The upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman is set to hit theaters real soon (on May 31), and ahead of that, John has penned a personal essay about the making of the movie. In the piece, which was published by The Guardian this weekend, he wrote about the tone of the movie, saying that he decided it should portray his life as it actually was, not a watered-down version, because that’s just how things really were:
“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. 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 also discussed the decision to incorporate more fantasy-based moments into the movie, saying that while it might not be as literal as a traditional biopic, those scenes do represent how he was feeling at the time:
“And some studios wanted us to lose the fantasy element and make a more straightforward biopic, but that was missing the point. Like I said, I lived in my own head a lot as a kid. And when my career took off, it took off in such a way that it almost didn’t seem real to me. I wasn’t an overnight success by any means – I’d been slogging around the clubs, making records, writing songs with Bernie and trying to sell them to people who weren’t interested for four or five years before anything big happened. But when it happened, it went off like a missile: there’s a moment in Rocketman when I’m playing onstage in the Troubadour club in LA and everything in the room starts levitating, me included, and honestly, that’s what it felt like.”
Read John’s full essay here.