.) and Universal/Working Title’s hardboiled portrait of the Kray Brothers, “Legend.”

“Legend” offers an entertaining dual performance from Tom Hardy as two murderous thugs in swinging 60s East London, one of whom romances and weds a neighborhood beauty (Emily Browning), who tries to adjust to his out of control openly gay brother. Writer-director Brian Helgeland delivers a nasty and fascinating portrait of these gangsters, but also shows their humanity and humor. Should it be a tad shorter? Sure. But when Hardy is on-screen I can’t take my eyes off him, and Browning, who narrates the tale, also has a bright future.

Moving away from a crowded male-action field (“Black Mass,” “Sicario,” “The Martian”), Universal is rebooking the film from October to November 20, where there’s more oxygen against “Spotlight” and “Hunger Games,” expanding on November 25 for the holiday and wider still on December 11. Assuming all goes well (although early reviews are not stellar for the R-rated U.K. hit), Tom Hardy could emerge in the awards derby via SAG and the Globes and build from there. 

See how Hardy fields the question of playing straight and gay brothers below. 

READ MORE: Toronto Brings Oscar Schedule Changes, as the Strong Edge Out the Weak

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