ellen page says it's offensive when straight actors are called 'brave' for playing gay

"I’m never going to be considered brave for playing a straight person, and nor should I be," says the actress.

by Nick Levine
28 August 2015, 2:08pm

Ever since she came out as gay last February at the Human Rights Campaign's Time to Thrive conference, Ellen Page has spoken eloquently about a range of matters relating to LGBT equality. In her latest film, Freeheld, which opens in the US on October 2, she and Julianne Moore play real-life gay rights pioneers Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree, who courageously campaigned to have Hester's pension transferred to Andree, her long-term domestic partner, when it emerged that Hester was dying from lung cancer. Yesterday, Page spoke to Time about "the deep sense of peace" she felt while making the film, explaining: "There was something about being out, getting to play a gay character, and getting to play a woman who is so inspiring to me - it was such an amazing experience for me."

She also called out Hollywood for branding heterosexual actors "brave" whenever they play a non-heterosexual character, telling the publication, "When people are [called] brave in regards to playing LGBTQ people, that's borderline offensive. I'm never going to be considered brave for playing a straight person, and nor should I be."

During a wide-ranging interview, Page went on to praise Netflix's Orange Is the New Black for introducing different types of actors to a mainstream audience. "It's evident from what people are watching on television that people want diversity. They want it," Page insisted. "Whether they consciously know it or not, I'm not sure, but look at Orange Is the New Black. You're seeing actors that, if that show didn't exist, we might not have ever seen - that are extraordinary."

"I want to see gay stories, of course, because I'm gay, and I want to connect to a reflection of my life on film," she added. "But I also want to see what it's like to be a young Native person, African-American, African-Canadian. Hopefully that will keep changing." Amen to that.


Text Nick Levine
Photography Matt Jones
Styling Stacey Battat

ellen page