Sadly, the subjects of musical biopics — like Freddie Mercury or Johnny Cash — often aren’t around to see their lives portrayed on screen. Elton John is an exception: He’s very much with us and ready to see his biopic Rocketman next month. Now, all he needs to do is be able to watching it without cringing.
For Interview magazine, Elton chatted with Richard Madden, who plays his former manager and lover John Reid in Rocketman. Elton says of the film, “I have seen a bit of the trailer, and it’s the weirdest thing seeing someone portray you.”
Elton says Taron Egerton, who plays him in the movie, “is so eerily like me that it makes it even weirder.” He adds, “I’m looking forward to seeing it, but it’s hard enough to look at myself in the mirror. And then to see a film about me, it’s like, ‘Oh my God!'”
To be able to watch it, Elton says, “I have to disconnect, because it’s not a factual film. It’s based on fact, but it’s actually a surreal version of my life, a fantasy. That makes it more interesting, because biopics — unless they’re really good, like the Tina Turner one with Angela Bassett — are terrible.”
As for why he chose to go in that direction on the movie, Elton explains, “My life has been a crazy fantasy all the way through…I didn’t want this film to be earnest because I am not earnest. I’ve done some f***ing raving, ridiculous things in my life, both good and bad.
“I always try to be as honest as I can, but also with my tongue in my cheek,” he notes. “If you take yourself too seriously, you’re f***ed.”
Rocketman opens May 31.
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