As Elton John bipoic “Rocketman” garners rave reviews and a solid opening weekend at the box office, the half-brother of the film’s subject is taking issue with the way some of his family members are portrayed.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, Sir Elton’s younger sibling Geoff Dwight disputes their father, Stanley Dwight, was cold towards the singer, epitomized in a scene in when young Elton — then known as Reg Dwight — asks his father for a hug and is told, “Don’t be soft.”
“This coldness, it’s a million miles away from what Dad was like,” Dwight tells the newspaper. “He was a product of a time when men didn’t go around hugging each other and showing their feelings every minute of every day, but he had plenty of love in him for all of us.”
While Dwight, one of Stanley’s four sons from a subsequent marriage, hadn’t yet been born when some of the events depicted in the film took place, he insists that scenes in which father discourage his son’s musical ambitions do not ring true.
“Dad bought a piano for Elton and had it sent round to where he was living with his mother, Dad encouraged all of us to be musical. He was in a swing band himself, so I see no reason why he’d have thwarted Elton,” says Dwight.
“That’s not the Dad I remember,” he adds. “Dad had a big heart and he loved us all equally. He was incredibly proud of Elton and everything that he achieved.”
Dwight also calls out a scene in which young Elton is scolded by his father for looking at women’s dresses in one of his mother’s magazines.
“Dad didn’t have a homophobic bone in his body,” Dwight insists. “When Elton came out, he didn’t care, didn’t even mention it because it wasn’t important to him.”
And while Dwight does concede what his father told him about his famous sibling may not have been entirely true, he doesn’t think it’s likely.
“Dad could have been telling me a pack of lies about his relationship with Elton for all those years,” he says, “but knowing Dad as I did, I doubt it. He never lied about anything and he and I were close.”
“Rocketman” filmmakers have since released a statement to ET Canada, insisting: “Art is about creating myths to reveal the truth. This is Elton’s life as a musical fantasy. We set out to celebrate Elton John, imagination, creativity and wondrous possibility not the monochrome world he was born into.”