Elton John in a good place

Unlike most frantic new fathers, Elton John isn’t stressed out about the two different offspring in his life: newborn Zachary Jackson Levon and Gnomeo & Juliet, an animated film that he’s been parenting for more than a decade.

In fact, the pop legend is surprisingly sedate talking about his monumental new arrivals.

“Having the baby has chilled me out so much,” the singer said from behind a pair of black shades during a recent interview with The Associated Press.

“It’s made me so relaxed and happy. I’m in the best of moods. Who wouldn’t be? I’m proud to talk about something we’ve been making for 11 years that’s finally coming out. I feel happy.”

To be clear, the baby is newborn Zachary, and the thing that’s been cooking for 11 years is Gnomeo & Juliet, out Friday. John, 63, is executive producer of the computer-generated tale about a pair of star-crossed garden gnomes. His production company Rocket Pictures snapped up the script, which spoofs the William Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet, in 2000.

The G-rated film tells the story of gnomes Juliet (voiced by Emily Blunt) and Gnomeo (James McAvoy), who fall in love against the wishes of their warring kin.

The Rocket Man wasn’t off limits when it came to punch lines. Bespectacled gnome Paris (Stephan Merchant) serenades Juliet with a rendition of Your Song, in which he swaps the line “it’s a little bit funny’’ for “it’s a little bit runny.” As he croons, his garb transforms into a glittery ensemble resembling one of John’s getups.

“He’s kind of gnomosexual, isn’t he?” John said. “I burst out laughing when I saw him all put together. Stephen Merchant is extremely funny. He said to me before I’d seen it, ‘I hope you’re not too insulted with what I’ve done.’ I said, ‘I don’t care. I’m very easy. I’m very thick skinned.’ It was brilliant.”


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