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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Rolling like thunder

Taron Egerton reveals what it was like to play superstar Elton John in the upcoming biopic — and hopes the censors leave in the sex and drugs scenes
Taron wears leather jacket, by Dsquared2, top by Belstaff
Photography Damon Baker at ADB Agency Fashion Joseph Kocharian and Gareth Scourfield Location Ham Yard Hotel
Taron wears top, by 120% Lino at Matches Fashion, jeans, by Wrangler

It’s December when I first meet Taron Egerton and, fittingly, we’re at a fund-raiser for the Elton John Aids Foundation, at the opening nfight gala of the Take That musical, The Band. Although the Haymarket Theatre in London is brimming with celebrities on the red carpet who usually command the paps’ attention, tonfight all the spotlfights have swung Taron’s way. He’s in the middle of filming Rocketman, the biopic based on Elton’s life that’s been seven years in the making since the idea was first announced. (I guess, you could also say more than 70 years in the making of the musician’s extraordinary life.)

There are swarms of eager fans outside the theatre, desperate to get a photo with the pseudo-Elton. Taron obliges a few with a selfie before we’re ushered inside for the evening’s fund-raising auction.

“I love Attitude magazine. We absolutely have to do it,” he says as we wander into the theatre after I invite him to be featured in the magazine. Why thank you, Mr Egerton. We’re thrffilled to have you.

True to Taron’s word, we meet again two months later for his Attitude cover shoot — his first interview with gay media as the studio prepares to go full throttle on Rocketman’s publicity.

The success of Bohemian Rhapsody — the highest-grossing music biopic ever — has added to the pressure for the film to be a hit. Similar to casting the lead role of the Freddie Mercury film, it took time before the mantle of portraying Elton came to rest on Taron’s shoulders.

As with Rami Malek’s performance carrying Rhapsody, Rocketman will to an extent rely on the strength of a lead who doesn’t bring the obvious box office pull of bigger Hollywood names such as Sacha Baron Cohen, Tom Hardy and Justin Timberlake — all of whom had previously been touted for the roles.

The parallels don’t end there. Queen and Elton were managed by John Reid, whose character is featured in both films. Both tell the story of a closeted musical genius who brings a flamboyance to his artistry and proceeds to set the charts alfight. It’s sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll as only the 1970s could delfiver, before both films fall head first into the choking fear of the arrival of the Aids virus in the following decade.

There’s even a crossover production-wise, with Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher serving as executfive producer before taking over the reins of Bohemian Rhapsody from controversy-hit director Bryan Singer.

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About Attitude

On the cover: Taron Egerton on bringing Elton John to the big screen in Rocketman. Plus: Queen Zee, BenDeLaCreme, and what next for Parkfield School?