latimes.com – “Sorry for the delay,” Taron Egerton says, putting his iPhone down on a table. “I can literally say that I had to take a call from Elton John.”
Little more than 12 hours have passed since the lights came up inside the Cannes Film Festival’s grandest theater, revealing the actor and the iconic musician he plays in “Rocketman” both in tears. The crowd around them rose to its feet as the two embraced, quietly sobbing into the other’s shoulder. Then they migrated down the Croisette to a party on the beach, where the 29-year-old and the 72-year-old duetted together for hundreds of guests standing in their black-tie attire on the sand.
“It was just the perfect day,” Egerton says — one of the best of his young life. But he started it off anxious, walking into the Grand Théâtre Lumière with his breath high in his chest. He couldn’t relax for the first 45 minutes of the film, seated beside John as the performer faced depictions of emotionally turbulent years filled with parental neglect, sexual confusion and substance abuse.
“He only saw it for the first time yesterday, which is why I think he was so profoundly moved,” Egerton recalls. “He’s lived a life less ordinary, but it’s not been an easy life, I don’t think. So to see him, frankly, relive some of that and have such an acute emotional reaction? It’s an emotional thing for me.”
Starting on April 16th, Taron and Elton John along with his cast mates of Rocketman, attended The 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival. Over 1,000+ photos from the festival have been added to the gallery.
Taron Egerton was shooting a big splashy dance number on a soundstage at Bray Studios outside London in October 2018 — belting out “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” in a 1950s carnival-like setting while a teeming crowd of extras weaved and bopped around him — when a certain pop music legend arrived on the set. “There’s really nothing more intimidating than performing in front of Elton,” recalls the actor who portrays Elton John in Rocketman, Paramount’s $41 million quasi-biopic about the alcohol- and sex-fueled rise of glam rock’s greatest living superstar. “I don’t think I could have done it if he was around a lot. But I think he knew that. He’s very astute in that way.”
Elton John just stopping by that day was only one of the many nerve-racking challenges Egerton, 29, faced over the course of this production. (There was that argument with the director over putting an Elton-like gap between his front teeth. And the time he had to shave half his head to get John’s ’70s receding hairline just right.) Same for Paramount, which is banking on the musical biopic as its big tentpole this summer, despite an R rating, some early jeers from gay critics complaining about the casting of heterosexual Egerton as Elton and an impressionistic, nonlinear plotline filled with sequences of substance abuse and frank depictions of gay sex (which will likely get the film banned from China’s growing market). It’s even something of a nail-biter for John, who, like most glam rockers, isn’t entirely immune to vanity. He may not have visited the set a lot, but he watched every daily as soon as it was shot.
Still, if a Freddie Mercury biopic can gross $900 million worldwide and win Rami Malek an Oscar, just imagine what a movie about the guy with the feather boa and 50 shades of tinted eyewear could potentially do (and, unlike Malek, Egerton actually sings every note while in character). Queen was big in the 1970s, but John was even bigger over a much longer span, selling more than 300 million records. Even today, he’s still packing houses; his three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, which runs through 2020, already has grossed $125 million just seven months in. It’s that potential built-in audience that could launch Rocketman into the stratosphere, and it’s one of the reasons Paramount is confident enough to debut the film in the spotlight of the Cannes Film Festival on May 16 and preview it in 400 theaters weeks ahead of its May 31 release. Not to mention the impact that sort of hit could have on Egerton’s budding prospects. “I’m at peace with however much money it makes,” the actor says, before quickly adding, “But I hope it does really, really well. If it made half of [Bohemian Rhapsody], it would be terrific for my career.”
Flaunt.Com – There are few players in this insubstantial pageantry we call life who touch the masses on such a grandiose and glittering scale that they can genuinely be referred to as an icon, and of those very few, only a handful channel the universal language of love. Elton John, however, is one such rare player in the theatre of the modern era—a man who in his own words “Always felt like an outsider,” but whose music has touched millions of lives on such a profound level that it often provides an emotive soundtrack to the most important landmarks on countless individual journeys to the grave. The self-styled piano player, born Reginald Dwight to working-class parentage in post-WWII London, is arguably nothing less than a bona-fide musical phenomenon—a man whose ear for melody must surely harness some intangible truth of the human experience, in that his work transcends societal differences of every imaginable kind, and is loved by people all over the world.
It’s precisely such notions that I have in mind while waiting for the young man who has taken on the mantle of playing the legendary musician in the much-anticipated biopic Rocketman— another product of the British working-class, who was catapulted to his own fame via the multi-million dollar Kingsman franchise, actor Taron Egerton. We are due to meet in West London in the shadow of the iconic BBC Television Centre, which must have played host to Elton John countless times in his career, not least on the early ’70s show Sounds For Saturday. But it seems almost trite to try to give a brief summation of the pre-eminence Elton John has achieved in a sometimes wildly hedonistic trajectory that spans some 50-plus years. Suffice to say, he has sold over 300 million records, with his writing partner Bernie Taupin, and that’s damn near the figure for the current population of The United States. It seems that whatever level of fame Egerton has become accustomed to thus far is insufficient to preparehim for what’s to come. In fact, when he suddenly appears and introduces himself with a firm handshake and smile, he couldn’t look more innocuous, sporting the kind of dressed-to-blend attire that you might not readily expect from someone dubbed by British GQ as one of the Best Dressed Welshmen of all time, but it’s crystal clear after five minutes of talking to him, that such dubious mainstream accolades are unlikely to ever go to his head.
Taron covers the June 2019 issue of Attitude Magazine! Scans from the issue as well as the photoshoot have been added to the gallery. YBe sure to pick up your issue online!
Vogue.com –Taron Egerton keeps his cap on throughout dinner at White City House. It’s not that he’s worried he’ll be “spotted”—this West London outpost of Soho House attracts a crowd that would look the other way if the pope were propping up the bar. The 29-year-old actor is simply suffering the aftereffects of a “terrible” haircut; to play Elton John in the forthcoming biopic Rocketman, he had his hair thinned and his hairline raised.
It’s a forgivable sliver of vanity from an actor who has spent much of his professional life running away from his good looks. Egerton’s 2015 breakthrough role in the action flick Kingsman: The Secret Service placed him—jawline first—on the conveyor belt of conventionally attractive Hollywood heroes. Almost immediately, he wanted off. “It’s more fun to play things that are ugly,” he explains. In pursuit of that ugliness, he took on the titular role in Eddie the Eagle—a 2016 underdog comedy based on the true story of a hapless British ski jumper with a prominent underbite. And now he’s playing (and singing) the part of Elton: a man famous for many things but not, primarily, his good looks. “I mean, I think he’s got a lot of sex appeal,” counters Egerton when I point this out. He momentarily loses his train of thought. “Sorry, my mind was just imagining Elton reading this.” (Encountering the famous singer for the first time, he tells me, was a bit like “going to meet the queen.”)
Born in England, Egerton moved to Wales at age three. For a while he lived in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch—a village with a name so ridiculous that pronouncing it has, reluctantly, become his talk-show party trick—“particularly in America, I think, because it’s so alien.” He then spent his formative years in Aberystwyth, a remote town on the Ceredigion coast of Wales. When he left to pursue acting in London (at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he sang Elton John’s “Your Song” to audition), he missed Wales ferociously. He actually moved back there for a while after Kingsman, making the surreal transition from blockbuster fame to a room in his mum and stepdad’s bungalow. “I didn’t have enough money at that point to buy a place in London,” he says. “I was quite anxious about what the future held.” Even now, the walls of his West London flat are decorated with the work of artists from his hometown.