Ellen Page has been under a lot of scrutiny since she came out as a gay woman on February 14 — if you haven't watched her emotional speech, do so now. In an intimate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the X-Men: Days of Future Past star says her announcement has transformed her life, for the better.
"I knew I would be happier," she tells the magazine. "But, I wouldn't have anticipated just how f--king happy I am and how every tiny little aspect of my life feels better."
Getting there was a bit of a mission, the Canadian actress says. Picked on for her tomboyish clothing choices and targeted by gossip columnists like Michael Musto, Page initially thought it might be best for her career if she stayed in the closet.
"For so long I just sort of thought, 'You just can't. I love being an actor, it's a huge part of my life, so I'm going to keep that private,'" she reveals. "And, 'Oh, I have to keep it private because my job is about creating an illusion' and kind of all those bullshit excuses. Because I don't see heterosexual actresses going to great lengths to hide their heterosexuality."
Several factors — clandestine relationships with women, her own work in developing a film project in which Julianne Moore plays her lesbian partner — nudged her toward being more open.
"I would talk about being gay, make jokes about it, or go to a meeting and [mention it] — you know, because I'm also producing and starring in a lesbian civil rights movie and I've been working on it for years," she says, estimating that her sexuality was an open secret by the time she came out.
Even so, her speech for the Human Rights Campaign — which she had to read over and over beforehand to get through without crying — caused major ripples for the industry, the LGBT community, and herself. Page recalls returning to the X-Men set the day after her speech. "I can remember sitting behind monitors with Hugh Jackman, and he was like, 'You seem so different already,'" she says. "And I was like, 'I feel different already.'"