Meet Taron Egerton, ‘Rocketman”s Elton John
Taron Egerton has had a brief but acclaimed acting career in Britain, and he's primed to make a big splash this summer when he stars in Rocketman.
The biopic, described as an "epic musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Elton John's breakthrough years," opens on May 31.
Egerton sings John classics in the movie; trailers and teasers show him playing "Rocket Man," "Your Song" and "Tiny Dancer." He's even performed "Tiny Dancer" with John at the singer's annual Oscars party this year. His renditions have impressed the rock legend.
"Elton said, 'I don't think I've ever heard anyone sing my songs better than Taron,'" producer Giles Martin said in one clip. "The great thing about Elton is he wants Taron's interpretations of his songs. ... I don't think there is anybody else in the world who could play Elton. It's Taron's role."
"The thing about playing somebody who is so beloved is, all we can do is give a heartfelt interpretation of his life and his music," Egerton added. "Elton's songs are defining moments in people's lives. And the songs should all come from a place of character."
Rocketman isn't the first time Egerton has sung an Elton John song onscreen. In the 2016 animated movie Sing, about a voice competition among animals, he voiced the role of a gorilla named Johnny who performed John's 1983 hit "I'm Still Standing."
The 29-year-old Egerton was born in Birkenhead, England, just across the River Mersey from Liverpool, but moved to his ancestral homeland of Wales when he was a boy. Trained at London's prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which he graduated in 2012, his breakthrough came in 2014, when he landing major roles in Smoke, a TV drama about firefighters, and two movies, Testament of Youth and Kingsman: The Secret Service.
His performances received critical praise, and his portrayal of Gary "Eggsy" Unwin in Kingsman: The Secret Service received an award for Best Male Newcomer from the British film magazine Empire. Testament of Youth, set during World War I, earned him a nomination for British Newcomer at the London Film Festival.
Egerton's first leading role came in 2016, starring as the title character in Eddie the Eagle, an onscreen depiction of Michael Edwards, who became a local hero in Britain when he finished in last place in the ski-jump competition at the 1988 Winter Olympics. That film was directed by Dexter Fletcher, who also helmed Rocketman.
The actor starred in the 2017 Kingsman sequel, The Golden Circle, and, last year, he played the title role in the most recent screen adaptation of Robin Hood, as well as Dean Karny in Billionaire Boys Club, a movie that faced many hurdles after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled at star Kevin Spacey.