After starring in the wildly successful Elton John biopic Rocketman, which earned him a Golden Globe and critical acclaim, Taron Egerton wasn’t going to rush anything.
The Welsh actor told the Sky News Backstage podcast that he is mindful of his next steps after what must have been a dizzying rise to fame.
“I was so fortunate between the ages of 23 and 28 that I had some great opportunities, and I was very, very fortunate as an actor with the things that came my way,” Egerton said.
“But I felt like I was waiting for something delicious, and it came in the form of Rocketman, and it also had commercial appeal, and it was just a great thing, and I felt like once it was all said and done and we were done, my the instinct was, “You should definitely follow this up with something interesting, not just rush something.”
“So I spent a year waiting for this script and it came out in July 2020 and I knew immediately, absolutely immediately that it was the thing – I just thought it was compelling and exciting and dark and beyond my wheelhouse, you know, something that was different for me, and it was also very exciting.”
Blackbird is based on the autobiographical novel by James Keane, who Egerton played in the series, With the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer and a Dangerous Redemption Deal.
It tells the story of a high school football hero turned drug dealer who is sentenced to 10 years in a general prison, but is then given the choice of going to a maximum security prison for the criminally insane, befriending a suspected serial killer in an attempt to get guilty plea and commute his sentence, or stay where he is and serve the full term without the possibility of parole.
It’s a huge gamble for the inmate, but behind his decision to go for it is the fact that his father, played by Ray Liotta, is unwell.
Egerton says it was a huge risk, but he understands why Keane did it.
“I think he’s different from me in some ways, you know, he was a guy who could handle himself, and I think those are factors, and I think he was also a person who had that kind of surprising self-belief and arrogance, then you add to the equation the fact that he was worried about his father’s health and believed that his time in prison was contributing to his father’s ill health, and that’s the crux of the matter,” he explained. he
“It’s some kind of love for his father that pushed him to take on this completely crazy challenge.”
“If I did that, I’d like to think that if I thought the time with someone I love was short and that meant I’d be free to be with them, then yes, I do, but if it was just, “Want to erase 10 years, but there’s a chance you might end up dead,” I probably wouldn’t do it, I don’t think.”
Blackbird was Liotta’s last television role before he died in May67 years old.
Egerton says it adds an edge to the scenes they share – something he already enjoyed.
“Those scenes are very special to me, and they felt special then, they really, really did,” he said.
“And of course, now that he’s passed away, it’s a strange feeling because of what’s going on in the show, and it makes the whole thing feel like it’s kind of magical in a very melancholy, sad way.
“But it was an incredible episode for me – I mean an episode of working with him, not an episode of the show – and the scenes – I’m very, very proud – they were my favorite scenes in the script and then my favorite scenes in the show, and I I really cherish the memories of working with him. It was great, it really was.”
Black Bird is on Apple TV+ – listen to our review of the latest episode of Backstage – a film and TV podcast from Sky News.