Bernie Taupin has lived a life outside of the spotlight, despite serving as Elton John's lyricist for nearly all of his albums. Rocketman, which stars Jamie Bell as Taupin, may provide a greater insight into the man behind the words.

"It's such an honor to portray someone who did something so magnificent with someone else who's also so glorious," Bell told IMDB at John's 2019 Oscars party. "But it comes with a certain amount of trepidation, as well. This is legacy that we're talking about."

Bell met Bernie and Heather Taupin at a restaurant in Santa Barbara, Calif., to help prepare for the role; he also studied Taupin's thoughts about his own life. "He has a book that he wrote about his childhood, a memoir called A Cradle of Haloes – which, as an actor, is perfect 'cause it's everything that you need," Bell said. "But these two people who created something that endures, their friendship endures and what they've done for humanity is bring joy to people. And I hope that's what our film brings, as well."

A native of Billingham, England, Bell made his film debut as a teenager in the title role for 2000's Billy Elliot, a small-budget film about an 11-year-old working-class Brit who falls in love with ballet that became a surprise smash hit. Bell won eight awards, including a BAFTA for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Jamie Bell Talks About Playing Bernie Taupin

The success of Billy Elliot turned Bell into a star, and he's since had a busy career. That's included roles in everything from literary adaptations (Nicholas Nickelby, Jane Eyre) to big-budget blockbusters (Peter Jackson's King Kong, Fantastic Four) to animated films (Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin) to music videos (Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends").

Rocketman, which also stars Taron Egerton, Bryce Dallas Howard and Richard Madden, comes out on May 31.

Watch Green Day's Video for "Wake Me Up When September Ends"

 

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