Elton John hits back at 'bulls**t' criticism of casting straight Taron Egerton in 'Rocketman'
Should gay roles be reserved for gay actors?
It's a question that sparks unending fiery debate - but if you ask Elton John, the answer is blindingly obvious.
The makers of the musician's new biographical film Rocketman have found themselves under fire for casting heterosexual actor Taron Egerton in the leading role.
However, when questioned on the topic in an interview with The Sun, Elton named the criticism "bulls**t," and claimed reviews meant nothing to him.
Want to see a snippet of Taron Egerton's performance as Elton? Look no further:
According to the reporter conducting the meeting, when asked, Elton "waved his hand dismissively" and said: "That’s all bulls**t, I’m sorry. If people don’t like it, review-wise, or it doesn’t make one dollar, it’s the movie I wanted to make and that’s all that counts. I can look back and say, 'You know what, I love it. I can live with it'."
He continued to heap praise on the Kingsman actor's performance, reminiscing about the first time he watched the film. "The movie floored me. But I'm very high. Taron is beyond belief. It's like watching me. It's quite extraordinary, he's so me-like. He's a megastar," he said.
Taron himself has also spoken out on the controversy, telling the Hollywood Reporter that he believes an actor's sexual preference should not be a factor considered during casting.
"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. I completely understand," he explained. "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."
He continued to discuss what it was like kissing a man onscreen as a straight man, saying: "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."
During his interview with The Sun, Elton also opened up about whether he was nervous for the film to explore the darker periods of his life.
When asked if he was reluctant for the movie to show the world the extent of his issues with alcoholism, drugs and sex addiction, he replied: "No, I’m pretty open about things like that. When Tantrums And Tiaras came out, it was the most honest documentary you could watch. With the film, and the book that’s coming out in the autumn, I’m as honest as I can possibly be. There’s no holds barred. I hope it inspires people to come out and I hope it inspires people to come off drugs."
In addition, the Tiny Dancer singer made his first comments on the #MeToo movement, saying it was about time.
"I just think women have been s**t on from a great height for a long time. I grew up in the Seventies and I’d be in the office and men would always be touching women up," he said. "I didn’t think women particularly enjoyed it very much but they went along with it. It’s time something happened where women are not patronised and not taken advantage of."