Sir Elton John has come to the defense of a heterosexual actor who portrays the legendary musician in the upcoming film "Rocketman," a forthcoming biopic based on John's life.
What's the background?
Actor Taron Egerton, a straight man who portrays John in the film, has been criticized by the LGBT community for playing the role of a gay music icon. Critics say Egerton should have turned down the role and allowed a gay man to portray John instead.
What did Elton John say?
Speaking to The Sun UK after "Rocketman" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, John made it clear he vehemently disagrees with Egerton's critics.
"That's all bulls**t, I'm sorry," he told the newspaper about the criticism.
"If people don't like it, review-wise, or it doesn't make one dollar, it's the movie I wanted to make and that's all that counts. I can look back and say, 'You know what, I love it. I can live with it,'" he explained.
John also praised Egerton's performance.
"I was very emotional just now," he said. "The movie floored me. But I'm very high. Taron is beyond belief. It's like watching me. It's quite extraordinary, he's so me-like. He's a megastar. He was schooled by George Martin's son Giles and he's done the most amazing job. I wanted it to be a movie where the actor sang — and he sings."
What has Egerton said?
The young actor addressed the criticism in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month.
"I have spoken to gay people for whom it's not a problem, and I've spoken to gay people for whom it is a problem," he said.
"But for my part, I'm an actor, and I did not get into acting to just play people like me. You have to draw the line somewhere, and I don't want to live in a world where straight people play straight people and gay people play gay people," Egerton explained.