Why Elton John Cried In These 4 ‘Rocketman’ Scenes

It’s got to be emotional watching a movie about your own life. Elton John did just that when he watched Rocketman. It’s been a self-reflective year for Sir Elton as he just published his autobiography, and his biopic is now on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K and digital. Taron Egerton played Elton John in Rocketman and Sir Elton was moved to tears.

Sir Elton John | Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Harlequins

Sir Elton was at Rocketman Q&A for awards consideration this week and he revealed four moments in Rocketman that made him break down. Spoilers for Rocketman and Elton John’s real life follow. 

This Elton John song in ‘Rocketman’ made the singer himself cry

Rocketman is a biographical musical about Elton John set to his songs. Even though Sir Elton has sung these songs for decades, the use of one in the film still got to him. 

Rocketman
Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman | Paramount Pictures.

“I didn’t know the songs were in the wrong order which I loved,” Sir Elton said. “When it got to ‘I Want Love’ where the whole family, who are in such chaos, my father, my mom, myself and my grandmother who was just wanting everybody to be happy, we’re all miserable. When they started singing that I broke down and I completely lost it because there are four very unhappy people.”

This scene with Elton John’s father also made him cry

Rocketman addresses the tumultuous relationship Elton John had with his father (Steven Mackintosh). His father leaves his mother (Bryce Dallas Howard) and starts a new family. When Elton goes to visit him after he’s a successful singer, he sees his father showing more affection to his new children than he ever showed Elton.

Elton John
Elton John in 1973 | Michael Putland/Getty Images

“Then as the film went on, there were two or three things that really upset me,” Sir Elton said. “Obviously when I go and see my dad and he’s carrying his children on his shoulder.”

Seeing his own drug addiction portrayed was harrowing

Rocketman pulls no punches about Sir Elton’s battles with addiction. He gets drunk and high on cocaine. At one point, the drugs cause physical damage to Sir Elton’s body.

Taron Egerton in Rocketman
Taron Egerton in Rocketman | Paramount Pictures.

“The scene where my blood comes from my nose, that was so close to home,” Sir Elton said.

Recreating this real life moment made Elton John cry at Cannes

Rocketman had its world premiere at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Elton John was in the audience, and getting ready to perform at the after party. When he saw his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) visit him in rehab with new lyrics for him to put to music, that was it for Sir Elton.

Elton John in Cannes | Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

“I hadn’t seen the finished film until the actual Cannes Film Festival and that was quite interesting,” Sir Elton said. “When Jamie comes to see Taron in treatment. Bernie did come to see me in treatment and it was just incredibly moving when he did come to see me, I broke down again because it just showed the incredible love.”

The relationship between Bernie and Elton is the heart of Rocketman, and it got to the real Elton John’s heart.

Elton John
The real Elton John performs | David Redfern/Redferns

“Bernie was the glue that held the film together, or Jamie was,” Sir Elton continued. “Our relationship survived everything, survived all the bad behavior, all the success. When that happened in the film, when Jamie came to rehab, I just lost it in the Cannes Film Festival. How embarrassing is that?”