Taron Egerton has spoken out about playing Elton John in his biopic, Rocketman, and how he feels about straight actors playing LGBTQ+ characters.
This comes after Adam Lambert hit out at Theo James after reports suggested that he may take on the role of George Michael in an upcoming biopic based on the artist’s life.
The Queen singer took to Twitter after finding out the news. Sharing his disapproval, he wrote: “Yay another straight man playing a gay icon.”
This remark was likely referring to other biopics about gay music icons that were played by straight actors, for example, Taron Egerton in Rocketman, and Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody.
But not everyone agreed with Lambert, one Twitter user took to the comment section of his post, writing: “Taron Egerton killed it as Elton. It’s called acting. Stop making something out of nothing.”
While another commented: “It’s called acting for a reason. Actors act in given roles. Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, famously gay actors, performed beautifully as heteros in film.”
“Really? You played a straight role in Wicked. Stop being a hypocrite and grow up,” a third added.
However, some were on Lambert’s side, and expressed their gratitude that he spoke out on the topic, with one tweeting: “Thank you for speaking for most of us. It had to be said.”
A second added: “ALL. OF. THIS.”
While another wrote: “Seeing a lot of negativity toward Adam Lambert in the responses to this post. Queer actors are constantly rejected for their queerness while their cishet counterparts are praised for being “brave” for accepting queer roles. Queer people should get to tell their own stories.”
His comment came after James expressed his interest in playing George Michael if the chance ever presented itself, telling Watch What Happens Live: “Oh yeah, I would love that, he’s an icon.”
He added: “He’s a lot of Greek, and I’m a lot of Greek. Put that Greek together, and you get falafel.”
Reports about a movie being in the works were swiftly shut down by George Michaels team, but that didn’t stop the conversation about straight actors playing gay roles.
And now, Taron Egerton has addressed the issue, speaking out about the topic for the first time.
As fans will be aware, the actor, aged thirty-three, received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Elton John in the blockbuster biopic Rocketman.
He told GQ back in 2019: “The thing I was nervous of… there’s a certain amount of trepidation around playing a gay character when you’re a heterosexual.
“Because you don’t want that community to feel you’re doing some sort of caricature or something. I didn’t want to camp it up, because Elton is not a camp man.
“I knew quite acutely that wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
He has now spoken out once again, this time giving his opinion on actors taking on LGBTQ+ roles.
He said: “I grew up in a very liberal town, and a couple of my close friends are gay.
“I feel an affinity with that community. I don’t particularly feel that there should be a blanket rule about whether straight actors should play gay roles.
“That’s very easy for me to say as a straight man, but I think that’s possibly a precedent not worth setting.”