‘Rocketman’ star Taron Egerton responds to criticism that he’s straight and playing Elton John

"I’ve approached it wholeheartedly."

Rocketman star Taron Egerton has responded to criticism of his casting as Elton John.

The actor’s casting in 2018 attracted backlash from critics who asked if the heterosexual star was the right person to tackle Elton’s tale of grappling with his sexual identity in the film.

The Kingsman actor has now praised the “inclusiveness” of the LGBT community and now says that he feels “‘more at home in a gay club than at a football match.’

“I’ve approached it wholeheartedly and I hope that for that reason people accept me [as Elton],” he told GQ. “The LGBTQ community has always been about inclusiveness, hasn’t it? Not about, ‘We’re here. You’re there.’ In fact, if you want to come in, come on in.”

The biopic, which is directed by Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Dexter Fletcher, will detail how the singer was married to Renate Blauel before he eventually came out as gay in 1988.

“It was a fairly revolutionary time,” he continued. “Men were more outlandish. We didn’t have role models like that when we were growing up. Sometimes, I think I’m from a time gone by, born too late.”

This comes after Fletcher previously downplayed reports that Paramount were considering cutting the film’s gay sex scenes in order to maximise its global potential.

The first preview of Taron’s portrayal came during a press screening of the film’s first 20 minutes last month.

Praising the early look at Egerton’s portrayal, NME’s Olly Richards wrote: “He looks a bit like him, certainly enough to see why he might be chosen for the part. But Egerton really sounds like him. He recorded all the vocals for the movie and at times you’d be hard pushed to tell whether it’s him or John singing.”

Rocketman is set for release in May 2019.