15 years have passed since the premiere of June, the film that made Elliott Page famous in 2007, when she was still Ellen at the time. But it has been now when the actor has admitted in an interview for the magazine Esquire that he felt “locked in” and forced to wear a dress during the awards season and promotion of the hit film, which gave Diablo Cody an Oscar in the category of best original screenplay. “I wish people understood that shit literally almost killed me,” he said. The 35-year-old Canadian interpreter speaks openly about his childhood, his career, his gender transition and his life in the summer issue of the American publication, which also dedicates the cover photo to him.
“I was locked up, dressed in heels and all the look: It wasn’t right and I didn’t know how to talk about it with anyone,” admits Elliot. Although he says he can’t pinpoint what was “the worst day” of that promotion, he does remember how he had to put up with comments like: “Oh, fuck you, you’re famous, you have money and you had to wear a dress.”
The interpreter, also known for his participation in rome with love or the series The Umbrella Academy, explains that he had to deal with many demons at a time when his career was skyrocketing: “At 20 years old, I didn’t know how to tell people how bad it was. I would berate myself for it. I was living life and my dreams were coming true, and all of that was happening. And yet, for example when I was filming Source [2010, Christopher Nolan] I practically couldn’t leave the hotel where I was staying,” he recalls. “I struggled with food. Intense depression, anxiety, severe panic attacks. It couldn’t work. There were days when I just had a meeting and I would leave my house to go to it and I would have to turn around,” he adds.
According to Page, one of the most important supports he had at that time was the actress Catherine Keener, with whom he would coincide in 2007 on the set of An American Crime. “I was living alone in a hotel and she came looking for me. I lived with her. For my twenty-first birthday she threw me a surprise party. She didn’t really know anyone, so they all wore name tags with her name on them. I also used one. No one knew me, and they brought these fun little gifts. It was very sweet. There are people I met that night that are tattooed on my body.”
It is not the first time that the actor has publicly admitted his frustration. In 2021, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on The Oprah Conversation, Page would admit that for a long time, before declaring his transsexuality, he had felt trapped: “For the first time, I don’t know how long, I can just be with myself, be me, be productive and creative. It is very simplifying to say it like that, but I am comfortable, ”she expressed then.
It was early December 2020 when the actor announced that he was trans and asked to be called by his name, leaving behind his previous identity as Ellen Page. In this same interview, he assures that the strict dress code imposed by the production company has nothing to do “with being trans or cis.” “Many cis women dress like I dress. That has nothing to do with it.” And he makes one last confession, by way of retrospective wish: “I wish I could go back and experience it now. Like me”.