Taron Egerton said his experience of wearing outlandish stage costumes to play Elton John in Rocketman gave him a better understanding of why they’d been created in the ‘70s and '80s

The actor explained that, while his aim was to depict John as best he could, it was also important to leave space for his own interpretation as an artist. “We set out to be creative within a movie that is a tribute to someone,” Egerton told Billboard in a new interview. “It’s a biographical film, but it’s not a biopic.”

He went on to say he enjoyed wearing “the things that make you feel larger and stronger – the big heels, things with wings, a crown, a huge skirt. ... I think that’s partly why Elton wore them: He always said he didn’t feel that he was as pretty as some of his contemporaries – the Bowies, the Jaggers, the Marc Bolans.”

In fact, the costumes helped Egerton focus on how to bring out his own larger-than-life attitude. “You feel very empowered and imposing,” he said. “I wanted to portray not only his vulnerability but his strength, particularly his prowess as a stage performer.”

He said he practiced piano every day for three months ahead of shooting the movie, though he progressed only as far as being able to “fudge my way” through the classic “Your Song.”

“It’s tricky,” he reflected. “I can’t pretend that I do the playing in the film, but what that work did was get me familiar enough with the piano to be able to convincingly make it look like I’m playing, which is a challenge in itself.”



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