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Comparing Rocketman’s cast with the real-life people they’re playing

22 May 2019, 11:09 | Updated: 22 May 2019, 11:11

By Tom Eames

The Elton John musical biopic Rocketman is out now, and we’re falling in love with his music all over again.

Alongside Taron Egerton as Sir Elton, he is joined by other cast members taking on real-life people in the pop icon’s life.

So, how do they match up? We’ve done some comparisons of the movie’s stars with the people they’re portraying – and how they looked around the same era.

Taron Egerton (Elton John)

Taron Egerton as Elton John.


Taron plays Elton from his teens in the late 1950s, to his late 30s in the 1980s.

There are plenty of shots in the film where you feel as if you’re looking at Elton circa-1976, and Taron gets his mannerisms perfectly.

Taron Egerton facts: Meet the Rocketman star who plays Elton John

Jamie Bell (Bernie Taupin)

Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin.


While Bernie Taupin has largely kept out of the limelight in comparison to his long-time songwriting partner, there was still enough to work from for Jamie Bell.

We’re not sure the long hair suits Jamie, but he brilliantly captures Bernie’s calm and dependable persona.

Who is Jamie Bell? Meet the Billy Elliot star playing Bernie Taupin in Rocketman

Richard Madden (John Reid)

Richard Madden as John Reid.


Hmm. We reckon they took a heavy dose of poetic licence on this one.

Put it this way: Bodyguard star Richard Madden wouldn’t get mistaken for John Reid.

Who is John Reid?

Bryce Dallas Howard (Sheila Dwight)

Bryce Dallas Howard as Sheila Dwight.


American Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard does a pretty darn amazing job at not only a British accent, but playing a middle-aged English housewife in the 1950s.

Saying that, she doesn’t necessarily resemble Elton’s mum too much, but she gives one of the best performances in the film.

Who was Elton’s mother Sheila and what did they fall out over?

Steven Mackintosh (Stanley Dwight)

Steven Mackintosh as Stanley Dwight.


Luther actor Mackintosh portrays Elton’s estranged father Stanley, and he’s not a bad likeness at all, though there’s not much to go on from that era of Elton’s life.

Who was Elton’s father Stanley Dwight?

Tom Bennett (Fred Farebrother)

Tom Bennett as Fred.


Tom Bennett – who stars in the Only Fools and Horses musical – plays Sheila’s second husband Fred.

Again, not much to go on from the time, but Tom plays Fred like a typical cockney geezer of the ’60s.

Stephen Graham (Dick James)

Stephen Graham as Dick James.


Line of Duty star Stephen Graham plays tough music publisher Dick James in the film, and while his performance is excellent, we’re not sure they made much effort to resemble James other than his choice of glasses.

Who was Dick James?

Rachel Muldoon (Kiki Dee)

Rachel Muldoon as Kiki Dee.


This photo doesn’t do it justice, but Rachel Muldoon is probably the best actor when it comes to resembling their real-life counterpart.

She’s not in the movie for long, but their recreation of ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ is a real joy.

Where is Kiki Dee now?

Celinde Schoenmaker (Renate Blauel)

Celinde Schoenmaker as Renate Blauel.

Instagram/Celinde Schoenmaker/Getty

Celinde pops up as Elton’s wife of four years, sound engineer Renate Blauel in Rocketman.

There’s not too much of a resemblance other than the big ’80s hair, but her relatively brief appearance is rather moving.

Who was Elton John’s wife?