Heterosexual actor Taron Egerton believes his casting as gay musician Sir Elton John in 'Rocketman' is "inclusive and progressive".
The 29-year-old star will soon be seen as the legendary musician in the upcoming biopic and he can "understand" why his casting could have disappointed some members of the LGBTQ community who would have wanted the part to go to an openly homosexual actor.
But Taron insists it is his job as an actor to play characters who are different to himself and he feels "proud" to not only have got the job but to have been selected by Elton himself to tell his life story.
In an interview with gay magazine Attitude, he said: "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. But I completely understand why a gay actor would feel that this is an opportunity for which they would be better suited.
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"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."
In the film, Taron stars alongside Richard Madden, who plays Elton's former manager and lover John Reid.
The pair had to shoot an intimate sex scene in which they both appear naked and Taron insists they held absolutely nothing back and at one point he even "felt Richard's penis" on his leg.
Taron spilled: "We shot a scene where we are both naked on a bed and we are rolling around. I don't really know how much further we could have gone ... I felt Richard's penis ... On my leg.
"In the script, this is the scene of Elton losing his virginity and we wanted to try to do that justice, and also at that point their relationship hasn't broken down yet. They were falling in love and it's beautiful because it should be. We didn't want to play like they were a couple who were eventually going to fall apart, we wanted to play it like two guys in their early twenties who are falling in love and who are incredibly sexually attracted to each other."
Revealing his motivation for the scene, he added: "It's the rawness of that experience, the fear of that experience, but also the joy of the experience of Elton's first kiss … it's electric, it's exciting, your stomach is doing somersaults. I treat it with the same love, care and affection I would as if it was my first experience of falling for somebody."