Ellen Page Would Like to Get Married One Day (EXCLUSIVE)

Ellen Page marriage equality
Jim Spellman/WireImage

Ellen Page made headlines last year when she came out of the closet at 26, which is still a rare occurrence among younger actresses. Shortly before the landmark Supreme Court decision on Friday that legalized gay marriage, Page talked to Variety about how Hollywood helped pave the way for LGBT rights. The Oscar-nominated “Juno” actress will next play a lesbian in the upcoming drama “Freeheld,” which opens on October 2.

Variety’s 106-page marriage equality special issue includes more Q&As, including ones with Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Murphy.

How has your life changed since you came out?

I’m happier than I probably could imagine. Now it doesn’t feel like I was ever not out. It’s hard for me to imagine not existing in the way that I’m existing now. It boggles my mind that it seemed so difficult and so impossible. I wish I’d done it sooner, quite frankly. Some dark cloud has completely evaporated, thank goodness.

But it makes sense that 
it was difficult.

There are still not many young people out in Hollywood. There’s this narrative that people are attached to: You cannot come out because it’s going to hurt your career. And that’s potentially true. When I made the decision to come out, I wasn’t naive to that. Particularly when you’re in your late 20s and becoming a woman. First of all, there aren’t that many roles for you. And second, the roles that do exist, you’re specifically a device for the male character or you’re hypersexualized in regards to the male gaze. For whatever reason, people can believe straight actors playing gay roles, but there’s this idea they can’t believe gay actors playing straight roles. And for me, it got to a point where it didn’t matter.

How has your 
career changed?

I was feeling uninspired, and lost the love and joy I felt in making films. I’m gay — of course I want to play gay characters. To have the freedom to pursue that without any anxiety is nice.

Has coming out affected the other roles you’re 
being offered?

I don’t know, because I’m not in rooms when people are having discussions like that. But I don’t really care, to be honest.

Do you feel like Hollywood has advanced the acceptance of gay rights and marriage?

For sure. Aside from all the silliness of Hollywood and what we do, stories are told that are really important, and that touch people and transform how they feel about things, whether it’s been “Philadelphia,” “Brokeback Mountain” or “Milk.” And I think it definitely can change minds and push things forward.

Why haven’t there been gay hits since “Brokeback Mountain”?

Whenever you’re telling a story about a minority group, it’s potentially not as appealing because there’s a feeling it’s not going to get the audience a financier needs. I feel like that’s been proven wrong time and time again, particularly when you’re looking at the diversity on TV right now. You can tell that’s what people want.

Do you think we’ll get to a place where we can have a tentpole headlined by a gay character — like a gay “Spider-Man”?

That would be amazing. I can’t imagine that would happen next year. But maybe in 10 years.

What can Hollywood 
do better?

It’s so funny with Caitlyn Jenner, who has been so amazing to watch, how obsessed Hollywood is with the binary gender system. A huge thing before I was out was the dress on the carpet and the heels. It’s like, “This is what you have to do.” There was this pressure to look a certain way and be a kind of femininity, which is not what I identify with. If you see me in a dress I look like an idiot.

Do you still wear dresses 
on a red carpet?

I have not worn a dress since I came out. I wear suits. It’s made the experience of everything so much better.

How does it feel to be a role model to LGBT teens?

I feel extremely fortunate and humble when I have experiences with LGBT people who come up to me and say how I helped them come out. Those moments are really extraordinary. They are typically really emotional. The biggest feeling I get is gratitude. I totally stayed in the closet, and I felt guilty about it. I was finally able to get out, and that was my life journey. I’m interested in gay issues. It’s natural for that to be a part of my life.

Do you see yourself getting married one day?

Yeah, I’d like that.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “For whatever reason, people can believe straight actors playing gay roles, but there’s this idea they can’t believe gay actors playing straight roles”- Niel Patrick Harris though…

  2. Malte Petersen says:

    What about Dallas Buyers Club as a gay/transgender hit? It even looks pretty good for movies about trans/gay people if you look at the oscars. For example Milk got 2, Brokeback Mointain 3 and Dallas Buyers Club 3 oscars. So it seems as they are even more likely to get an oscar. And if more Stars who already establied have a coming out then there would be more movies about homosexuell raltionships because there are more people to relate to.

  3. Colman says:

    Every investor in Hollywood knows that gay film = loss of money. No one invests to lose money. It’s not hard to understand. The general public ignores gay/lesbian films in droves and always will.

  4. highhardheat says:

    who really cares what she thinks….poor neglected actress.

  5. Michael says:

    Ellen, please stop whining.

  6. Alex says:

    40% of all the shows on TV, network and cable have lovable gay characters in them, so what is she bitching about?

  7. IT 2 IT says:

    MEANWHILE- – -about franchise slum Hollywood’s ‘mysterious overlook’
    of the RED CHINA, globalist mafia, and EXTERMINIST EUGENICS ‘very uncomfortable’
    ————————————————65th Anniversary———————————————
    —————————————————————–of the KOREAN WAR??????

  8. Chris Naylor says:

    It is absurd that, in a profession that is about people pretending to be other people, gay actors should be deemed somehow unqualified to play straight parts convincingly, while the same doesn’t apply the other way round. As Ian McKellen recently said, being honest about yourself makes you a better actor anyway – I’ve written about this on my acting blog.
    We need more actors like Ellen Page if things are going to change.

    • Bernard says:

      Seriously? No one wants to see a gay play a straight role. No one. That’s just life, deal with it. That is why gay-centered movies make absolutely zero at the box office.

  9. Candice says:

    Write-it, Produce-it & Direct-it. Otherwise you’ll be waiting forever. There’s a lot of other Lesbians way-more talented than you…not to mention better looking too.

    Making Movies is about making Money. With Lesbians representing 1% of our Society, it’s not an asset to be Lesbian in a lead role.

  10. Daniels says:

    Do you still wear dresses 
on a red carpet?
    What kind of stupid question is that…

  11. She said it would be “amazing” if Spider-Man were gay. The word is so overused the pun flew over everyone.

  12. Sal U. Lloyd says:

    Why is this news???

  13. Lucyjune says:

    Ellen is a wonderful role model….and she is beautiful and smart and interesting…NOT in that order, in case anyone thinks being beautiful comes first!

    • Candice says:

      Can anyone tell me which movie Ellen starred-in that people ran out to see? Didn’t think so. She’s already peaked.

      • jrose says:

        Candice, you’ve posted quite a few hateful comments on this article. You come across as a bored, lonely person trying to make themselves feel better by saying nasty things about famous people. Well, I hope that works out for you.

        Anyway, while I doubt that Ellen Page is very concerned about being a top box office draw, to answer your question, she was the lead in “Juno” and it grossed $231 mil worldwide on a budget of $7.5 mil. And supporting in “Inception” and two X-Men movies, all of which were monster hits. Even Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love” did well, especially internationally. I’m sure she will find similar roles in the future.

        As for those of you dismissing any film with major lesbian characters as guaranteed money-losers, I’ll remind you of “Basic Instinct”, which, while hardly a pro-LGBT film, was still a qualified hit. More recently, the hugely successful “Pitch Perfect 2” has a lesbian character in the ensemble.

        Other lesbian-themed movies which were profitable, based on their budgets, include “The Kids Are All Right”, “Bound”, “The Hours” and “Kissing Jessica Stein”. And that’s just off the top of my head.

        Finally there’s “Freeheld”, coming out later this year, which is a lesbian movie AND it stars Ellen Page (and Julianne Moore). I’m sure it will do well for an indie, and I won’t be surprised if it garners an Oscar nomination or two. As will “Carol”, another upcoming lesbian drama starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

        In short: You’re all ignorant and wrong.

  14. Roscoe says:

    Many gays, lesbians, etc claim they want to be accepted and treated equally, but insist on demanding that their stories be told by those who are not gays or lesbians or simply don’t care to tell those stories. If this cause is so important, create the projects you want instead of begging others to do it for you. You would think that there should be ample funding from the pro LGBT etc groups for filmmakers with a story to tell. A non gay/lesbian/etc filmmaker would be roasted relentlessly if they presented that experience incorrectly anyway, right?

  15. Sin says:

    Who is going to pay money to see a lesbian film? THAT’s why there are no roles, no one wants to see that. It’s quite simple, little Ellen.

    • Candice says:

      Agreed. Having a Lesbian in a lead role as a Lesbian is only going to cater 1% of our National Demos.

    • Joe says:

      The most ignorant comment I’ve read today….

      • BillUSA says:

        Followed by the icing-on-the-cake comment of yours. Pure genius.

      • Judith says:

        If that comment is so ignorant, put your money up for financing a lesbian film. And then be proud of your zero-percent return.

      • Roscoe says:

        There seems to be a market for lesbian porn at least. The film Wasteland featured the most interesting lesbian sex I’ve seen thus far. I find most other presentations of it boring unfortunately lol.

    • You’d be surprised (apparently), how many “lesbian films” are out. Most of them are independent films, but holy cow I know of many people who have entire DVD libraries. So, no, it’s not quite simple. I do hope you were being sarcastic with your post.

      • Mike says:

        And how much money did those lesbian films make for their financial backers? I’m betting the answer is none.

  16. L says:

    ‘Do you still wear dresses on the red carpet?’???? What kind of ignorant question is that? There are lesbians who still wear dresses even after coming out. Just like there are lesbians who wear suits. Sheesh. Dresses aren’t synonomous with being straight.

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