Ellen Page: It's 'Offensive' To Call Actors Who Play Gay Characters 'Brave'
Ellen Page says we should stop overpraising her fellow actors who play gay characters."Maybe this is a bad thing to say, but I have a hard time when people call actors brave," the actress told TIME. "I don't really get that, because our job is to read something on a page."
She went on to add, "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."
Page came out as a lesbian in 2014 during a speech at a Human Rights Campaign event, and made headlines last week when she confronted Texas senator and Republican Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz over LGBTQ issues.
The rest of the TIME interview is a great read, where Page discusses how coming out took an enormous weight off her shoulders. "I didn't feel motivated," she admits about the time she spent in the closet. "I was just depressed."
"The moment I came out, I felt every cell in my body transform. I was happier than I ever could have imagined. You feel excited about life, and motivated and inspired."
Page also talks about her upcoming role in the film Freeheld, where she plays the girlfriend of a real-life woman (played by Julianne Moore) who fought to give her pension benefits to her partner. For Page, playing a lesbian character was a breath of fresh air. "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."
And while the actress said she'd love to play more gay characters, she also called on the entertainment industry to bring more diversity to our screens, big and small. "It's evident from what people are watching on television that people want diversity," she said. "They want it." Studies back this up.
"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. 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."