The Stunning Transformation Of Elliot Page

The world became aware of the acting talents of Elliot Page in a big way in 2007, when the indie comedy-drama Juno came out of nowhere and racked up hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. The film even won an Academy Award for best original screenplay, as well as nominations for best picture, best actress in a leading role, and best director. Clearly there was a little magic on the set of Juno, which charmed its way into the canon of film history.

Although Page had acted in films before, this was the first time he starred in a film that went totally viral. After that, pretty much everyone knew who he was, with his slight build, unique voice, and deeply soulful eyes. Since then, his career has continued on the trajectory of success, taking him all over the world while doing so. But who was he before all the fame? And how has he changed over time? Read on to get all of the deets about the stunning transformation of Elliot Page.

Growing up in Nova Scotia

You may be surprised to learn that Elliot Page wasn't born and raised in the States. Indeed he wasn't, because Page hails from our neighbor to the north — that's right, he's Canadian! The child of a French teacher and a graphic designer, Page grew up in Halifax, in the maritime province of Nova Scotia, not too far from Maine. Halifax is fairly remote, so Page enjoyed a relatively independent childhood, playing soccer, riding his bike, and swimming in a lake. "You're just surrounded by so much beauty and stillness," he said of his hometown, according to The Guardian. That sounds super idyllic!

Born in 1987, Page's parents divorced when he was very young, so he shuffled back and forth between their houses for two weeks at a time. Additionally, his mother had family in Toronto, so Page got to see the big city when he went to visit them. On one trip, he saw the musical The Phantom of the Opera, and fell in love with it. He asked his mother what school he would need to attend in order to play Christine, to which she told him that he'd have to go to college. Thus the acting bug was planted.

He was working by the age of 10

Elliot Page didn't wait for university to start acting. Instead, he joined his school's drama club, and was one day selected by a casting director to appear in Pit Pony in 1997, first a TV movie and later a series. "It's just mind-boggling, what I do now. I sometimes think, what if I was sick that day the casting guy came into school?" he wondered in an interview with The Guardian. Clearly that little bit of luck went a long way.

After that, he was off and running, appearing in more Canadian films and television shows, and even a European movie. And because his parents were both in the workforce full-time, Page learned how to be an independent child. He wasn't supposed to be unaccompanied on set, so whoever could fill the role of guardian would. "We'd finagle it so, say, the horse-wrangler's daughter was my chaperone," he continued.

When he turned 16, Page moved to Toronto to pursue acting in the big city. But soon after, he had to move to Southern California for his first American film. He was on his way up!  

Breaking out in Hard Candy

If you're not familiar with the plot of the 2005 film Hard Candy, prepare yourself because it's super serious: it's about a young girl who kidnaps a man she believes to be a pedophile, and tortures him. Elliot Page played the starring role in the film at the tender age of 16, with the blessing of his parents. "Yeah, Hard Candy was intense. My dad came with me to do that," he shared in an interview with The Guardian. "But they were always cool with the subject matter, they trusted me." He really must have known that acting was his destiny, and it must have showed.

The movie is not for sensitive viewers, as some of the content is rather graphic. "I remember getting ready for those scenes, I was 16, and I was almost separate from myself: shocked by it, and curious, and excited," he continued. "It was a very exhilarating feeling, and very addictive." Page was nominated for a slew of awards for the film, and took home a win from the Austin Film Critics Association for Best Actress. But what came next was way bigger.

Stealing hearts in Juno

Within moments of reading the script of the 2007 film Juno, Elliot Page knew he wanted to cinch the eponymous role. "When I read the script it just blew my mind and I fell totally in love with it and I just really wanted to be a part of it," he recalled in an interview with Collider. It was a match made in heaven from the start, clearly.

Juno was appealing to Page for a variety of reasons, mainly, though, because of the character's realness. "I was excited about this character because I felt like it was a teenage female lead that we've just never seen before," he continued. "Although she was incredibly unique and witty and all of these things, she was also very genuine and it all felt just very sincere." No wonder Page was the perfect person for the part.

Juno was a massive box office success, catapulting Page directly into the spotlight.

Stepping out of the limelight... for a moment

Elliot Page's first project after Juno was Whip It in 2009, a movie about a teenager in Texas who finds solace in a roller derby league, directed by Drew Barrymore. But after that, Page needed a little bit of space, so he left the hustle and bustle and headed to Oregon where he spent a month at an eco-village. There he spent his time studying permaculture, safely tucked away from the bright lights of Hollywood. "We created giant composts," he shared in an interview with The Guardian. "We'd pee in a bucket with hay in it, then put the pee buckets on the compost." Sounds hella rustic.

Although Page started his month there among total strangers, he felt very bonded to the people there when he left. "When I left and everyone in the class was holding hands in a circle, I was fully sobbing," he continued. "One of those kinds of cries where you're just... I would not have anticipated that's what my response would have been." So he found what he had been looking for when he arrived.

Page also met his now-BFF Ian Daniel there, whom he describes as his "soul twin." Awwww!

Living the dream in Inception

Newly healed from his time away, Elliot Page jumped right back into acting with a bang. This time, it was for a truly major film, alongside acting heavyweight Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2010 film Inception. "I was looking around, and the idea of this film came up and I was absolutely excited to learn more," he recalled in an interview with Time magazine. "So I went into an office at Warner Bros. to read the script, and it was just one of those moments where you are absolutely floored." We can totally see why, given how imaginative the movie was.

Page had nothing but good things to say about working with DiCaprio, whom he had long admired, as well as the director, Chris Nolan. "I'm just constantly blown away by all his films," he continued. "Despite the visual magnitude, and all the incredible action, there's this incredibly sincere base and this honesty that everything is centered around." That had to be an amazing experience.

Returning to the X-[Wo]Men set

After a busy year on set in 2011 and 2012, Elliot Page returned to the set of X-Men in 2013 to reprise the role of Kitty Pryde in X-Men: Days of Future Past. And despite the fact that the character is beloved by comic fans everywhere, Page was not familiar with her when he took the role the first time around, back in 2006 — when he was just 18. "I'm going to be perfectly honest," he confessed in an interview with Collider. "I was never really into comic books as a kid. So when the first X-Men popped up it was awesome because that was the first time I read about Kitty Pryde, and thought she was awesome." No doubt he's super familiar with the character now.

Page was surprised to learn that they wanted him to appear in the film, as it was not on his radar. "I didn't expect to play Kitty Pryde again, so when that came up... it was just awesome," he continued. "I feel so grateful to be back." We can imagine, given what a star-studded affair the film was.

He came out in a big way

In 2014, Elliot Page did an incredibly brave thing: He came out as a lesbian in an absolutely riveting speech at the Human Rights Campaign. In it, he called out the toxic culture that marginalizes LGBTQ+ people, and implored everyone to do better and to be better. Then he took a breath, and spoke his truth to the room. "And I am here today because I am gay," he announced, as the crowd cheered and rose to its feet. "And because maybe I can make a difference." Someone is definitely cutting onions in here.

After the speech, Page appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about what the experience was like — which he said was the most nerve-wracking thing he'd ever done. "I was just so ready to do it, and quite frankly so excited to do it, so it was a combination of just such thrill to finally be at that place in my life where I was able to do that," he revealed in the interview. He also told host Ellen DeGeneres how grateful he was for her and everything she's done for LGBTQ+ people.

Going on a Gaycation

On heels of coming out to the world, Elliot Page next embarked on a project with Ian Daniel that took the both of them around the world. The pair starred in the documentary series Gaycation for Viceland in 2016 and 2017, with the goal of shedding light on the experience of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. "We wanted to give a voice to those who don't always get to share their perspective or what they're going through," Page explained in an interview with The Daily Beast. "I think a lot of people just don't understand the difficulties a lot of people face in the community — including in America still, despite all the incredible progress." That's a bold and noble mission. 

The duo met all kinds of people in all kinds of places, from a young boy coming out to his mother in Japan, to a cop who is also sometimes a contracted hitman who targets gay people in Brazil — the latter of which got Page thinking not about himself, but others. "For the most part you're thinking not about yourself, but those who are living in that community who are potentially at risk of that happening every day," he continued. What a crazy experience.

He made a brave and sobering #metoo post

When the #MeToo movement kicked into high gear in 2017, people everywhere were sharing their stories about sexual abuse and harassment — and finally being widely believed. Elliot Page was one of those voices, as he took to Facebook to discuss the harassment he endured in Hollywood from men. It ranged from directors saying terrible things to him to grips sexually assaulting him, all before he was even 18 years old. "I want to see these men have to face what they have done," he wrote in the post, referring to all of the abusers in Hollywood. "I want them to not have power anymore." Amen!

He also, in true Page fashion, called on everyone to be accountable for their actions and to pledge to do better. "What I want the most, is for this to result in healing for the victims. For Hollywood to wake up and start taking some responsibility for how we all have played a role in this," he continued. "I want us to reflect on this endemic issue and how this power dynamic of abuse leads to an enormous amount of suffering." Those are some seriously wise words.

Marrying the woman of his dreams

The year 2018 brought some serious sweetness into Elliot Page's life, as he married Emma Portner, which he announced in a post on his Instagram page. "Can't believe I get to call this extraordinary woman my wife," he wrote in the caption. Congrats, you two lovebirds!

Page is clearly smitten by Portner, a dancer from Canada, as he posts cute selfies of the two of them on the reg. But Portner is also super in love with Page, and isn't the least bit shy about the fact that they're super attached. "[He] and I have an indefatigable connection and this undying desire to be near each other," Portner confessed in an interview with Them. "[Elliot] is the best, and I still cry every time we part ways for work. I probably will forever, and I'm okay with that." That is so unbelievably wholesome and sweet, and we are 100 percent here for all of it!

What would he tell his younger self?

Elliot Page has been totally candid about the difficulties of working in the entertainment business on more than one occasion. "I mean, I've worked in this industry for a while, you know, I grew up in Canada, I started working at 10... and in terms of the level of misogyny and homophobia I've dealt with it's been really unfortunate," he explained in a 2019 interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. That is indeed unfortunate, and it's heartening that things are starting to change since the era of #MeToo.

To that end, when Colbert asked him what advice or words of wisdom he would give to his younger self, he had a powerful answer. Page said he'd embrace him in a hug and tell him that he's "not alone" and can "reach out to people," noting, "That behavior is not okay." If there's a more succinct way to sum it up, we're not aware of it. Keep speaking truth to power, Elliot!

Entering the Umbrella Academy

In February 2019, Netflix dropped a new series on its site called The Umbrella Academy, adapted from the comics published by Dark Horse. The show has quite the cast, starring big names like Mary J. Blige, Tom Hopper, and Colm Feore, and follows the exploits of a dysfunctional family of siblings with super powers. What a wild ride!

Elliot Page was cast in the part of Vanya Hargreeves, a violin player and the only sibling without super powers, a role he really identifies with. "I was immediately intrigued by Vanya because I immediately related to that feeling of folding in on yourself, struggling with depression and anxiety, barely feeling like you can take up any space in the room and what it took to get out of that, in my experience," he revealed in an interview with Glamour. "I had my own stuff to deal with and I related to Vanya, her pain and I wanted to explore that." That sounds super intense.

His activism remains on fire

Elliot Page is no longer the same young person he was when Juno had everybody talking, as he's truly come into his own as the years have gone by. He's a queer icon, an environmental activist, and a vocal critic of those who are hostile to LGBTQ+ and other marginalized people. This was abundantly clear in his 2019 interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, in which he barely mentioned the reason he was there (The Umbrella Academy). 

Instead, Page took his time on the show to criticize the Trump administration and its policies. "Connect the dots," he implored in the interview. "If you are in a position of power and you hate people, and you want to cause suffering to them — you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering — what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused and they're going to kill themselves, and people are going to be beaten on the street." That just shows that Page's activism is more on fire than ever, and that he will not be stopped. 

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Elliot Page announced he is transgender

In December 2020, Elliot Page came out as transgender in a powerful statement shared on Instagram. Page announced that his pronouns are he/they and that his name is Elliot. Page expressed "overwhelming gratitude" for those who have supported him. "I can't begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self," he wrote, adding that he has "been endlessly inspired" by members of the trans community.

Page vowed "to strive for a more loving and equal society" in the statement, and also wrote about the difficulties that the trans community faces. "To all the trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you," he wrote.

Page, who has long been an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, received a lot of support after his announcement with celebs like Miley Cyrus, Kate Mara, Ruby Rose, and Anna Paquin posting supportive messages in the comments of his Instagram post. Nick Adams, the director of transgender media for GLAAD, also expressed support for Page on the GLAAD website, writing, "He will now be an inspiration to countless trans and non-binary people."