Richard Madden hasn't seen the Game of Thrones finale, but that's likely because he's been focusing so much on promoting Rocketman, a biopic on Elton John's rise to fame as one of the most celebrated singers in history. But making appearances on talk shows and speaking to entertainment outlets are only two ways he's honoring the epic production, which Sir Elton John produced; Madden's also committed to celebrating the film's groundbreaking sex scene.
Madden, who portrays John's former manager and ex-boyfriend John Reid, told Entertainment Weekly he believes it was vital the film honored John's sexuality — especially if that meant shooting a nude scene with actor Taron Egerton, who plays John.
"It's an intimate thing between these two characters and a significant moment in Elton's life," Madden told EW. "And Elton's life was very R-rated, wasn't it?"
For months, people speculated that the film would "straightwash" John and Reid's relationship, especially after reports circulated that Paramount wanted to tone down the film's nudity. The film's director, Dexter Fletcher, has denied such rumors, as has Egerton, who insisted to Attitude that all intimate scenes were "beautiful" and representative of John's real-life experiences. Madden has also reiterated this point, adding that sex scenes featuring two men should be normalized.
"The more we have these things in films the less of a big deal it's going to become, and that's what it should be — it shouldn't be a big deal," he told the Irish Examiner. "But, particularly for us in this film, that scene is such a pivotal moment for Elton — it's the first time he makes love with someone; it's a really important change point in his life. And it gave us an opportunity to show their intimacy and that delicateness that's really important to represent the start of that love story."
Of course, not everyone is completely comfortable with seeing Madden naked on the big screen. His parents, apparently, don't love when he strips down — especially if he hasn't warned them. (He may have forgotten to let them know about a sex scene in The Bodyguard which nearly caused his poor mother to literally spill her tea.) This time, though, he said he gave his mom ample time to prepare.
"She got a warning this time," he told Good Morning America on Thursday. "She was told it was coming — not making that mistake again."
Elton John produced; mother approved. Rocketman premieres in theaters on May 31.