Elton John biopic insiders lift the lid on how Rocketman took off

Elton John biopic insiders lift the lid on how Rocketman took off

Sir Elton struck up a close friendship with the cast after reputedly spending lots of time on set during the making of the £31million movie.

Actor Taron Egerton, who plays the piano man, says: “I speak to him once or twice a week. He’s very in my life. It’s surreal!”

Director Dexter Fletcher, who finished Bohemian Rhapsody when the original film-maker Bryan Singer was fired, said that while Rami Malek lip-synced in the role of Freddie Mercury, Taron does his own singing.

He says: “Elton decided he wanted Taron to play him and said, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone sing my songs better than Taron’.”

Elton has acted with Taron before, in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and also already knew Billy Elliot’s Jamie Bell, who plays his writing partner Bernie Taupin.

The singer and his husband David Furnish are huge Bodyguard fans and loved getting to know Richard Madden, who plays Elton’s first manager John Reid.


Cannes you feel the love tonight

Sir Elton John’s sex, drugs & rock ’n’ roll biopic went off with a bang at the Cannes Film Festival as he did a duet with the star who plays him.

Elton, 72, and his entourage, watched Rocketman’s premiere.

He then performed the movie’s title song with Taron Egerton, 29, at a glittering party on Thursday.

With flamboyant costumes, a sexually charged storyline and, of course, a killer soundtrack, Rocketman should have us Tiny Dancers rocking in our seats.

R-rated drama

The piano man’s struggle with his sexuality and his prolific drug use in the past has been well documented but he was adamant that this film would not hide anything.

Co-star Jamie Bell says: “There’s a beautiful vulnerability to Elton. He went in saying: ‘If I’m going to do this, I have to show every part of me.’”

But while Bohemian Rhapsody earned £465million, Rocketman will get an R rating, or 15 certificate in the UK, which is likely to hit revenue.

But Dexter Fletcher has hailed Taron’s gritty “snot, blood, sweat and tears performance”.

When the director signed up, he realised that a docu-drama like Bohemian Rhapsody wouldn’t cut it.


He says: “Elton is all about fantasy and imagination and magic.

“We wanted to make a magical fantasy that tells the story of his life.”

Taron knows that scenes when he floats above his piano and sings Crocodile Rock might raise eyebrows, but says: “The film asks you to take an imaginative leap.”

Many of the songs featured in the film are instantly recognisable Elton John classics, including hits like “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” “I Want Love,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song.”

Elton John and Taron Egerton sing together on “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” which was written specifically for the film with longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin.

Taron also sings the title song of Rocketman for the film, something Elton actively encouraged.


Sorry seemed to be hardest word in rift

As well as charting Elton’s rise to fame, the biopic dramatises the rift between him and his late mum Sheila.

She blamed David Furnish for the departure of Elton’s former PA Bob Halley who, she said, was “like a son”.

Tellingly there’s no reference to Bob in the movie and, even though Elton mended his relationship with his mum before she died, Sheila left Bob half of her £534,000 wealth – while Elton got two urns.


The star – real name Reginald Dwight – has been open about his troubled childhood with parents Sheila and Stanley but it is said that putting his family drama on film has been cathartic for him.

An insider says: “This film is about a relationship between a man and his parents. It really is a childhood family piece and how Elton’s former life influenced his later life.”

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