Taron Egerton (‘Rocketman’) on how his close friendship with Elton John led to ‘naughty, cheeky’ biopic [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Before he played Elton John in “Rocketman,” Taron Egerton had met the famed rock star on the set of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” (2017). “We were filming a scene where I get married,” the actor recalls, “and he’s playing the organ in the church.” Even off-screen the musician “was very funny and naughty and irreverent and cheeky as he always is.” And since portraying him in Dexter Fletcher‘s biographical drama, “we’ve become quite close, which is a lovely byproduct of the experience of playing him.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Egerton above.

It was not long after that fateful meeting that the idea of Egerton headlining this magical musical was floated. It was actually “Kingsman” director Matthew Vaughn — who serves as a producer on this film — who had that stroke of genius. “Obviously, Elton and I don’t look particularly alike,” he admits, “but Matthew’s always been a great champion of me,” and “he thinks outside of the box in terms of me as an actor.” Plus, Vaughn “knew I could sing,” which of course he’d be doing a lot of in the movie.

SEE Dexter Fletcher Interview: ‘Rocketman’ director

Capturing John’s signature style was no small feat, and Egerton gives much of the credit to costume designer Julian Day for helping get him into character. His work was “diligent, imaginative and creative, and I really felt a collaboration with him.” The costumes are “not just recreations of Elton’s looks. They are true re-imaginings” that are “authentically creative.” Egerton also praises Fletcher’s “eye for color and vibrancy” and “his larger-than-life personality,” all of which contributed to the visual impact of the film.

For his work in “Rocketman,” Egerton received the Hollywood Film Award for Breakthrough Actor of the Year. He previously contended for another breakthrough award a few years ago, the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2016. And he could soon follow in the footsteps of Rami Malek, who won the Best Actor Oscar earlier this year for transforming into Freddie Mercury in 2018’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (co-directed, appropriately enough, by Fletcher). The idea of that is “so exciting and lovely, but far from a guarantee. Lightening doesn’t always strike twice, as they say. But I know that I’m very, very proud of the performance, and very, very proud of the film.”

Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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