When it comes to biopics, its common for the actors in big movies to not meet the real-life figure they're portraying. For instance, Rami Malek couldn't call the late Freddie Mercury of Queen for some pointers on how to best capture his larger-than-life spirit in Bohemian Rhapsody. While Taron Egerton had this luxury in his upcoming role as Elton John in Rocketman, the thought of having him there on set would have been a little awkward. And for a good reason. Here's what Egerton said,
Playing him is intimidating enough. I think [if] he sat at the monitors, that would've been too much. Particularly given the fact that it's a fairly warts-and-all story. I shot a scene where I'm him losing his virginity; I don't really particularly want to do that while the person I'm playing is watching. That would be weird. On many levels.
I'd imagine anyone, even Sir Elton John, would be uncomfortable at the sight of actors playing out intimate moments in your life. Rocketman is a fantasy musical starring Taron Egerton as Elton John, and it tackles his young life in an adult way. The movie isn't shying away from subjects like John's time in rehab, and will also include same-sex sex scenes.
Although Elton John wasn't regularly found on set of Rocketman, he is a producer and gave Egerton feedback on his vocal recordings for the film. In his interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, Egerton did admit it was intimidating to impersonate the pop icon knowing he would hear it. But thankfully, the response from John has been positive. Egerton and the icon have already shared the screen in 2017's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, when the musician did a cameo and it later led to nabbing the role.
Unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman isn't a music biopic about Elton John. It's a musical that has more than just Taron Egerton singing his famous songs. The film will be primarily be about the singer's time in rehab, perhaps with some dream-like musical sequences about his past filling John's head as he sits in a rehabilitation facility.
In some ways, the concept seems to take a note from a recent movie musical hit, The Greatest Showman, since it was loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum. But Rocketman will also deal with adult themes by tackling John's sex life and problem with substances. Game of Thrones' Richard Madden is playing Johns' former manager and lover John Reid. Among the leading cast is also Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton John's mother, and Jamie Bell as the icon's longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin.
Fans of Elton John will certainly be most excited to see some of his greatest hits such as "Your Song" and "Tiny Dancer" be performed onscreen and given new meaning through the fantastical imaginings being cooked up in Rocketman, coming to theaters on May 31, 2019.