Public criticism that a gay actor should have been cast as Elton John for the Rocketman biopic has been shot down by Elton himself, following a screening of the film at the Cannes Film Festival.
The pop icon has blasted critics of lead actor Taron Egerton, who has been under fire for taking the role, despite being heterosexual.
“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. I can look back and say, ‘You know what, I love it. I can live with it’.”
Curiously, this would not be the only recent example of a straight actor playing a gay lead. Some have cited Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody as an instance of Hollywood deciding not to cast a gay person for a gay role. Adam Schubak and Megan Lasher have expressed this sentiment, stipulating to The Oprah Magazine, “queer actors exist. Straight people shouldn’t be telling our stories”.
Paramount’s film provides an honest insight into Elton’s past, from his experiences with drugs, alcoholism and sex.
“With the film, and the book that’s coming out in the autumn, I’m as honest as I can possibly be. There’s no holds barred. I hope it inspires people to come out and I hope it inspires people to come off drugs.”
Rocketman is set to premiere in Australia on May 25.