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(Credit: Elliot Page)

Film

Elliot Page names the LGBTQ film that changed his life

@Russellisation

For a while, Elliot Page was considered to be one of the greatest emerging actors of the early 21st century, starring in consistent cinematic successes, from Marvel’s X-Men: The Last Stand to Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Whilst these films certainly had an impact on Page’s development, it was the release of Juno in 2007 that would truly change the trajectory of his career. 

Flinging Page to international fame, the indie drama following an idiosyncratic young woman who is faced with the stress of an unplanned pregnancy starred the actor in the lead role alongside the likes of Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Jennifer Garner and Olivia Thirlby. Winning Diablo Cody an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Juno became a phenomenal success, heralding a new love for quaint independent movies. 

The fame had a significant toll on Page, however, with the actor taking a step back from the limelight as a result, appearing in increasingly fewer movies towards the end of the 2010s. 

How Elliot Page faced his “shame and self-hatred”

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Coming out as transgender at the end of 2020, Page recently called said of the transitioning experience, “as a person, as a friend, and in relationships… It’s improved my life drastically, and I hope that people who do have an issue with me could try and hear that and embrace that on some level”. 

Back in August 2021, Page took to the stage on the closing night of Outfest where he shared the movies, TV shows and stories that helped him navigate the complicated time in his life. Speaking at the event he stated, “I for one know that without the various representation that I was able to stumble upon as a kid and a teenager — there was very little — I just don’t know if I would have made it”. 

Presenting a compelling speech, Page added, “I don’t know if I would have made it through the moments of isolation and loneliness and shame and self-hatred that was so extreme and powerful and all-encompassing that you could hardly see out of it”. 

Talking about some of the specific films that helped him through such a time, he pointed to the 1999 movie But I’m a Cheerleader by Jamie Babbit. Starring Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall, the film follows a teen lesbian being sent to conversion therapy where she finds love instead. 

Praising the movie, he recalled, “At 15, when you are flipping through the channels and you stumble on But I’m a Cheerleader and the dialogue in that film, and scenes in that film just transform your life…I almost think we don’t talk enough about how important representation is and enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for”. 

Infuriated by the lack of representation, Page concluded by commending Outfest for their work in the industry, stating, “It’s [Outfest] and organizations like yourself that are completely changing that…And helping get stories out in the world that I know are reaching people in moments where they feel desperately alone and afraid and like they have no sense of community. And it offers somebody a lifeline. And I know that representation has done that for me”. 

Take a look at the trailer for the film that changed Elliot Page’s life, below.