It took 15 minutes into watching the biopic about his life that made music icon, Elton John, cry.
John was watching Rocketman starring Taron Egerton as the musician, when a scene with his family set him off.
‘Not crying as in the occasional tear quietly trickling down my cheek: really sobbing, in that loud, unguarded, emotionally destroyed way that makes people turn around and look at you with alarmed expressions,’ John wrote in an exclusive column for The Guardian.
In the scene, a young John – then known as Reginald Dwight – was singing his 2001 song, I Want Love, to his family in their council home in 1950. John knew the filmmakers were using the song in the film but he didn’t know where in the film it would turn up.
He revealed in the column that he did not spend much time on set during the shooting of Rocketman.
‘Up until that point, I’d kept a discrete distance from the actual process of making a movie about my life,’ he wrote.
‘I gave some suggestions, saw a few daily rushes, said yay or nay to some important decisions and met two or three times with Taron Egerton, who plays me. But otherwise I’d kept well away from Rocketman, letting my husband David [Furnish] be my eyes and ears on set every day.
‘I figured it would be uncomfortable for everyone to have the person the film was about lurking around.’
One major decision where John had a lot of influence was to ensure the film didn’t cover up anything about his life. He fought to include his history with drug and alcohol abuse.
‘Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life,’ John wrote.
‘I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the 70s and 80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.’
John gave his diaries to Egerton to help him understand his life. He also said he knew Egerton was perfect for the role when he heard him sing Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. John confirmed in the column that
‘I thought it was really important that whoever played me didn’t lip-sync, I wanted them to actually sing the songs, and Taron had already sung I’m Still Standing brilliantly in the animated film Sing,’ he wrote.
In the column John also describes the relationship with his long-time lyricist, Bernie Taupin.
‘Outside of my husband and children, it’s the most important relationship in my life, we really love each other and the film captures that,’ he wrote.
‘There’s a scene in Rocketman where he comes to visit me in rehab, and that started me sobbing again.’
Rocketman is in cinemas now.