Actor Taron Egerton doesn’t need gay film fans’ approval for his new role as Elton John, because he didn’t get into acting to play straight men.
The Kingsman: The Secret Service star plays the gay rock star in new biopic Rocketman and admits outrage from those who think an LGBTQ actor should have landed the role doesn’t concern him.
“I have spoken to gay people for whom it’s not a problem, and I’ve spoken to gay people for whom it is a problem and I completely understand,” Taron tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But, for my part, I’m an actor, and I did not get into acting to just play people like me. You have to draw the line somewhere, and I don’t want to live in a world where straight people play straight people and gay people play gay people.”
And Egerton admits his kissing scenes with former Game of Thrones star Richard Madden in the film were no different to scenes in which he has to pucker up to lock lips with a leading lady: “For me, kissing a man onscreen is no less appealing than kissing a woman onscreen.
“I’m not in any way repulsed by the male form. It’s an uncomfortable thing regardless of who you’re with. It makes no difference as to your sexual preference.”
Meanwhile, Rocketman producer Matthew Vaughn, who cast Elton in the Kingsman sequel opposite Taron, is brushing off the criticims of asking a straight man to play the rock star – because he knows he picked the right guy.
“Sitting next to Elton, watching Taron, and Elton squeezing me rather hard with his very powerful hands, saying, ‘My God, this is as good as Grease!’ – that was amazing. That made me smile.”