In a new interview with The Guardian; Ellen Page talks about child stardom, her Vice TV show and why she had to stop living a lie. Along with the interview we are graced with a beautiful new photoshoot photographed by Amanda Friedman.
Within a few minutes of meeting the actor Ellen Page near her Los Angeles home, we’re talking about what she enjoys doing around here, which is going surfing with her girlfriend, artist Samantha Thomas. She likes to watch Thomas, the more experienced surfer, examine the waves. Thomas tells her which way to turn, based on movements in the water that Page can’t even see. “Particularly on days where there are onshore winds, so it’s kind of rough, she’ll say, ‘Oh, a wave’s coming at you, it’s a right, go right’ and I’m just like, ‘What are you looking at? You can read the ocean like that?’ It’s really hot,” she adds, the excitement in her gentle voice suggesting that she is quietly, but madly, in love.
There is nothing hugely remarkable about any of this, especially here in California, except that until February 2014 Page would have been unable to have such a conversation with a journalist. The actor who starred in Juno, Hard Candy and Whip It, all films about tough young women who go against the grain, was living a lie. She was pretending to be straight, or at least “lying by omission”, as she puts it, intent on fulfilling her acting ambitions without any adverse attention, even though she had been out of the closet with her loved ones for years. But the double life had started to take its toll on her sanity, so she decided, a month before the event, that she would come out during a speech at a Las Vegas conference for counsellors of young LGBT people. “I’m here today because I am gay,” she revealed, halfway through an eight-minute talk, to a standing ovation that began before she had even finished. It was Valentine’s Day.
Page was only 26, but had been acting professionally since the age of 10; at 20, she was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress for her role as the eponymous pregnant high-school student in Juno. The gulf between her public and private lives had been growing long enough. “I felt, let’s just please be done with this chapter of discomfort and sadness and anxiety, and hurting my relationships, and all those things that come with it,” she says now, sitting in the corner of a restaurant, in a baseball cap, sipping a green tea. “I felt guilty for not being a visible person for the community, and for having the privilege that I had and not using it. I had got to the point where I was telling myself, you know, you should feel guilty about this. I was an active participant in an element of Hollywood that is gross. I would never judge somebody else for not coming out, but for me, personally, it did start to feel like a moral imperative.”
The day after the speech, she flew straight to Montreal to do reshoots for her role as Kitty Pryde in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and everyone there told her she seemed totally different. “And I was totally different! Just the immediacy of how much better I felt. I felt it in every cell of my body.”
Read the full interview at The Guardian.
By Tim Grierson | backstage.com
Photography by Matt Doyle
“I’m definitely addicted,” she announces as she relaxes in the restaurant at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont in early September, her right leg up on the chair, a black ball cap on her head. “Yesterday, I went out—not in those huge waves, I’m just still learning. But I do think, If I’m shooting a movie, I’m gonna miss out on a month of surfing….” She laughs, as she does often during the conversation.
Asked what provoked this surfing fascination, Page, who turned 28 in February and has been acting since she was 10, says, somewhat sheepishly, “I’m in a relationship with a good surfer. It always sounded really appealing, and because I’m from Nova Scotia, [Canada,] I have a healthy fear of the ocean. I think there was something fearful [about learning], and then finally I just started doing it.” Now, she confesses, she gets a little antsy when she hasn’t been in the water for a while. “When I go away to work, I do really miss it,” she admits. “Like, damn it, why’d you show me how to do this?”
Page’s story about surfing encapsulates much of what’s special about this Oscar-nominated actor. Unassuming but also pretty fearless, her performances have a centered confidence, her characters curious and open. Additionally, the anecdote reveals a very happy development in her personal life, a newish relationship with painter Samantha Thomas. More than a year after coming out, Page has become not just a spokesperson for LGBT rights but an artist whose own journey is reflected in her latest project, “Freeheld,” a legal drama based on the true story of a New Jersey lesbian couple who, in the mid-2000s, fought discrimination to hold onto one partner’s pension benefits.
The film stars Page as Stacie Andree, a mechanic, who fell in love with Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), an older detective, their relationship a secret because Laurel feared her sexuality would keep her from career promotion. But after Laurel was stricken with cancer, they realized that her state pension wouldn’t be transferred to Stacie when Laurel died, even though they were domestic partners.
Page became aware of Stacie and Laurel’s dilemma thanks to a documentary, also called “Freeheld,” which won the Oscar for best documentary short subject at the 2008 Academy Awards. (It just so happened Page was at that ceremony, nominated for best actress for her breakout role in “Juno.”) Part romance, part courtroom drama, the new film has been a long time coming. Page signed up as a producer early on, and then waited for the project to get rolling. “The film, for me, was a love story,” she says. “And then the goal was to make it as authentic and as truthful as possible.”
But to hear Page tell it, the delays to get “Freeheld” made didn’t discourage her—if anything, she was relieved. “It was a positive thing that it took that long,” she says. “I just shot a movie this summer that was supposed to happen two years ago. There were certain themes in that movie where I was so glad [it was delayed for] two years, because I feel like I know more about myself that related to the character that I could bring in.” She laughs. “So I would say I always get excited when a part I’m really, really excited about playing gets pushed, ’cause I get a little more study time.”
In “Freeheld,” Page is suitably low-key as Stacie who, alongside Laurel, never envisioned herself as a marriage-equality advocate. Instead, they just wanted to ensure Stacie’s security after Laurel passed. Page, who has appeared in the “X-Men” films and “Inception,” is still perhaps best known for playing sarcastic pregnant teen Juno MacGuff, but one senses that in the eight years since that iconic role she’s evolved far beyond the character’s hipster ethos.
“[Stacie,] I actually feel, is more myself,” Page says. “I tend to be identified mostly with one specific character I played when I was 20 years old that is bigger and, I feel, has an emotional chord in groundedness, but is more character-y for sure. [Juno] had a very specific way of talking—partly, of course, because of [screenwriter] Diablo [Cody]’s writing, and then partly because of the intonation that Juno spoke with, which I don’t even think I could do anymore.” Page laughs, returning her focus to her muted portrayal of Stacie. “This [character] was, weirdly, more in tune.… I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m getting older.” She gets quiet, thinking it over. “Stacie’s super sweet, super funny, but definitely on the shy side. I’m drawn to performances that are really subtle.”
She’s been that way since she started acting at a young age. On a lark, she auditioned for the Canadian TV show “Pit Pony” and got the part. She then auditioned for another Canadian TV show, “Trailer Park Boys,” and got that part, too. The whole thing happened almost by accident, because actor John Dunsworth visited her school when she was 10 and suggested she give acting a try. Page says, “I do think, If I had been sick that day at school, what would have happened? Would I have stumbled upon it? I always loved acting—I made my mom take me to the high school plays—so there was that innate desire.”
But as she started taking a career seriously, she studied films, struck by Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek in “3 Women” and Samantha Morton in “Morvern Callar.” And while she’s a fan of a wide range of performances, she offers, “Maybe I’m attracted to subtlety because maybe that is the harder thing to do. It’s harder to be still and exist in that moment…. I’m looking for honesty, and that’s what I’m attempting to do.”
Honesty was not always so easy for Page. Referencing Stacie and Laurel’s clandestine love affair, she says, “The issue of being in a closeted relationship was, needless to say, something I understand. I’ve been in closeted relationships, and it’s not as simple as people think. I mean, I’m sure it can be. But if you’re existing in one it’s because one person, or both people, have made a conscious choice to live and exist that way—you understand the complexity of the situation and you’re doing it. I thought that was something new to look at, or add a different dimension to. It sucks, but Stacie gets it; Laurel is a cop and she does have goals, and if she had been out from the get-go, she wouldn’t be where she is in her career. We do live in a homophobic and transphobic society—it’s changing quickly, but that’s just the reality of the situation.”
Page has witnessed both the shifting cultural winds as well as some of the old resistance since she came out on Valentine’s Day 2014. The actor says she received mostly positive feedback from her announcement. “I might get some homophobic stuff on my social media,” she acknowledges. “Who cares? That goes in one ear and out the other. It makes me more sad, because it’s representative of a really unfortunate, ignorant way of viewing the world that does lead to a lot of pain.”
Not to mention some awkward social interactions. Page recalls being on a plane and a pastor handing her a note. “When he passed me the letter, I was thinking, Oh, it’s a really progressive religious person that’s writing me a letter, that’s so nice,” she says. Instead, she discovered it was a note warning her about her sinful lifestyle. “He signed it, ‘Your Heavenly Daddy,’ with a smiley face—it was just next-level crazy. So you’re, like, ‘I have to frame that, right?’ The letter said, ‘You need to find God,’ and ‘Maybe your father wasn’t in your life.’ No, I have a great dad who’s totally accepting.”
Shortly after speaking to Backstage, Page will attend the world premiere of “Freeheld” at the Toronto Film Festival, where she’ll walk the red carpet with Thomas, declaring to reporters, “I’m in love.” But for today, she’s thinking about her film’s message and her own advocacy. “I ended up in a position where I get to do something I love that, for some reason, is a popular thing for humanity,” she says. “In return, I get to live a very comfortable life already at a young age. That’s crazy. So I personally feel, for me, there is a moral imperative to [speak out].” She pauses. “The LGBT community is a minority. Even though we’ve had so many positive things happen, there still are a lot of issues. I probably won’t make everyone happy. All I can do is my best.”
Ellen is photographed by Inez and Vinoodh for W Magazine.
It’s Ellen Page like you’ve never seen her before! The actress showed off some skin when she stripped down to her underwear (and not much else) for W Magazine. Page not only revealed her taut tummy, but also how she became an actress. “I was 10 when I started acting. A casting director came to my school looking for kids. I auditioned for a TV movie called Pit Pony, and I got it. Acting became an immediate fixation. I was a child, but I was so ambitious. At 17, I costarred in Hard Candy, about a pedophile and his victim, whom I played. My character had to castrate the pedophile. I’ve always loved learning things for a part, and I remember researching castration and thinking, This is so interesting. I’m a nerd that way: I love the challenges of this job,” Page said.
Last night Ellen Page was on The Colbert Report and we have the episode below! I have also added 100 HD Captures from the episode to the gallery. Plus a couple of HQ’s from Good Morning America that was also on yesterday. You can find them all in the recently updated albums in the photo gallery. x
Cineplex Magazine (May 2014) – Page 43
Kitty Pryde plays a key role in Chris Claremont’s “Days of Future Past” storyline, the Marvel Comics arc on which this month’s X-Men film is based. But Ellen Page, who first played the mutant in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, and returns for this month’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, didn’t know that. Her reading list tends toward volumes of eco-science and critiques of Western materialism, not comic books.
“I played Kitty when I was 18, and then to have this comeback was awesome. I didn’t expect it,” she says. “To be able to bring something to life that has such a massive fan base and has existed for so long.” The new film sees Kitty use her phasing power to send Wolverine’s mind back to his 1970s body, changing history and, with luck, averting the apocalypse. In the comic books it is Kitty who travels through time, and although it’s been changed to Wolverine for the film, he can’t do it without her help.
Page sees the entire franchise not as a generic thrill ride, but a parable wrapped in immense visual spectacle.
“X-Men has such metaphorical importance,” she says. “A lot of people feel like outcasts, you know? And we feel like we have our imperfections and our issues. It explores something that a lot of people feel internally, the struggle to accept yourself and accept the things that make you who you are, being brave enough to be who you are in this world and have a voice.”
It almost sounds as if Page is talking about herself. Not long after our chat she announced she’s gay during a conference for LGBTQ teens in Las Vegas. Page told the crowd she was finally coming out “because I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission.”
In conversation, Page’s tone alternates between genial, nerdy pedagogy and punky mischief. As followers of her outspoken Twitter feed know, she’s determined to use her star power as a resource for social change.
She also shuns clichéd “girl roles” she considers sexist. “As a woman and an actor something I’ve always strived for is to play roles that offer a different perspective of what a young woman can be,” she says.
Though she stars in stunt-driven blockbusters as well as Sundance type indies, celebrity is one role she’s not interested in playing.
She became a star at 20 for her witty, touching turn as a pregnant teen in Juno, a performance that earned Page a Best Actress Oscar nomination and made her a fixture on the glittering awards season circuit.
But when the race ended she turned her back on Hollywood’s paparazzi culture and returned to the land, getting her hands seriously dirty at the Lost Valley Education and Event Centre outside Eugene, Oregon, where she studied sustainable design. Weeks spent shovelling goat manure into pushcarts and harvesting her urine as compost fertilizer was exactly the break she needed.
She still favours down-market duds, loathes shopping, rides the streetcar in Toronto and hangs out in L.A. bookstores.
And, while she’s drawn to movies about “people who decide to devote themselves to this mission of achieving justice,” Page says, “I don’t believe in eye-for-an-eye. The most incredible, sustainable, beautiful movements have been non-violent movements of civil disobedience.”
Page’s next battle with injustice is the gay-rights drama Freeheld, which stars Julianne Moore as her lover, and starts filming later this year in September in New York.