Rocketman shows Elton John at his most ‘broken’ and ‘damaged’ according to Taron Egerton, the actor playing John in the biopic.
While speaking at a preview of unedited scenes at Abbey Road Studios in London, the 29-year-old Welsh star said, “Because Elton has gone through recovery it leads to a certain quality of openness and candidness. The movie begins with Elton marching into rehab in a real bad way, sweaty, grinding his teeth and that’s our jumping off point for the film and we learn about his life from him recounting his experiences from this therapy room. Elton wanted to show himself at his most vulnerable and most broken and damaged.”
He added, “That quality of bravery and lack of concern about how he comes off is quite unusual and it’s right at the heart of what makes Rocketman quite special because Elton gave me the license to go and make him look quite ugly at times. This movie is primarily a celebration of Elton’s life and work and musical partnership with Bernie Taupin but it also a story of someone who is not well becoming well.”
Director Dexter Fletcher said, “I wouldn’t describe Rocketman as a biopic. It’s a musical, that was our jumping off point, and it’s based on a life of someone we all know. There are elements of it and large parts of it are based on early parts of Elton’s career and his rise to fame and the cost he paid for that. But I think a musical fantasy is a great way to describe it. Elton is our storyteller in the film and it’s his memory of those times and sometimes our memory plays tricks on us and we remember things colorfully and in a different way and I think that’s the idea we’re playing with. It’s a musical fantasy based on Elton John’s life.”
He added, “Every day on this film was a challenge for all of us but more so for Taron. It’s a real snot, sweat and blood performance and that’s what we set out to create and it was absolutely imperative that Taron turned up every day and delivered that. Emotionally and psychologically Elton goes through a real roller coaster and that’s what takes us on the huge journey that he’s going on.”
He also said, “Elton has always been very honest and open. That’s who he is and what defines him. When he first met us he said you gotta do what you gotta do – I’ve lived the life but you gotta tell the story. It’s open to your interpretation’. He’s nothing to hide. This film has spectacle, colour and entertainment, all things that define Elton himself.”
Rocketman is set to release on May 24 of this year.