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‘Rocketman’ Star Taron Egerton on Singing for Joni Mitchell and His Failed ‘Robin Hood’ Movie (Listen)

In a long ranging interview for this week’s “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, “Rocketman” star Taron Egerton and I talked about becoming Elton John (and possibly performing with the music legend at the Oscars), singing for Joni Mitchell and how he really feels about his failed “Robin Hood” movie.

See some of the highlights below.

On what surprised him most about Elton John: “There’s so much. There are details of his drug use that are disturbing, that probably don’t need repeating,” Egerton said. “And also, it’s not the most interesting thing to say, but one thing that really genuinely surprised me getting to know him more and more, is knowing how shy he is really, and how much of it is a sort of show, and an adopted persona. At the core of him, he’s a shy person. And at the core of him, he’s quite a sweet, uncertain person. It blows my mind now how he still asks me how he’s done when he performs.”

On receiving Oscar buzz: “It doesn’t feel like my life,” Egerton said. “My heart still flutters when I land in L.A. — and this is my tenth trip here this year. It still has a kind of twilight, heady magic to it. It still feels like something very far away.”

On performing with Elton John: “You watch the four times I’ve sang with him, you can see me getting progressively more relaxed. You can see it! From ‘Tiny Dancer’ at the [John’s] Oscars party, where I’m quivering and then the next time would have been at Cannes, where I’m a little more relaxed — probably with the help of a few French beers. And then I went out and sang ‘Your Song’ with him at the start of the U.K. leg of his tour in Brighton. And then last week, ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ at the Greek [in Hollywood].”

Taron Egerton photographed exclusively for the Variety Big Ticket Podcast
Dan Doperalski for Variety

On meeting Joni Mitchell: John introduced Egerton to the “Big Yellow Taxi” singer last month in L.A. “I sang for Joni Mitchell in her living room,” the actor said. “It was extraordinary. Bonnie Raitt was there, Elton, myself and Brandi Carlile. It was truly amazing.”

On “Robin Hood”: Egerton starred in director Otto Bathurst’s 2018 take on the iconic character. The action-adventure film, co-starring Jamie Foxx, was a box office bomb and critical failure. “It was absolutely not the movie that I signed up to make,” he said, adding, “It was pitched to me in a different way. I think it was made by committee and I think it lost its vision. I wasn’t very happy on set. I didn’t have a very happy time making it.” A rep for Lionsgate nor Bathurst commented on Egerton’s remarks.

On “Shaun of the Dead”: “I have watched [it] over and over and over again,” Egerton said. “It’s very, very layered so you can watch it time and time again and see different things in it…I also have a soft spot for zombie movies.”

You can listen to the entire interview with Egerton below. You can also find “The Big Ticket” at iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

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