By Molly McGonigle
Elton John has achieved a lot during his lengthy career in the entertainment world. From composing music for movies to singing No. 1 hits and even being knighted and raising awareness for various charities, he seemingly has done it all. And now with the debut of his musical masterpiece, "Gnomeo and Juliet," Elton John reflects on the finer things in life. Check out what Elton had to say at a press event the film regarding making a movie composed of his greatest hits, what he has left to accomplish in his career and finally becoming a father.
There seem to be a lot of messages in "Gnomeo and Juliet." What do you think the most important theme is for the viewers?
ELTON JOHN: This is what life is all about. It's not about hatred, and I think in the film, at the end of this, when they've destroyed both of the gardens, they actually say, "Enough. This is ridiculous. Let's just get on with our life. Let's be friends." And I think that sends out a positive message.
What was it like to have a movie revolve all around your music?
EJ: Even though it's all out of the back catalog and a couple of new songs, it doesn't feel as if it's overbearing [or] it's an Elton John movie. It feels like "Gnomeo and Juliet" with some good music in it, and I'm glad it's turned out like that, because I didn't want it to be just bang, bang, bang, old catalog stuff.
In this movie, the gnomes fight and bully each other. What was your experience like with bullying?
EJ: I was quite large in those days. So usually if you're going to be bullied, you're going to pick on someone who's small. No, so I didn't really have ... I don't remember bullying anybody, and I don't remember being bullied.
Now to switch gears, what is life like now that you are a father?
EJ: Adventures in daddy land ... oh, it's fantastic. I love the smell of nappies and diapers. Obviously, it's been the most wonderful thing that probably has ever happened to me after meeting David, and what's really been the most surprising to me is that it's been very relaxing. Because this little soul that you're feeding and you're changing and you're barfing and you're telling bedtime stories to is a blank palate, a blank canvas, and all it needs is love and nurturing. It's just the most wonderful feeling. When he gets to talking and running around, I'll probably feel a little different.
Have you gotten a chance to see the Us Weekly magazine cover with your son?
EJ: Chance to see it? We've decorated our whole apartment. We wake up and look at it. We're very happy with the way it's turned out. It's -- we raised a lot of money for our foundation with it, and we all look pretty amazing in it, especially Zachary, and the interview was lovely. So we're very happy.
Does being a father make you want to be more involved with children-centric things?
EJ: I do quite a lot for children anyway, with the AIDS foundation. I have a lot of godchildren. It's not as if children aren't in my life at all. They've been very prevalent in my life over the last few years. David has lots of nieces and nephews. So I'm a great lover of children. I never thought one day I'd actually be a father, but I am very pleased I changed my mind. Children are extremely important; they are the future of the world, and as long as we -- David and I -- bring him up to be a loving and compassionate boy, then I'll be very happy. I love kids; what can I say? Ask them a question.
After being in this business for so long, how are things different for you now as a performer?
EJ: Well, I have a wonderful partner. I have wonderful friends. I can remember things. I don't try drugs anymore. It's a whole new world out there. I can remember the words to the songs. It's great. It's just sensational, what's happened to me in the last few years. I really appreciate my performing so much better now as I get older than I did -- I don't take it for granted anymore. I really relish it and love it.
What is there left for you to accomplish in your career?
EJ: Well, there's always things you want to do. I mean, obviously ballet is not an option. Not really.
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