As Rocketman sings its way into cinemas across the globe this weekend (read our review here), in the lead up to its release director Dexter Fletcher and lead star Taron Egerton pulled promotional duties to spread the good word on all things Elton John.
At the film’s Australian premiere in Sydney, our own Peter Gray caught the duo to hear their thoughts about how Rocketman came to be.
After finishing Bohemian Rhapsody did you feel any pressure taking on this film?
Dexter Fletcher: No, I mean that was a different project. I had already started Rocketman long before I got involved with Bohemian Rhapsody, and that’s its own beast and someone else’s vision, not mine. I was very happy to get involved and have fun.
Having work with Taron on Eddie The Eagle, was he the only person you wanted for this role?
DF: He was already being talked to when the producer (Matthew Vaughn), who directed Taron in Kingsman, and we worked together on Eddie…we were excited about having Taron because he has an incredible voice as well as being just a very honest and truthful actor.
And Taron, what was the scariest part about taking on Elton John?
Taron Egerton: That he wouldn’t like it. I always knew what I wanted to do with it, I always knew the story we wanted to tell…but I always had a suspicion that he would like it because Elton’s not precious, he’s not vain in that way. There’s only going to be one movie about Elton John, I think, and it’s such a big opportunity and it’s so important of a moment that we had to do it right culturally. And doing it right means we have to embrace the parts of his story that are more difficult. The guy went to rehab, he’s had a tough time, but he’s a survivor! And that’s what our movie is about, about a survivor, a genius, and a wonderful man. I’m very proud to be a part of this project.
Having worked with Elton on Kingsman 2 and having sung his song (‘I’m Still Standing’) in Sing, did you feel any sort of cosmic connection in getting this role?
TE: Totally! I mean i’m not a great believer in fate but I have felt for some time that whatever forces are at work in the universe, whether it’s randomness or chaos, something has been bringing us together but I never could’ve envisioned a world where I would be his friend. But that’s what has made this process feel particularly special. I just feel like the luckiest man alive.
Rocketman is screening in theatres now.