Elton John says it only took 15 minutes for Rocketman to have him in tears. The legendary singer-songwriter, who is the subject of the buzzy biopic about his rise to fame, made the reveal in a poignant essay for The Guardian.
In the essay, Sir Elton wrote that he wasn’t prepared for the power of what he saw when he looked back at his life via the big screen film. John described his crying as much more than an occasional tear trickling down his cheek.
“Really sobbing, in that loud, unguarded, emotionally destroyed way that makes people turn around and look at you with alarmed expressions.”
Elton John revealed that before the emotional movie screening, he kept a relatively safe distance from the Rocketman production. The 72-year-old superstar noted that he met with star Taron Egerton two or three times and gave a few suggestions to the directors, but otherwise stayed away from the set.
Elton John admitted that before Rocketman, he had never been very interested in looking back at his career. The “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” singer explained that his feelings on the subject changed when he thought about how his young sons, Zachary and Elijah, would learn about his life decades from now when he is no longer around to explain it to them.
Elton went on to say that he began crying again watching a scene that depicted his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin (played by Jamie Bell) coming to visit him in rehab.
“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. There’s a scene in Rocketman where he comes to visit me in rehab, and that started me sobbing again. It happened just the same way in real life. “
Elton John explained that Bernie Taupin tried for years to help him to get off of drugs and he never gave up on him, even in his darkest days.
Elton also revealed that it was he who insisted that his past sexual escapades and drug use be included in the film, even though it meant losing a PG-13 rating. John admitted that he did not lead a PG-13 rated life, and he didn’t see any point in making a film that implied that he retreated to his hotel room after every show with a glass of milk when he was really doing drugs back in the wild 1970s and ’80s.
Taron Egerton also became emotional over Rocketman. According to Page Six, after the Cannes Film festival audience gave the Rocketman star a standing ovation following a screening of the film, the 29-year-old actor broke down.
You can see the trailer for Rocketman below.
Rocketman hits U.S. theaters on Friday, May 31.