Elliot Page joined Oprah for his first sit-down television interview since coming out as transgender in December 2020. The emotional interview includes several revelations from Page about how the pressure to fit the expectations of the female gender in Hollywood took its toll on his mental health. During the exhaustive international press tour for Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” Page suffered a panic attack and collapsed at the after party.
“There was so much press and so many premieres all around the world and I was wearing dresses and heels to pretty much every single event,” Page said, noting one bad panic attack occurred in Paris on the “Inception” press tour after his manager offered him three dresses to wear to a screening (via The Independent). “I lost it, it was like a cinematic moment. That night, after the premiere at the after-party, I collapsed. That’s something that’s happened frequently in my life, usually corresponding with a panic attack.”
Page continued, “Ultimately, of course, it’s every experience you’ve had since you were a toddler, people saying, ‘The way you’re sitting is not ladylike, you’re walking like a boy. The music you’re listening to as a teenager,’ obviously, the way you dress. Every single aspect of who you are constantly being looked at and put in a box in a very binary system. That’s what it leads to.”
Speaking about attending the Academy Awards the year he was nominated for his performance in Jason Reitman’s “Juno,” Page said, “That was a pretty intense time. I remember it felt so impossible to communicate with people how unwell I was because obviously there is so much excitement. The film unexpectedly became a big hit, I became quite known, all these things and I felt I couldn’t express just the degree of pain I was in.”
“So the Oscars, for example, I could not look at a photo from that red carpet,” Page said. “People might watch this and say, ‘Oh my gosh, this person is crying about the night they went to the Oscars.’ And I think again that prevents the ability to allow yourself to not just feel the pain but reflect on the pain, to even begin to sit down and bring it all up and finally confront all of that.”
Page is currently a series regular on Netflix’s blockbuster comic book series “The Umbrella Academy.” The show is now in production on its third season.