Dexter Fletcher and the musical genre go back a long way. When he was nine, Fletcher appeared alongside Jodie Foster and Scott Baio in 1976’s Bugsy Malone, a Prohibition-era gangster musical featuring an all-children cast.
Nearly four decades later, the London-born filmmaker made his first movie musical, Sunshine on Leith, set against the songs of The Proclaimers. Of course, Fletcher also did some work — three weeks’ worth, to be exact — on the Oscar-winning Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, after helmer Bryan Singer was fired from the production.
But Fletcher, 53, didn’t want to take too much credit on that one (interestingly, he was originally attached to the project) and would much prefer that we talk about his latest, also a musical, the Elton John biopic Rocketman. Taron Egerton, whom Fletcher worked with on the sports dramedy Eddie the Eagle, plays the legendary British rocker from age 17 to 42.
The Kingsman: The Secret Service star also sang the tunes in the grand and outlandish musical numbers that illustrate his meteoric rise, substance abuse, turbulent love life, and eventual redemption.
8 DAYS spoke to Fletcher on the phone from Sydney, during his lunch break, just hours before Rocketman’s Australian premiere at the State Theatre on May 25.