Not hiding anymore
Three years after publicly coming out, Ellen Page tells us why she’s happier than ever
The last time Ellen Page appeared on our cover it was January 2016, ahead of the UK release of Freeheld, the true story of Laurel Hester, a New Jersey police detective fighting to change county policy so that her pension could be given to her partner Stacie Andree. Fresh out of the closet, Andree was Page’s first time playing a lesbian and marked both a personal and professional turning point. At the time she said she was “so much happier having fully come out”, and said that when she finally found the courage to say the words “I’m gay” on Valentine’s Day 2014 at a Human Rights Campaign event “all the dark clouds went away – instantly”. But what has life been like since? We jumped at the chance to find out.
“Everything is different,” the 30-year-old Canadian tells us, smiling. “From one day to the next [after coming out], I felt a happiness and an inner peace which I hadn’t known for years. My life now is overwhelming and I’m glad to be in a position where I can support my community and also help show that you can still play all kinds of roles after you are out. Things are changing fast and the more people who come out will ultimately help put an end to the idea that coming out destroys your career. We have to make that happen.”
Indeed, being out as a lesbian hasn’t stopped her working – something she feared it might. Yes, Page has inevitably become a kind of spokesperson for LGBT equality, and it was this that led to her hosting Gaycation, an Emmy-nominated Viceland (viceland.com) series, for which she is also executive producer, where Page and BFF Ian Daniel explore queer culture around the world. And she plays the daughter of a man on death row who falls in love with a woman (played by Kate Mara) on the other side of her family’s campaign to save him in My Days Of Mercy. Produced by Christine Vachon, it premiered this month at the Toronto International Film Festival. But it hasn’t been all gay, gay, gay. No way way way. Post coming out, Page has played a variety of roles, from the titular Tallulah about a feral young woman who arrives unexpectedly on the doorstep of her boyfriend’s estranged mother’s house; to Courtney in the upcoming remake of 90s classic Flatliners which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and Julia Roberts.
Read the rest of our interview with Ellen in the October issue of DIVA, available now at divadigital.co.uk.
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