Stephen Moyer shares connection with Kray twins ahead of movie debut

He's playing Leonard “Nipper” Read – the cop who brought the Krays to justice – in a new film.

But actor Stephen Moyer already had a connection to the feared gangster twins who terrorised London during the 1950s and 60s.

He says: “My grandad was a boxer and knew them. He was chairman of West Ham Boxing Club and also became honorary chair of Repton Boys Club, which is where the Krays fought.

“My nan and grandad had a charity which raised money for orphans and poor kids in the East End.

“I remember my nan used to do this annual dinner at The Savoy and even when they were in prison, the Krays still took a table.”

Even today the duo are considered folk heroes to some and Stephen, 52, says: “There’s this idea in our head that they were lovely boys. They gave to the poor, they loved their mum… but of course they were nasty and villainous.”

Stephen was unsure about taking the role as he felt “the world didn’t necessarily need another Krays movie.”

But when he read the script for Krays: Code Of Silence and saw it was telling Nipper’s story and how he arrested Ronnie and Reggie after trailing them for years, he changed his mind.

The police officer died from Covid last year aged 95, so Stephen didn’t get a chance to meet him but did read his autobiography.

“It was a really lovely opportunity to show Nipper’s story,” he adds. “He wrote an autobiography very reluctantly – he was a very modest man – and I found him fascinating.

“He was working class, brought up in a not-dissimilar way to the Krays and he came from a boxing background, so I also thought the similarities were really interesting.

“He had an extraordinary life and was much revered within the force because a lot of what he was doing in terms of the way he policed was quite modern.”

Stephen is best known for playing vampire Bill Compton in hit series True Blood, which ran between 2008 and 2014.

It’s where he met his wife Anna Paquin, who played telepathic Sookie Stackhouse, while the show also starred Alexander Skarsgard as vampire Eric Northman.

Stephen reveals a reboot by its American TV network is on the cards – although it may be without the original cast.

“I know HBO are talking about rebooting it so I think that’s going to happen at some point,” he says. “But it’s almost 10 years on and the problem is vampires don’t age.

“It was amazing and we’re all still in contact, as close as one can be in a global pandemic. I was just texting with Skarsgard a couple of days ago. It was an amazing time and if there was a way in which we could all get back together, there’s no question that we would, but some people did die in it.”

The show was also famed for its raunchy scenes – before the introduction of intimacy coordinators who choreograph sex scenes to make actors feel safe.

Stephen says: “We were all naked, all the time. I can’t imagine True Blood with intimacy coordinators – you’d need more intimacy coordinators than there were crew.

“There was that famous Rolling Stone cover where me, Skarsgard and Anna were naked – it had become so normal at that point.

“I can’t imagine that happening now without having to go through the obligatory counselling session – by the way it’s fantastic that’s happening – but I can’t imagine our show with that. It’s a different time.

“But if True Blood mark two happens, there will be intimacy coordinators as there should be.”

Krays: Code Of Silence will be available on digital and DVD from December 27.

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