On December 1, 2020, the actor formerly known as Ellen Page re-introduced himself to the world as Elliot Page. Find out who Page is, and how he came to the decision to come out as transgender.
Who Is Elliot Page?
Elliot Page is a Canadian actor and producer known for critically-acclaimed roles in film and television. Page was raised Buddhist but currently identifies as an atheist. Off-screen, the self-described pro-choice feminist invests time in social justice and human rights activism.
What Is Elliot Page Most Known For?
Although he had his first acting role in 1997, Page proved his star power a decade later in the 2007 hit Juno. The coming-of-age film starred Page as the title character, Juno MacGuff—a pregnant 16-year-old who must plan for her and her unborn child’s future.
Roger Ebert gave the film four stars, writing of the actor, “Has there been a better performance this year than [Elliot] Page’s creation of Juno? I don’t think so … Page’s presence and timing are extraordinary.”
Esteemed film critic A.O. Scott of the New York Times described Page as “poised and frighteningly talented.”
The film grossed $231.4 million at the box office against a paltry $6.5-7.5 million budget. It made countless Top Ten lists the year of its release and received four 2008 Academy Award nominations: Best Original Screenplay (won by Juno writer Diablo Cody), Best Picture, and Best Director. The fourth nod was for Page, in the category of Best Actress.
Page has since taken on a variety of projects, from directing an environmental documentary (There’s Something in the Water) to starring in blockbusters (including two X-Men films: The Last Stand and Days of Future Past).
Since 2019, Page has played Vanya Hargreeves in the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy. Based on the comic book series by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, the show follows a team of adopted superhero siblings as they try to stop an impending apocalypse. (Vanya, a cisgender woman, believes she’s the sole sibling without supernatural powers.)
The series has received mostly positive reviews, with Scott Bryan of the BBC writing, “I think it does it really well. The less you think about the plot, the more you enjoy the ride, and the funnier and more interesting it is too.” Apparently, the chemistry on screen is a natural extension of the joy the actors share behind the scenes:
Elliot Page Comes Out As Transgender
On December 1, Page posted a letter on social media to announce that he is transgender. Moving forward, the actor has chosen to be re-christened Elliot Page and go by the pronouns he/they.
“I feel lucky to be writing this,” wrote Page. “To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.”
“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” he continued. “I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society.”
In 2014, Page previously came out as a gay woman. Four years later, he married choreographer, Emma Portner.
In Page’s announcement, he confessed to having a certain level of fear. He used the heartfelt letter as a commitment to people with shared experiences.
“To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better,” he wrote.
Fans and peers immediately came out in support of Page.
“Elliot Page’s words here are so beautiful and so eloquent, and he is reminding me that we can all be brave and joyful, even when things are scary. And this year especially, that reminder is such a GIFT,” wrote Anna Kendrick.
“Elliot rules!” Miley Cyrus added.
Perhaps the most meaningful comment came from Page’s wife. “Trans, queer and non-binary people are a gift to this world,” wrote Portner. “I also ask for patience & privacy but that you join me in the fervent support of trans life every single day. Elliot’s existence is a gift in and of itself. Shine on sweet E. Love you so much.”
In support of the announcement, Netflix moved quickly to update the credits on Page’s previous work. The platform tweeted, “So proud of our superhero! WE LOVE YOU ELLIOT! Can’t wait to see you return in season 3!”
Despite calls for Vanya to be re-cast by a cisgender woman, Page will continue his role in The Umbrella Academy. “Trans actors can and do play both trans and cisgender characters. I’m sure Elliot will continue to be brilliant in Umbrella Academy and many different types of roles in the future,” Nick Adams, director of transgender media at GLAAD, told Variety.
We suspect that whatever role he takes on next, Page will continue to deliver powerful performances.