Sir Elton John, David Furnish

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

When you happen to have a memorable name like Sir Elton John, how hard is it to get someone like, oh, Lady Gaga to sign on to your latest project?

New dad Elton answers just that in an upcoming interview with Disney twenty-three magazine (from D23: The Official Disney Fan Club). While talking about his new movie Gnomeo & Juliet, Elton also reveals his secret to being a successful father and megastar:

Humor.

"Every artist should have a sense of humor about himself," says Elton, who recently became a first-time father with partner David Furnish, with the birth of their son Zachary. "Nothing is sacred. Poking fun at yourself is one of the greatest things you can do, I think."

And that he does in Disney's new animated film Gnomeo & Juliet (in theaters Feb. 11), which spoofs some of Elton's most iconic tunes, like "Your Song."

While joking that he "begged" most of the movie's cast to come on board—adding that James McAvoy and Emily Blunt "are two of the best actors around, so we were lucky to get them"—it sounds like none was more difficult to wrangle than Elton's cohort in extravagant fashion, Lady Gaga. "I wrote five new songs—two of which ended up in the film—and did a duet with Lady Gaga called 'Hello Hello,'" Elton explains. "It was hard to pin her down because she's on tour, but she started work on it one week in November in Sweden and finished it off a week or so later in London."  

Always one to speak out about inequality and social causes, the film also has raised Elton's awareness of an important issue. When asked why he likes garden gnomes (the subject of Gnomeo & Juliet, if that's not obvious), he says: "They're cute. They're comic. They're very tongue in cheek, very sweet. There have been books written about them, museums devoted to them. People who don't like gnomes are gnomophobes."

Preach! Nice to know little Zachary will be raised with humor and a fine appreciation of the little (ceramic) people.

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