Egerton, who plays John in the film, admitted to some anxiety leading up to the premiere, noting Cannes audiences have a tendency to boo if they dislike a film. On top of that, Egerton said he was seated a few spots down from John and his longtime co-writer Bernie Taupin at the premiere, and said he spent the entire film watching the musicians out of the corner of his eye to try and ascertain their reactions. Up to that point, Egerton added, John hadn’t seen Rocketman in its entirety, just snippets from the film and the trailer (“About several million times,” Egerton cracked).
“To see [Bernie and Elton] watch the scene in which they meet in 1968 or whatever and be grabbing each other on the knee and smiling,” Egerton said. “And then at the end of the movie, Elton, about 15 minutes before the end, just absolutely broke down. And then this amazing thing happens: The lights come up and I’m very moved because Elton is moved, but Elton, because he’s an old pro, has managed to get himself looking immaculate again, whereas am I am just melting with all these cameras on me!”
Egerton added that his fear of getting booed was quickly assuaged too when the Cannes audience gave the film a lengthy standing ovation. He also said he’d been reading the positive reviews of Rocketman, but only because John was sending them to him daily.
“He’s sort of vetting my reviews, I’m sure there are bad ones that he’s not sending,” Egerton said. “He e-mails them, it’s the same title every time, ‘And Another One.'”