Ellen Page, who broke out in the 2007 teen comedy “Juno,” and came out as a lesbian in 2014, has seen her career dwindle to roles reflecting her sexuality. But she says she’s okay with it because representing the LGBTQ community on-screen can “really benefit” young people.
In the coming of age teen comedy, directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, Page starred as an independent-minded teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Her first full-length film in 2002 was “Marion Bridge.” The Canadian drama won critical praise. Her films after that, leading up to “Juno,” were not based on her sexuality.
She even did a turn in a 2007 superhero film, “X-Men: Last Stand,” playing Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat. The mutant had the power to walk through solid objects and had a clear crush on Iceman.
She reprised that role in 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Her films in between the two superhero movies were mostly thrillers and romantic comedies, notably 2010’s “Inception,” and the Woody Allen film “To Rome with Love.”
She came out at “Time to Thrive,” a conference devoted to LGBTQ youth.
“I’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.,” she said in a keynote speech.
“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission.”
Her films since then revolve mostly around same-sex relationships.
In 2015’s “Into the Forest,” Page and Evan Rachel Wood star as sisters who must fend for themselves in a wilderness home after an economic collapse.
Her drama “Freeheld,” also in 2015, is about a lesbian police officer and her partner. They struggle against the local town government to have their relationship recognized legally.
Page, 32, she told Diva magazine she purposely selects projects that contain what she calls “certain content” influenced by her sexuality.
In fact, she says she is so gay herself “that’s the stuff she wants to make.”
“Making films, TV, documentaries that have certain content–that is massively important to me, because, goodness, the tiny little slither of moments I got when I was young really benefited me,” she said.
“It all feels organic, you know.”
In 2017, she produced and starred in ‘My Days of Mercy’ as Lucy Morrow, an anti-death row protester fighting to save the life of her father, who embarks on a relationship with lawyer Mercy Bromage (Kate Mara).
She chose the movie because she was attracted to the “organic” and “nuanced” relationship between the two lead characters.
“What grabbed me, first, was their relationship. I thought it was so organic and nuanced in this way that really struck me. I related in many ways.”
Working with Mara, her real-life partner, made it easier to make the film and improved the on-screen “chemistry.”
She said: “Well I’ll speak for myself I won’t speak for Kate. For me we are so close. She’s an exceptional friend and we care about each other so much.
“So we really trusted each other. Obviously this is an intense film, so you have this person you can lean on,” she explained.
“You can see that we care for each other, you can see that chemistry. I think it actually makes it a lot easier.”
Page’s other 2017 films include horror drama “The Cured,” and “Flatliners,” a remake of the 1990 sci-fi film of the same name with Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons.
She also appears in the new NetFlix series “Tales of the City,” about a “queer community” in San Francisco.
Laura Linney returns as Mary Ann Singleton in the revival of the long-running TV series based on Armistead Maupin’s novels. She first played the role in 1993, according to a film synopsis.
Page is her daughter Shawna. The two reunite after Mary Ann returns to San Francisco, after leaving Shawna and her ex-husband Brian (Paul Gross) years earlier.