It’s easy to find similarities between “Rocketman” and last year’s Oscar-winning “Bohemian Rhapsody”, given that both films are biopics about 1970s rockstars.
The films also share director Dexter Fletcher, who helmed the new Elton John biopic and was brought in to complete “Bohemian Rhapsody” after the firing of original director Bryan Singer.
Discussing comparisons between the two films, “Rocketman” star Taron Egerton took a subtle jab at Singer during a press conference at Cannes.
“I’m proud that we’re mentioned in the same breath,” said Egerton of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” comparisons. “That film has been such a phenomenon, and rightly so.” Egerton joked, looking in Fletcher’s direction: “I can’t remember who did that, who finished it off.” Watch the video above at 18:59.
However, Egerton was also quick to point out some key differences between “Rocketman” and “Rhapsody”.
“Our movie is a different animal,” he explained. “Our movie is a musical. It requires an actor who can sing in the lead role. For a biopic, that’s not necessary. I’m very grateful that people compare us. Hopefully, it shows that there’s an appetite for movies [like this]. However, that movie is a unicorn.”
Unlike “Bohemian Rhapsody” star Rami Malek, who was forced to rely on video footage of the late Freddie Mercury (who passed away in 1991) to craft his performance, Egerton had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the subject of “Rocketman”.
“I was able to spend a lot of time with him and talk to him about everything,” Egerton said of Sir Elton, revealing he even slept over at his home.
“He’s allowed me to get to know him away from the pomp and ceremony of his life,” Egerton added. “And being able to get under his skin in that way was really helpful.”
The legendary singer was clearly thrilled when the film got a 5-minute standing ovation at the Cannes premiere screening on Thursday night.
“Rocketman” hits theatres on May 31.