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‘Rocketman’ star Taron Egerton defends his casting as gay rocker Elton John

Rocketman star Taron Egerton has defended his own casting as Elton John, despite identifying as straight.

Though personally selected by Elton himself, and by his husband David Furnish, who also produces the film, the casting of a heterosexual man as a gay icon has earned criticism in some fringe circles for denying queer roles to queer actors.

Related:  New featurette offers a glimpse of the weird and surreal look of ‘Rocketman’

In a new interview with Attitude, Egerton has answered his critics. “It’s easy for me to sit here as a white, heterosexual man and say I should be able to play a part I want,” he admits. “But I completely understand why a gay actor would feel that this is an opportunity for which they would be better suited. The way I feel about it is that Elton asked me to play him in a movie about his life. I am proud and privileged to be playing this person who happens to be gay. I want to live in a world where people are excited about playing people who are different from themselves. I believe that there is something inclusive and progressive about that.”

Egerton, for his part, has long supported the queer community and has assured nervous fans that Rocketman will not undergo any cuts to the frank depiction of gay life.

Rocketman opens in cinemas May 31.

Trailer below:

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