Taron Egerton has spoken about kissing Richard Madden in his upcoming Elton John biopic, Rocketman.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter yesterday (6 May), the 29-year-old Welsh actor insisted that ‘kissing a man is no less appealing than kissing a woman.’
With comparisons drawn to Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman is coming from the back of a film widely condemned by the LGBTI for its handling of queerness. As a result, many are waiting with bated breath at Rocketman’s handling.
What did he say?
With Elton coming out as bisexual in 1976 and gay in 1988, some LGBTI folk were less than impressed at director Dexter Fletcher casting two heterosexual men in the leading queer roles.
But Egerton has, through interviews, sought to clarify that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Kingsman lead said: ‘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.’
Moreover, the star added: ‘It makes no difference as to your sexual preference.’
‘I did not get into acting to just play people like me’
Musical drama Rocketman follows not only the story of Elton’s career, but also his personal life, too. Depicting his struggle with depression, substance abuse, and accepting his sexual identity.
While Egerton – who identifies as heterosexual – admitted he took the role of Elton to challenge his acting craft.
He explained: ‘I have spoken to gay people for whom it’s not a problem, and I’ve spoken to gay people for whom it’s a problem. I completely understand.
‘But for my part, I’m an actor. I did not get into acting to just play people like me. You have to draw the line somewhere.
‘I don’t want to live in a world where straight people play straight people and gay people play gay people.’
Though, some LGBTI actors have commented that we live in a world where straight people play both straight people and gay people.
‘LGBTQ community has always been about inclusiveness’
This isn’t the first time Egerton has taken the hot seat in an effort to dial down casting criticism.
Speaking to British Gentleman Quarterly last month, the actor rapped about how the scenes filmed with Elton losing his virginity were very ‘explicit.’
However, in wake of criticism, he said: ‘I’ve approached it wholeheartedly and I hope that for that reason people accept me [as Elton].
‘The LGBTQ community has always been about inclusiveness, hasn’t it? Not about “We’re here. You’re there.”
‘In fact, if you want to come in, come on in.’