Ellen Page: Playing a lesbian forced me to come out in real life

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Ellen Page has spoken about how she felt compelled to come out, after securing a role as a lesbian character.

The Juno actress came out in an emotional speech to the Human Rights Campaign in February 2014 – within weeks of casting for the drama Freeheld being announced.

The film is based on the true story of New Jersey police officer Laurel Hester – and Hester’s battle while terminally ill to make sure her partner Stacie Andree receives survivor pension benefits, as their relationship wasn’t recognised.

Speaking to Out Magazine, Ellen Page revealed that early in the process, she had to confront her own closeted state.

She said: “I remember thinking, Ellen, how in God’s name could you make this film and not be out?”

“What’s interesting to me is how long it took to make the movie — for it to finally come together — and how my internal progression toward coming out was naturally in line with it.

“Stacie and Laurel’s story is incredibly inspiring and did take a lot of courage, particularly in a time of such unimaginable difficulty.

“It really did make me go, Dude, just tell people you’re gay. Just get over yourself, honestly, and support those who are not as privileged.

“It’s like, You have fucking privilege, so do something with it.”

The actress has since become an ardent campaigner for LGBT rights.

She recently attended a Pride parade in Jamaica – where gay people face prison and risk violence from vigilante mobs.

Page later confronted another bigot – notoriously anti-gay Republican Presidential wannabe Ted Cruz.

Read the full interview in Out Magazine. Freeheld is released on October 2. Watch the full trailer below: