Elliot Page revealed that he passed on a movie opportunity after his breakthrough role in Juno so that he wouldn’t have to wear a feminine costume. The Canadian-born star — who was once known as Ellen Page and came out as transgender in 2020 — detailed backing out of a ‘sought-after role’ in a period piece, writing in his new memoir Pageboy that the idea of wearing a dress and a wig made him ‘want to kill myself.’
The role came to the Oscar nominated actor following the 2008 awards season, while he was experiencing gender dysphoria. ‘I would imagine myself in a woman’s costume from the mid-nineteenth century. The dress, the shoes, the hair, flashed before my eyes. It was too much after having put on the mask for awards season,’ Page wrote. ‘I understood that if I were to do it, I would want to kill myself.’
‘After awards season concluded, I was supposed to make a film in England. It was based on a famous book, and I was attached as the main character, a sought-after role,’ Page wrote. ‘It was too much to play a role on-screen when the role I played in my personal life was suffocating me already,’ the actor went on.
‘I pushed myself to dispel the truth for fear of banishment, but I was despondent, trapped in a dismal disguise. An empty, aimless shell.’ Page continued: ‘It wasn’t easy to explain to my reps that I couldn’t take on a role because of clothing. A face would scrunch up and tilt sideways, “But you’re an actor?” Wardrobe fittings for films ripped at my insides, talons gashing my organs.’
‘I cringed at the way people lit up when seeing me in feminine clothing, as if I had accomplished a miraculous feat,’ Page added. Though the actor didn’t reveal the name of the role he passed on, it was reported in 2008 by Variety that he had been cast in an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
The role eventually went to Mia Wasikowska who starred alongside Michael Fassbender, with the film being released in 2011. Elliot has spoken out in the past about how being forced to wear dresses and heels while promoting Juno ‘almost killed him.’
He delved into it further in a recent interview with ABC, explaining, ‘It’s not like someone was forcing clothing on my physical body. But that is what it felt like to dress a certain way and be a certain way.’ ‘I think it especially became complicated as an actor because people would just go, “Well, you’re an actor. Just put on the f**king clothes.” You know?’ he admitted. ‘But needless to say, it was so much more than that.’
‘I used to find it and still find it tricky to talk about. It relates to this, “Your dreams are coming true,” because I felt like complaining at all or feeling bad at all just so profoundly ungrateful.’ Page made a number of other revelations in his new memoir, including his failed attempts to have sex with a man at age 16, as he battled with his sexuality years before coming out as gay.
Page revealed he once dated a classmate called Kenneth and repeatedly attempted to lose his virginity to him – to no avail. Writing in Pageboy he said the pair – who met in grade 10 at Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia – would ‘fool around upstairs’ and engage in ‘dry humping,’ which did not arouse Page. He wrote: ‘Kenneth was sweet, sensitive and cute. A unique face with prominent cheekbones and electric eyes, his hair dark brown and floppy. ‘We’d fool around upstairs. I didn’t really like it but I didn’t mind it either.
‘The kissing, meh. The dry humping, alright. I would pretend to orgasm. Not that Kenneth wasn’t or wouldn’t be fantastic in bed. I am certain he would be a selfless and generous lover.’ Going into further explicit detail, Page said when they tried to have sex, Kenneth was unable to enter him, adding: ‘That whole “wet” thing was not happening.
‘We’d try and then stop, try and then stop, try and then stop, and then we stopped trying. I was lucky it was with someone as lovely as him, it could have ended a different way.’ Elsewhere Page claimed he had sex with Juno co-star Olivia Thirlby ‘all the time’ while they filmed the hit 2007 movie – just days after revealing he had a secret romance with Kate Mara. Page was reportedly paid ‘north of $3M’ to write his 288-page tell-all, which Flatiron Books published on June 6.