Sir Elton John has recently been immortalised in film with the help of Taron Egerton, who played Sir Elton in Rocketman.
The movie spoke about Sir Elton’s early life with his parents, his rise to fame and subsequent battles with addiction and depression, all through the lens of an Addicts Anonymous meeting.
While Egerton’s performance has become the most famous portrayal of Sir Elton, it is not the first.
With that being said, Downey’s performance of Sir Elton is also not quite in the same realm, as he appeared in Sir Elton’s music video for I Want Love.
Up until that point, Sir Elton had strutted his stuff in fancy outfits in his music videos, and this far more sombre, quiet music video is a far cry from Sir Elton’s usual work.
So why did one of the most famous men on earth appear in the music video?
According to the book Rocket Man: The Life of Elton John, Sir Elton did not want to appear in his own video, in a clear change from his previous work.
Sir Elton wanted Downey to play him in the video, and Downey accepted, but he was in a difficult place of his own at that point.
According the biography Robert Downey Jr: Blockbuster Movie Star, Downey was at a drug treatment centre in the time before shooting the video, and this was his first job after his stint in rehab.
At the time, Downey was not on the top of movie studios’ lists of people to work with, but Sir Elton reached out to him and Downey left the centre for the shoot, which took place in France.
According to the biography, some of the lyrics were “very personal” to Downey, and this clearly showed as the music video was filmed in one day, with the 16th take of the song being the one which was used by director Sam Taylor-Wood.
The turn around of the music video was also incredibly quick, with it being out on MTV within a couple of weeks of the filming taking place.
The music video received huge acclaim as a departure from Sir Elton’s previous work, and it sparked the beginning of a new chapter for Downey, which saw him gain more roles until eventually, in 2008, he appeared in the first Iron Man film.
From there, Downey has become one of the best paid actors working at the moment, and appeared in a huge number of Marvel movies.
As well as these, he has also appeared as Sherlock Holmes, Dr Dolittle and in various small, independent films since he was given an in back into Hollywood.
Sir Elton did repeat this video style one more time in the video for This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore, where Justin Timberlake played the singer.