Legendary musician Sir Elton John has come to the defense of the straight actor who plays him in the forthcoming film “Rocketman.”
Taron Egerton was chosen to play the musical icon despite being heterosexual, and many people are complaining that John, who is gay, should have been played by someone from the LGBT community. John himself pushed back on such criticism in an exclusive interview with The Sun’s Dan Wootton.
John, when asked about the criticism Egerton received, apparently waved his hand “dismissively” and told Wootton: “That’s all bulls***, I’m sorry.”
“If people don’t like it, review-wise, or it doesn’t make one dollar, it’s the movie I wanted to make and that’s all that counts,” John added. “I can look back and say, ‘You know what, I love it. I can live with it.’”
Before being asked about the criticism, John had praised Egerton.
“I was very emotional just now as well. The movie floored me. But I’m very high. Taron is beyond belief. It’s like watching me. It’s quite extraordinary, he’s so me-like. He’s a megastar,” the famed singer said. “He was schooled by George Martin’s son Giles and he’s done the most amazing job. I wanted it to be a movie where the actor sang — and he sings.”
The film takes a hard look into John’s meteoric rise and battles with alcoholism, drugs, and sex addiction. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Thursday night.
John told Wootton he wasn’t nervous about a film which highlighted some of the “darkest moments” – Wootton’s phrase – of his life.
“No, I’m pretty open about things like that,” he said. “When Tantrums And Tiaras came out, it was the most honest documentary you could watch.
“Tantrums and Tiaras” is a 1997 documentary directed by John’s husband David Furnish. It contains footage from John’s 1995 world tour and behind-the-scenes footage.
In another interview, with Variety, John said it was difficult to watch the parts of that film that dealt with his family life.
“It’s hard to watch the family stuff. The drugs stuff I can handle because I did it, but the family stuff is touching,” he said.
In that same interview, John opened up about the self-doubt that he has even though he is an international superstar.
“I think every artist does [have self-doubt],” he said. “Every creative artist does have doubt and has moments of, ‘Am I doing the right thing? Am I good enough?’ And that’s what turns us into monsters as well because I think you become unreasonable and of course the chemical substances and the alcohol doesn’t help anything, and you lose touch with reality.”