Gay sex scenes should not be a big deal, says Rocketman star Richard Madden

Gay sex scenes should not be a big deal, says Rocketman star Richard Madden

Gay sex scenes in films should not be a “big deal”, Rocketman star Richard Madden has said.

The Sir Elton John biopic, starring Taron Egerton as the singer and Madden as his manager John Reid, features a naked scene between the pair as well as passionate kissing between men.

Rocketman is the first major Hollywood movie to include on-screen gay sex scenes, marking a shift in mainstream cinema.

Richard Madden stars in Rocketman as Sir Elton John’s manager, John Reid (Ian West/PA)
Richard Madden stars in Rocketman as Sir Elton John’s manager, John Reid (Ian West/PA)

Madden hopes it will mean future films containing similar themes will be less remarkable.

He said: “The more we have these things in films the less of a big deal it’s going to become, and that’s what it should be – it shouldn’t be a big deal.

“But, particularly for us in this film, that scene is such a pivotal moment for Elton – it’s the first time he makes love with someone, it’s a really important change point in his life.

Taron Egerton stars as Sir Elton John in Rocketman (Ian West/PA)
Taron Egerton stars as Sir Elton John in Rocketman (Ian West/PA)

“And it gave us an opportunity to show their intimacy and that delicateness that’s really important to represent the start of that love story.”

Rocketman’s “warts and all” approach to Sir Elton’s life story has been compared favourably with Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which was criticised for largely ignoring Freddie Mercury’s homosexuality.

Egerton, who has been widely praised for his portrayal of Sir Elton, said it was important for the Your Song singer’s sexuality to be “front and centre” of the film.

Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin attend the Rocketman premiere (Ian West/PA)
Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin attend the Rocketman premiere (Ian West/PA)

The 29-year-old said: “And you know, it never felt like a contentious thing to us. It really didn’t. I know the press have made it look like a contentious thing, which I think is sad in itself, but it never really was.

“I had anxieties about it, but I have anxieties about a great many things, and they say more about me than they do about any of my collaborators. ”

Rocketman, also starring Bryce Dallas Howard as Sir Elton’s mother Sheila Eileen and Jamie Bell as his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, made its debut at Cannes earlier this month, where it was given a standing ovation.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Sir Elton John’s mother in Rocketman (Ian West/PA)
Bryce Dallas Howard plays Sir Elton John’s mother in Rocketman (Ian West/PA)

Egerton, also known for starring in spy comedy Kingsman, said watching the film with an audience was a nerve-wracking experience.

He said: “My breath was very high in my chest, and I relaxed a little bit after Your Song, because people made it very obvious that they approved, and from there on I slowly began to unwind, and then when I realised the movie was going to end, again the anxiety started to climb back up.

“But that’s only because it’s the culmination of a very long road, because I don’t have any anxiety about the film. I feel relatively bulletproof actually, because I am very proud of it.

“And inevitably, making films, they’re subjective, so I welcome differences of opinion, but I’m very proud of it.”

Rocketman is in UK cinemas on Friday May 24.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Stephen Fry praises ancient Greek myths for portrayal of LGBT loveStephen Fry praises ancient Greek myths for portrayal of LGBT love

60% of gay people in Ireland avoid holding hands in public out of fear - survey60% of gay people in Ireland avoid holding hands in public out of fear - survey

Author Jacqueline Wilson reveals she is gayAuthor Jacqueline Wilson reveals she is gay

Fermoy issues ultimatum to Polish twinned town over anti-LGBT stanceFermoy issues ultimatum to Polish twinned town over anti-LGBT stance


More in this Section

Woody Allen: I don’t feel vindicated by recent film successWoody Allen: I don’t feel vindicated by recent film success

Conductor discusses impact of child sexual abuse with Desert Island Discs hostConductor discusses impact of child sexual abuse with Desert Island Discs host

Stacey Solomon celebrates son’s first birthdayStacey Solomon celebrates son’s first birthday

Britain’s Got Talent judges wowed by straw playerBritain’s Got Talent judges wowed by straw player


Lifestyle

Esther N McCarthy finds funky fabric and Bantry baskets as well as exploring virtual galleries. Wish List: In pursuit of funky fabric and Bantry baskets

Pubs have been closed across this island for over two months. Can you imagine if they were closed for 14 years? To mark the centenary of the introduction of Prohibition in the US, Robert O'Shea selects examples of its cultural legacyWhat did Prohibition ever do for us?

Des O'Driscoll looks at some of the top picks on the TV today.TV highlights: A new 'make-under' dating show and Kevin McGahern paints celeb protraits

More From The Irish Examiner