Since “Rocket Man” opened in movie theaters last May, Elton John has been an enthusiastic campaigner for the musical biopic based on his life. On Saturday afternoon, he stopped by the BAFTA Tea Party at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, where he hugged the film’s star Taron Egerton and briefly sat down with a few reporters.
It could be a big weekend “Rocketman,” which has three Golden Globe nominations, including best motion picture musical or comedy and best actor (for Egerton). John is also nominated — along with his longtime collaborator and lyricist Bernie Taupin — for writing the film’s original song “I’m Gonna Love Me Again.”
“I’m very happy because I’m nominated with Bernie,” John said. “I never get nominated with Bernie for anything. That makes it very special.”
John said that he was moved that “Rocketman” resonated so strongly with audiences, grossing nearly $200 million worldwide for Paramount Pictures. The project had been in development for 20 years, starting at Disney before it bounced around to other studios.
“We made an R-rated film,” John said. “That’s why it took so long to get made. We wanted to make an R-rated film. And we wanted to make a fantasy film. It’s not your normal kind of bio. I didn’t want that. I wanted to make a film about addiction and the pressures of fame and how that can start in childhood. I’m elated ‘Rocketman’ has three nominations. It’s fantastic.”
After the Globes, John said that he’ll boarding a plane for Australia, where he’s scheduled to perform in two days in Sydney as part of as his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. But if he’s nominated for an Oscar, you can be sure he’ll be back in the United States for that.
As for “Rocketman,” John said: “No one worked harder than Taron.”
While “Rocketman” details John’s addiction and recovery through his 40s, don’t look for a sequel to document the later years of the 72-year-old singer’s life. Egerton told Variety that he doubts another movie will be made. Director Dexter Fletcher agreed but admitted that if John came to him with another script, it’s definitely something he’d have to consider.