The Red Bulletin June 2019

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TARON

EGERTON

The Dwight

Stuff

Words RÜDIGER STURM

and JULIA ZIMANOFSKY

In his new film, Egerton relates the story of another

man balancing his artistic career with life in the

spotlight. Rocketman sees him play a young Reginald

Dwight – who became better known as Elton John

– as he wrestles with the trials and tribulations of

fame and fortune. “I have a comparatively very

meagre experience,” Egerton says. “I’m an actor from

Wales who has been in five or six films. He is Elton

John.” Here, the 29-year-old talks about portraying

a living legend and how he got to know the real man

behind the performance…

He’s playing one of the world’s

most celebrated icons, but the

actor is all too aware of the

dangers of fame and fortune

Taron Egerton has been on the verge of superstardom

for a few years now. The British actor’s breakthrough

moment came in 2014, when he starred in the bigscreen

spy comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service, a role

that looked as if it would catapult him into squarejawed

leading-man territory. The film franchise

instantly made him a household name, a situation

he found challenging. “You become the focus of

attention,” says Egerton, who was born in Birkenhead,

near Liverpool, but grew up on the island of Anglesey

in north Wales. “It requires you to simultaneously

be very vulnerable and emotionally exposed, but

also incredibly robust and thick-skinned.”

the red bulletin: How old were you when

you first became aware of Elton John?

taron egerton: He’s been ever-present throughout

my life, and I’ve been a fan of his music since I was

very young. I was 12 when his Greatest Hits album

came out in 2002, and my stepdad and I used to sing

along to I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

while driving to school. Then I sang Your Song to

get into drama school when I was 17. He was my

audition piece and now I’m playing him.

How did you go about creating your character

for this film?

This idea of becoming someone else, like, “He

became so-and-so, he was channelling so-and-so”…

you can’t fucking channel someone. I’m an actor and

I created a character with elements that are hopefully

informed by the real person. My performance, while

acknowledging the extremes of Elton’s character and

not hiding the fact he has had difficulties, is also just

my interpretation of him – and my interpretation is

GAVIN BOND

28 THE RED BULLETIN

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