Elliot Page Says He "Wasn't Okay" While Filming "Juno"
Elliot Page is looking back on his life pretransition with a newfound clarity. Since becoming one of the world's most visible trans men, he spoke to Esquire about everything he's learned on his journey and revealed what was actually going on behind closed doors amid wildly successful projects like "Juno." Despite what it might have seemed, Page said there was a lot that no one knew.
"When Juno was at the height of its popularity, during awards-season time, I was closeted, dressed in heels and the whole look—I wasn't okay, and I didn't know how to talk about that with anyone," Page shares in the Esquire piece. For him, those were some of his worst days, although he knows how that might sound coming from a celebrity with so much wealth and privilege. "This sounds strange to people, and I get that people don't understand," Page says. "I don't not understand that reaction. But that's mixed with: I wish people would understand that that sh*t literally did almost kill me."
When Page couldn't find a way to communicate how much he was struggling, his gender dysphoria started to manifest in different ways. Page grappled heavily with depression and anxiety. He had panic attacks. He struggled with food. He said when he was shooting a large film like "Inception," he barely left the hotel. "I couldn't function. There were days when I'd only have one meeting, and I'd leave my house to go to the meeting and have to turn around," Page says. "Reading is one of my favorite things to do—I couldn't read, couldn't get through a paragraph."
In the piece, Page remembers the "Juno" premiere, where he asked to wear a suit and was made to wear a dress instead, under the guise of formality. "They had me wear a dress, and . . . that was that. And then all the Juno press, all the photo shoots—Michael Cera was in slacks and sneakers," Page says.
He knows that some people might not realize how critical moments like those were for him, but he hasn't forgotten their impact. "It's easy for people to roll their eyes, but you know what? No. That was really extremely, extremely f*cked up," Page says.
"People, especially teenage girls, really responded to that character, Juno," Page adds. "It related to my queerness and my transness. And then you have that film have the success it had, and the major, major profit, between the film and the soundtrack—and then you f*cking squash that all away," he says.
"I wish I could go back and experience it now," Page says. "As me."