Elton John isn’t uncomfortable with Rocketman digging into the every moment in his life.
The biopic, which premiered to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival last week, blends reality and fantasy to tell the story of the iconic musician’s life and career. That even means including some of the adult-rated bits of his life, which John advocated for.
“Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life,” John wrote in a first-person essay for The Guardian. “I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the ’70s and ’80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”
The film features actor Taron Egerton in the lead role, and some have expressed concern over the fact that Egerton, 29, is portraying a gay man, even though he is straight. In response, John, 72, rejected the criticism.
“That’s all bulls—, I’m sorry,” the rock legend told The Sun.
“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. I can look back and say, ‘You know what, I love it. I can live with it,’ ” he continued.
Egerton has previously spoken up about the on-screen love scenes with co-star Richard Madden, who plays John’s manager and former boyfriend, John Reid. The Robin Hood star said that he wasn’t any more or less enthusiastic about a same-sex love scene than he would be about one with a woman.
“For me, kissing a man onscreen is no less appealing than kissing a woman onscreen,” he said earlier this month in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m not in any way repulsed by the male form. It’s an uncomfortable thing regardless of who you’re with.”
In the Sun interview, John reiterated his newfound friendship with the cast members. “I’ve made two great friends, with Taron and Richard,” he said, also mentioning Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot), who plays John’s collaborator and songwriter Bernie Taupin. “[I] have reconnected with Jamie, who I hadn’t seen since Billy Elliot. He’s a wonderful actor and a lovely man.”