The film stars an acclaimed Taron Egerton as Elton, with the biggest female role – his mother Sheila – played with aplomb by Bryce Dallas Howard. But now it’s emerged that a certain star of British TV also auditioned for that part, and could well have ended up in the role instead. And whilst she’s perhaps better-known now as a TV talent show judge, acting is what first propelled her into the public eye.
It’s none other than Amanda Holden.
The Britain’s Got Talent star – who had leading roles in Wild At Heart and Cutting It – said on Heart Radio: “I haven’t told anyone this so I’m just going to share it between the three of us now.
“I was right in the middle of doing something for QVC and I got a call from my people saying, ‘Listen, you need to quickly put yourself onto tape to play Elton John’s mother in the new movie Rocketman’.
“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?'”
She added: “So I got the script on my phone and Mikey my hairdresser pulled out a brown wig – obviously to put me in disguise and make me look like much more of an actress – and I shoved on this wig and put myself on tape and sent it to Dexter Fletcher.”
But she admitted there was “no chance of getting the part”, which ultimately went to “some huge American”.
Howard, meanwhile, recently spoke about filming one of the musical’s toughest scenes – the one in which she tells Elton, as he comes out as gay, that he will never be truly loved.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan, she said: “It was really important to talk to people who were not affiliated with this movie who knew Sheila, and to understand what was going on and what led to this dynamic between them.
“She was very charismatic, wickedly brilliantly hilarious and cutting also, took all of the air out of the room, she sucked it out and it was this thing where she had a personality that could be fun in certain circumstances but then it would turn.”
“I think with the coming out scene – other scenes felt a little delicious to play as Sheila, but not this scene. We did it very quickly. We didn’t want to live there.
“In order to understand that, I talked with a number of my friends who had been through that process themselves, and I wanted to know what specifically about it hurt them.
“Was it their [family’s] tone, was it the pause, was it what they said? And Sheila got it wrong.”
Rocketman is out now.