Elton John has dismissed criticism that a gay actor should have portrayed him in the new film Rocketman as “bullshit”.
Later this month, the Elton John biopic Rocketman is set to premiere in Australia.
An immersive look at the life and career of iconic musician Elton John, it stars Taron Egerton in the film’s title role, and has already received widespread praise from early critical reviews.
However, some fans may have found themselves a little bit apprehensive of the casting decisions for the film, with straight actor Egerton tapped to take on the role of Elton John, who has often been cited as a gay icon to many.
While the film has gained fame for being the first “major studio film to depict gay male sex” (according to The Hollywood Reporter), its casting has seen some commentators criticise those involved with the production.
Of course, this isn’t a new controversy, with many citing Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody as an example of Hollywood forgetting that gay actors actually exist.
Check out the trailer for Rocketman:
In an article published by Oprah Mag earlier this year, authors Adam Schubak and Megan Lasher noted that, “queer actors exist. Straight people shouldn’t be telling our stories.”
Lasher, the Senior Manager of Content Strategy at Hearst Digital Media, summed up the controversy quite simply by stating; “Save queer roles for queer actors.”
However, in a new interview with The Sun, Elton John has shut down any notion of controversy on his side of things, noting that Taron Egerton’s portrayal of himself is exactly what he wanted to see in the film.
Speaking at a private party after the Cannes premiere of Rocketman, Elton John reacted to criticism of straight actor telling his story by noting, “That’s all bullshit, I’m sorry.”
“If people don’t like it, review-wise, or it doesn’t make one dollar, it’s the movie I wanted to make and that’s all that counts,” Elton explained. “I can look back and say, ‘You know what, I love it. I can live with it’.”
Rocketman is set to premiere in Australia on May 30th.