The publicity push for the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” starring Taron Egerton (the “Kingsman” franchise) that opens May 31 continues apace as a new video focuses the flamboyant stage costumes designed by Julian Day, who also dressed Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in last year’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” That includes the white leather jacket that Queen’s lead singer sports on screen, which bandmate Brian May says makes him look like “an angry lizard.”
Egerton appears on camera in character with a cowboy hat and black and white houndstooth-check jacket with red accents and says, “I have found the process of inhabiting Elton John and his wardrobe incredibly liberating.” We then hear Egerton sing “Bennie & the Jets,” which of course is a partly a salute to rock-star clothing choices.
The actor goes on to say that Day “is definitely the most brilliant designer I have ever worked with,” as the “Bohemian Rhapsody” costumer shows his looks to Sir Elton himself, who is a producer on the project. “He is incredibly collaborative and he understands the relationship between the costumes and the performance.”
Day also chimes in: “What we talked about was using the basis of Elton’s clothes to create our own look for him.” Jaime Bell, who plays John’s song-writing partner Bernie Taupin, concurs with Ergerton’s appreciation of Day’s sartorial sense, calling the costumes brilliant. We get to gawk at red and blue shiny platform shoes with gold wings in the style of Greek god Mercury.
When Egerton as John is asked if he can even play the piano in the footwear, a clip is shown of the rocker placing his foot squarely on his keyboard. There is also a colorful harlequin-type outfit featuring a Carmen Miranda-style headdress with fabric feathers. Elton is heard saying in the film, “Maybe I should try to be more ordinary.” Bell’s Taupin quickly replies, “You were never ordinary.”
Day goes on to reveal that he has over 50 pairs of glasses and over 50 pairs of shoes at his disposal. “There’s a massive, massive amount of material.” The designer’s favorite outfit, however, is the “Yellow Brick Road” ensemble with its shout-outs to “The Wizard of Oz.” He explains the concept: “So you got a blue suit with ruby red slippers on made of Swarovski crystals. The shirt is made of silver fabric, which is like the Tin Man. He’s got a straw hat on, for the Scarecrow. And a big fake-fur coat, for the Lion.”
As for John, the magic doesn’t happen until he chooses his concert attire. He says, ” When I do a show even now, 20 minutes before I go on, I choose my outfit. And until then, I don’t become Elton. When I put my outfit on, I’m in the part.”
For those who can’t wait to see the how Egerton does in the part, Fandango is currently selling online tickets for a May 18 nationwide showing of the film that is directed by “Bohemian Rhapsody’s” Dexter Fletcher.