Taron Egerton hopes gay scenes in Rocketman aren’t watered down.
In a new British GQ profile, the actor spoke about the pressure and responsibility he feels playing queer icon Elton John in the new film, and why it’s so important that the singer’s sexuality isn’t hidden away.
“I’m so anxious to know that what we shot survives the studio system. Because this film feels like me finally going to the world: here I am,” he said, expressing that he’s happy to move on from playing “bro” characters in films like Kingsman.
“The stuff we shot was pretty explicit. I mean, that’s why I made the film. Those scenes are desperately important when you have an icon of that magnitude, who means so much to one community.
“[Elton] has been such a standard bearer. And for me, especially as a heterosexual actor, not to push the envelope as far as I can or try to make it a wholehearted celebration of being a gay man would be wrong.”
Following rumours that the studio behind the film wanted a nude gay scene cut, presumably to achieve a lower age rating in cinemas, Taron stressed that keeping the film’s integrity is far more important than making money.
“It’s a studio movie. It’s Elton John. We’ve got to own that,” he argued.
“I don’t care how well the film does in Russia. It doesn’t matter. It can’t matter. What’s an extra $25 million at the box office? What are you willing to do for that? Sacrifice sleeping at night because you watered the whole thing down?”
Also addressing criticism over the fact that he’s a straight actor playing a gay role, a topic which has seen fierce debate over the last few year, Taron pointed to the LGBTQ community’s goal of inclusiveness.
“I’ve approached it wholeheartedly and I hope that for that reason people accept me [as Elton],” he said. “The LGBTQ community has always been about inclusiveness, hasn’t it? Not about ‘We’re here. You’re there.’ In fact, if you want to come in, come on in.”
He added: “I always felt more at home in a gay club than at a football match, far more at home.”
Watch the trailer for Rocketman below.