Ellen Page Says Her Latest Role Inspired Her to Come Out: I Told Myself, 'Dude, Just Tell People You're Gay'

in Movies

For Ellen Page, her latest project is also her most personal. 

Playing one-half of a lesbian couple whose fight for domestic partner benefits made national headlines, Page has been attached to Freeheld for seven years - and says that in some ways the journey to make the film mirrored her own journey toward coming out last year. 

"I remember thinking, 'Ellen, how in God's name could you make this film and not be out?' " Page tells Out magazine for its October cover story. "What's interesting to me is how long it took to make the movie - for it to finally come together - and how my internal progression toward coming out was naturally in line with it." 

Page, 28, plays Stacie Andree in the film alongside Julianne Moore as Laurel Hester, a New Jersey police officer who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and wants to pass along her pension benefits to Andree. The local board of freeholders blocks the request despite state law allowing it, which prompts LBGT groups to fight for the couple at the meetings and spark headlines nationwide. 

The Canadian-born star attached herself to the project at age 21 - not long after her breakout role in Juno - years before she came out publicly in February of last year. 

"I'm here today because I am gay," Page said at a conference to promote the welfare of LGBT young people as she came out. "And because maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time." 

The desire to help others in the LGBT community is something she reiterates to Out in the new interview - and says the bravery of her character played a role in her decision to come out.