“I don't really want to do the Hollywood thing. I think you ought to try to say something with your movies.” Ellen Page
Academy Award-nominated Canadian actress Ellen Page received prominence in 2007 when she garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of the titular whip-smart young girl facing an unplanned teenage pregnancy in Jason Reitman's comedy-drama film, "Juno." She had previously starred in the films "Marion Bridge" (2002), "Wilby Wonderful" (2004), "Hard Candy" (2005), "Mouth to Mouth" (2005), "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), "An American Crime" (2007), "The Tracey Fragments" (2007), and recently appeared in "The Stone Angel" (2007) and "Smart People" (2008). Next, she will play lead roles in the upcoming films "Whip It," alongside Drew Barrymore, and "Peacock," with Cillian Murphy, Susan Sarandon, Josh Lucas, and Bill Pullman.
On the small screen, Ellen was first noticed while playing Maggie MacLean in the popular Canadian family TV movie "Pit Pony" (1997) and later in its spin-off television series of the same name in 1999. She subsequently appeared in the Canadian TV series "Trailer Park Boys" (2001-2002) and "ReGenesis" (2004). She also starred in the TV movies "Mrs. Ashboro's Cat" (2003) and "Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story" (2003).
“I'm a total shrimp, which makes me look younger. I'll be able to stay in that area longer, which is good, because there's more competition in your 20s.” Ellen Page
“Judging people you don't know for things you don't understand is just really stupid. The thing I like about acting is being able to lose yourself completely in someone else. I'm not that comfortable when I get recognized.” Ellen Page
The Tiny Canadian
Childhood and Family:
“I'm a tomboy from Nova Scotia.” Ellen Page.
In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Ellen Philpotts-Page was born on February 21, 1987, to teacher and graphic designer parents Martha Phillpotts and Dennis Page. After attending three different high schools that include the Halifax Grammar School and Queen Elizabeth High School, she graduated from the Shambhala School in Halifax. She then attended the Neptune Theatre School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and graduated in 2005. She also spent two years in Toronto, Ontario, studying in the Interact Program at Vaughan Road Academy along with close friend and fellow Canadian actor Mark Rendall.
“I come in at night and expect to see some transparent slut at the top of the stairs.” Ellen Page (on her 19th century Halifax home, a former brothel)
Ellen, who received the nickname “The Tiny Canadian” from her roommates in New York City, loves playing the guitar, basketball, soccer, downhill skiing, track and field, cycling, snowboarding, running, and swimming. She is good friends with Olivia Thirlby, who was her co-star in “Juno” (2007). She considers Patti Smith (she even named her dog after her) her role model and Kate Winslet her favorite actress. Her favorite food is sushi.
As of June 2008, Ellen resides in her hometown of Halifax. She recently joined other celebrities in the U.S. Campaign for Burma, calling for an end to the military dictatorship in Burma.
“As a girl, you're supposed to love ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ I mean, who wants to love ‘Sleeping Beauty’ when you can be ‘Aladdin?’” Ellen Page
The Tracey Fragments
“When I was 12, I realized I was very uncomfortable having my parents on set. So I told them that and they understood.” Ellen Page
Performing in a fifth grade production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Ellen Page landed an agent by age 10 and soon snagged her first role as Maggie MacLean in the popular Canadian family television movie “Pit Pony” (1997). She would later go on to star in its spin-off television series of the same name in 1999, which earned her a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actress and a Gemini Award (the Canadian equivalent of an Emmy) nomination for Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series. From 2001 to 2002, Ellen played Treena Lahey, Jim Lahey's (played by John Dunsworth) daughter, on the popular Canadian television series “Trailer Park Boys,” for which she received another Gemini nomination, this time for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series.
Ellen made her feature debut in the Canadian film directed by Wiebke von Carolsfeld and based on a play by Daniel MacIvor, “Marion Bridge” (2002), which was selected the Best Canadian First Feature Film at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. Her performance as Joanie, opposite Molly Parker and Rebecca Jenkins, won her an ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance – Female in 2003.
The Lifetime biographical drama movie about Liz Murray (portrayed by Thora Birch), an inspirational speaker born to loving, but poor, drug-addicted, HIV-infected parents who is best known as having been homeless in her youth and having overcome her hardships to achieve success, “Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story” (2003) marked Ellen's U.S. television debut. That same year, she also co-starred with Michael Ontkean's 14-year-old daughter Natalie in the Canadian family TV movie "Mrs. Ashboro's Cat," which won her a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Childrens' or Youth Program or Series.
The following year, Ellen was cast as Lilith Sandström, the daughter of Chief Scientist and Molecular biologist David Sandström (played by Peter Outerbridge), in the Canadian series “ReGenesis” (2004). Her work in the show won a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series. Also that year, Ellen delivered an award winning performance as Emily Anderson, the teenaged daughter of a single mother (played by Rebecca Jenkins), in Daniel MacIvor's day-in-the-life dark comedy film “Wilby Wonderful" (2004). For her role in the film, Ellen was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
2005 saw Ellen gain substantial attention for her starring role in “Hard Candy,” an independent psychological thriller helmed by first time feature film director David Slade. Portraying a 14-year-old named Hayley Stark, who attempted to expose a 32-year old photographer (played by Patrick Wilson) she suspected of being a pedophile, Ellen received a Best Breakthrough Performance nomination at the Online Film Critics Society Awards, a Best Actress nomination at the Chlotrudis Awards, and a Best Female Newcomer nomination at the Empire Awards.
“It was an intense movie and the response was polarized, which was great because it stuck in people's minds. That film has helped me immensely.” Ellen Page (on “Hard Candy,” 2005)
Ellen subsequently landed the role of Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat in Brett Ratner’s superhero film, “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), with Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, and Famke Janssen. She originally turned down the role until director Brett Ratner personally contacted her and talked her into it. To portray Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, Ellen had to wear hair extensions after shaving her head bald for her role in Alison Murray's dramatic film "Mouth to Mouth" (2005). She became the third actress to play Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, replacing Katie Stuart from “X2” (2003), who replaced Sumela Kay from “X-Men” (2000).
“I don't care if people like my character. I just want them to think about the movie's message.” Ellen Page (on her “Juno” character)
2007 proved to be Ellen's breakthrough year when she earned Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and Academy Award nominations for her performance of a teenager facing an unplanned teenage pregnancy in Jason Reitman's comedy-drama film "Juno." Her brilliant performance in the critically-acclaimed film that also stars Michael Cera, Olivia Thirlby, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman won her numerous awards, including two Teen Choice Awards (for Choice Movie Breakout Female and Choice Movie Actress Comedy), as well as one MTV Movie Award, a COFCA Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and a Gotham Award, among others. She was also nominated for the Best Actress Award at the BAFTA Awards.
On turning 21 during the 2008 Oscar week, Ellen said, "I did celebrate - some running charades [party game], maybe a couple of drinks. I'm not going to lie.”
About what she likes about the film, Ellen explained, “What I like about the film [Juno] is that it tackles an issue that we often treat as this really heavy, dark event and we look at it with a different perspective. She's extremely independent. She finds adoptive parents before she even tells her parents. I just think it's nice to not dwell in darkness.”
She also described her character, explaining “I loved that this girl was mature in some ways and naive in other ways. ‘Juno’ is different from what we normally see in films about teenagers, but at the same time she has a lot in common with most of the people I knew in high school. There are a lot of really intelligent teenage girls and boys who are unique and don't just listen to and dress like Britney Spears, and who don't just want to f*** the hot guy.”
Ellen then took home a Canadian Award for Best Actress from the Atlantic Film Festival and a Best Actress in a Canadian Film Award from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle for her role in Canadian Bruce McDonald's 2007 drama film based on Maureen Medved's novel, "The Tracey Fragments." The film also earned her a Genie Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. During this time, Ellen also portrayed Sylvia Marie Likens, a murder victim who was tortured to death by Indianapolis housewife Gertrude Baniszewski (portrayed by Catherine Keener), in Tommy O'Haver's story-based crime-drama film, “An American Crime,” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Recently, Ellen joined Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Quaid, and Thomas Haden Church in the comedy feature, "Smart People," playing Quaid's lonely, overachieving teenage daughter Vanessa. The film premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was released on April 11, 2008.
Ellen will soon complete her upcoming film projects, "Whip It," a dramatic comedy starring and directed by Drew Barrymore in which Ellen will play an ex-beauty pageant contestant, and "Peacock," a thriller helmed by Michael Lander in which she co-stars with Cillian Murphy, Susan Sarandon, Josh Lucas, and Bill Pullman.
“The quality most important to me, in the films I make, is honesty.” Ellen Page
Vancouver Film Critics Circle (VFCC): Best Actress in a Canadian Film, "The Tracey Fragments," 2008
Teen Choice: Choice Movie Breakout Female, "Juno," 2008
Teen Choice: Choice Movie Actress Comedy, "Juno," 2008
MTV Movie Awards: Best Female Performance, "Juno," 2008
Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Virtuoso Award, 2008
Independent Spirit: Best Female Lead, "Juno," 2008
Central Ohio Film Critics Association: COFCA Award - Best Actress, "Juno," 2008
Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA): Best Performance, Female, "Juno," 2007
Satellite: Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, "Juno," 2007
Phoenix Film Critics Society (PFCS): Breakthrough on Camera, "Juno," 2007
National Board of Review (NBR): Best Breakthrough Performance - Female, "Juno," 2007
Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Sierra Award - Best Actress, "Juno," 2007
Gotham: Breakthrough Award, "Juno," 2007
Chicago Film Critics Association: CFCA Award - Best Actress, "Juno," 2007
Florida Film Critics Circle: FFCC Award - Best Actress, "Juno," 2007
Florida Film Critics Circle: Pauline Kael Breakout Award, "Juno," 2007
Atlantic Film Festival: Canadian Award - Best Actress, "The Tracey Fragments," 2007
Hollywood Film Festival: Hollywood Breakthrough Award - Breakthrough Actress of the Year, 2007
ACTRA: Outstanding Performance - Female, "Marion Bridge," 2003
Atlantic Film Festival: Atlantic Canadian Award - Outstanding Performance by an Actor - Female, "Wilby Wonderful," 2004
Gemini: Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series, "ReGenesis," 2004
Gemini: Best Performance in a Childrens' or Youth Program or Series, "Mrs. Ashboro's Cat," 2004