Elton John has written a detailed account of the long journey behind the making of “Rocketman”, writing about the upcoming biopic based on his life for The Guardian.
“The whole experience of watching someone else pretend to be you on screen, of seeing things you remember happening again in front of your eyes, is a very weird, disconcerting one, like having an incredibly vivid dream,” writes the 72-year-old rock icon in his essay about the film, in which he’s portrayed by Taron Egerton.
“And the story of how I ended up in a cinema, crying my eyes out at the sight of my family 60 years ago, is a long and convoluted one,” he adds.
According to Sir Elton, bringing his life story to the screen was a lengthy, arduous process, and he writes that he remained insistent throughout that nothing about his story be sugarcoated.
“Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating,” he adds. “But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life. I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the ’70s and ’80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”
However, he also insists that watching those scenes of drug-fuelled excess don’t induce the kind of cringing one might expect.
“It’s strange, I don’t find it painful to watch those parts of the film,” he admits. “They’re truthful and, unlike my childhood, it was my own fault. No one forced me to do drugs and drink. In fact, more than a few people tried to warn me I was out of control. It took a fairly Herculean effort to get yourself noticed for taking too much cocaine in the music industry of 1970s L.A., but I was clearly prepared to put the hours in.”
You can read the essay in its entirety right here; “Rocketman” hits theatres on Friday, May 31.