Actor Elliot Page has opened up about turning down a significant movie role in the past due to the distress it caused him to wear feminine clothing.
Page, who came out as transgender in December 2020 and transitioned from a woman to a man, shared this revelation in his new memoir titled “Pageboy.”
Before his transition, Page had been offered a highly sought-after role based on a famous book and was set to travel to England for the project.
However, the prospect of portraying a feminine character on-screen became overwhelming for him, considering the personal struggles he was already facing.
In his memoir, Page expressed the internal turmoil he experienced, feeling trapped and suffocated by the expectations placed upon him. The prospect of wearing feminine clothing for the role became a source of immense distress, leading him to make the difficult decision to decline the opportunity.
Explaining the challenges he faced in discussing his decision with his representatives, Page wrote, “It wasn’t easy to explain to my reps that I couldn’t take on a role because of clothing.” The wardrobe fittings for films were particularly painful, causing emotional turmoil and internal anguish.
Page also described the discomfort he felt when people praised him for his appearance in feminine clothing, as if it were an achievement. The pressure to conform to societal expectations and the weight of gender norms took a toll on his mental well-being.
Reflecting on a specific instance, Page shared, “I would imagine myself in a woman’s costume from the mid-nineteenth century. The dress, the shoes, the hair, flashed before my eyes. It was too much after having put on the mask for awards season.” The thought of taking on the role became so distressing that Page contemplated self-harm.
Although Page did not mention the specific film in his memoir, it has been reported that in 2008, he had been cast in an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.” The role eventually went to actress Mia Wasikowska.