‘Rocketman’ star Taron Egerton on becoming Elton John

British singer-songwriter Elton John, left, and British actor Taron Egerton
British singer-songwriter Elton John, left, and British actor Taron Egerton pose during a photocall for the film “Rocketman” at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2019.
(Alberto Pizzoli / AFP / Getty Images)

Before he starred as Elton John in “Rocketman,” a 17-year-old Taron Egerton auditioned for drama school in London with one of John’s songs.

“I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like the presence of his music has always kind of been there,” Egerton said. “It has weirdly felt like the cosmos has been bringing us together for some time.”


These early encounters between the two continued over the years. John had a cameo in the 2017 “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” movie, which stars Egerton. And in the animated film “Sing,” Egerton, who plays a gorilla, sings John’s “I’m Still Standing” for a concert at the end of the film.

“There have been these, kind of, strange encounters that have led to this moment of portraying him in his life,” Egerton told host Mark Olsen in this week’s episode of “The Reel” podcast.

So when it came time for Egerton to depict the music-icon in the movie “Rocketman,” he was all in.

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“I felt very excited at the prospect,” Egerton said. “One, it was an incredible opportunity. Two, I loved the mode of storytelling, the style of it. And three, I just felt that there’s something in my personality that would lend itself to portraying him and what I knew of him.”

Egerton goes on to explain how he prepared to depict such a well-known musical icon. He received access to read John’s personal diaries and unpublished memoirs, which he calls an “invaluable insight” for his portrayal of the character. Outside of the movie, Egerton and John have become real-life friends and formed a bond that Egerton could have never imagined.


“To have this duel experience of playing an icon and probably one of the 10 most recognizable people in the world. But to also become his friend,” Egerton said. “It’s been a really weird feeling to have both, the depicting of him and creating the movie about his life but to also become a part of his life, which I really do feel like I have.”

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