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Elton John 'Proud' of Rocketman's Landmark Gay Sex Scenes

Elton John

The inspiration and subject of the upcoming biopic Rocketman, out rock star Elton John, is proud of the film’s treatment of sex between men. While there have been a few chaste sex scenes between men in Oscar-nominated movies through the years including in Brokeback Mountain and Call Me by Your Name, Rocketman (from Paramount) is the first major studio film to depict gay male sex. Last year's megahit Bohemian Rhapsody, about bisexual Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, was devoid of sex scenes. 

“I’m proud Rocketman is the first major studio film with a gay love sex scene in it. If I’d left it out, I’d have felt I was cheating people,” John told The Mirror. “I’m so glad it’s in there because I am a gay man and I didn’t want to airbrush it under the carpet. If they don’t like it, I understand, but it’s part of who I am. That night was a very, very important part.”

The film stars Taron Edgerton as the iconic glam rocker and Richard Madden (Bodyguard) as John’s manager and first male lover, John Reid. The movie, helmed by Dexter Fletcher (who took over on Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer exited the production), premiered at Cannes last week, and it reportedly includes a few sex scenes between the men.

“There were multiple scenes that included men kissing, simulated oral sex and a steamy bedroom scene with both Edgerton and Madden unclothed,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote at the time of the screening.

In his interview with the Mirror, John was candid about not acting on his sexual desire until almost his mid-20s in part because of the fear his father instilled in him around sex.

“When I grew up, my father told me if I masturbated I’d go blind,” John said. “At 13 years of age, I started to have glasses and I went, Oh my God! This is coming true!”

The superstar also weighed in on the accuracy of the film’s retelling of his first sexual experience with Reid.

“I was a virgin until then [age 23]. I was desperate to be loved and desperate to have a tactile relationship,” John said, adding that if they were going to tell his story in the film that it had to “be honest.”

“When they tear their clothes off in the movie, that was how it happened. It was in San Francisco — when he is lying in my arms and I’m sitting back with a smile I’m thinking, Ah, I’m normal, I’ve had sex,” John said.

Rocketman opens in theaters on May 31.

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