Date of Birth
21 December 1987, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
The Tiny Canadian
5' 1" (1.55 m)
Ellen Philpotts-Page was born on February 21, 1987, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Martha Philpotts, a teacher, and Dennis Page, a graphic designer. Page wanted to start acting at an early age and attended the Neptune Theater School. She began her career at the age of 10 on the award-winning television series Pit Pony (1999), for which she received a Gemini nomination and a Young Artist Awards nomination. Later, Page appeared in Marion Bridge (2002), which won the award for Best Canadian First Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival. She won a Gemini Award for her role of Lilith in the first season of ReGenesis (2004), a one-hour drama for TMN/Movie Central, and for the cable feature, Mrs. Ashboro's Cat (2004), for Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series. In addition, Page appeared in the cult hit TV series Trailer Park Boys (2001).
As the lead in David Slade's Hard Candy (2005), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Page garnered much praise for her tour de force performance as a 14-year-old girl who meets a 30-year-old photographer on the Internet and then looks to expose him as pedophile. Films that followed included the title role of Bruce McDonald's The Tracey Fragments (2007); An American Crime (2007), also starring Catherine Keener; and the third installation of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), where she played Kitty Pryde.
With her breakout role in Jason Reitman's hit comedy Juno (2007), about an offbeat teenager who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, Page received Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG Best Actress nominations, and won the Independent Spirit Award for her performance. She followed up that turn with the lead in Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, the roller-derby comedy-drama Whip It (2009), Christopher Nolan's psychological thriller Inception (2010), the independent film Peacock (2010), and the dark comedy Super (2010), opposite Rainn Wilson and Liv Tyler.
Page co-starred alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, and Greta Gerwig in the Woody Allen ensemble comedy To Rome with Love (2012), and appeared in the thriller The East (2013), a story centered on a contract worker tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group, only to find herself falling for its leader.
Third actress to play Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, replacing Katie Stuart from X2 (2003), who replaced Sumela Kay from X-Men (2000).
Had to wear hair extensions for X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) as she had shaved her head bald for her role in Mouth to Mouth (2005).
Is good friends with her X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) co-star, Ben Foster, and her Whip It (2009) co-star, Alia Shawkat.
After filming the movie Marion Bridge (2002), she realized that acting is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
Considers herself to be a feminist and tries to steer clear of the "stereotypical roles for teenage girls" because she finds them to be "sexist".
She originally turned down the role of Kitty Pryde in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) until director Brett Ratner personally contacted her and talked her into it.
After attending three different high schools, she graduated from the Shambhala School in Halifax.
Is friends with Olivia Thirlby, who was her co-star in Juno (2007).
Got her nickname "the tiny Canadian" from her roommates in New York City.
Considers Patti Smith her role model and Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep her favorite actresses.
Born to Dennis Page, a graphic designer, and Martha Phillpotts, a teacher.
Her favorite movie is The 400 Blows (1959).
Ranked #1 on interview magazines Hollywood faces to watch "future stars of tomorrow" Along with Kellan Rhude.
As of 2010 she is the fourth youngest actress to receive a Best Actress in a Leading Role Academy Award nomination at the age of 20 years and 335 days after receiving a nomination for her performance in Juno (2007). The younger actresses are Keira Knightley, aged 20 years and 311 days, for her role in Pride & Prejudice (2005), Isabelle Adjani, aged 20 years and 235 days, for her role in The Story of Adele H (1975) and Keisha Castle-Hughes, aged 13 years and 309 days, for her role in Whale Rider (2002).
Was ranked #8 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actress list. (2008).
Was ranked #10 on Moviefone's 'The 25 Hottest Actors Under 25' (2008).
Was the first choice for Christine in Drag Me to Hell (2009), but was forced to pass due to scheduling difficulties. That part later went to Alison Lohman.
Was in consideration for the part of Natalie Keener in Up in the Air (2009) but Anna Kendrick, who went on to receive a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
Was originally cast in Jane Eyre (2011) as the title role, but quit the project when production was delayed. Mia Wasikowska was later cast instead.
Was originally cast as Jack in Jack & Diane (2012) but after dropping out of the project Riley Keough was cast instead.
Studied permaculture at an eco-village outside Eugene, Oregon.
She has an older stepbrother and stepsister.
Her hidden talent is juggling.
At ten years old, she was discovered by Halifax actor John Dunsworth while he was her visiting her school during filming the Pit Pony television series, which later she first starred in.
At a Human Rights Campaign event in Las Vegas on Valentine's Day 2014, Ellen announced that she is gay. She had told her parents much earlier at age 19.
Small petite figure
Sardonic drawling voice
Deadpan sense of humor
Often plays intelligent likeable characters
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.
I don't really want to do the Hollywood thing. I think you ought to try to say something with your movies.
I don't care if people like my character. I just want them to think about the movie's message.
When I feel strongly about something, I'm not so quiet.
Judging people you don't know for things you don't understand is just really stupid.
When I was 12, I realized I was very uncomfortable having my parents on set. So I told them that, and they understood.
It's much simpler to be tortured on camera or to be filmed losing your mind. Whereas a script that has characters who are honest, witty and genuine... is often much harder to act.
As a girl, you're supposed to love Sleeping Beauty. I mean, who wants to love Sleeping Beauty when you can be Aladdin?
I'm a tomboy from Nova Scotia.
What I like about the film [Juno (2007)] 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.
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. [on her slight frame]
I come in at night and expect to see some transparent slut at the top of the stairs. [on her 19th century Halifax home, a former brothel]
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 [on Hard Candy (2005)].
The quality most important to me, in the films I make, is honesty.
I loved that this girl was mature in some ways, and naive in other ways. Juno (2007) 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 fuck the hot guy.
For the role in An American Crime (2007), when I played someone who was starved and tortured, I lost a lot of weight, and my body and my mind were drained. After that, people told me, You really need to do a comedy. And I said I am -- I'm playing a 16-year-old who gets pregnant!
You can choose who you want to be the hero [in Hard Candy (2005)], but you'll be second-guessing yourself -- there's just no right answer. Our society is obsessed with finding good and finding evil, but I think we're all capable of anything.
I am a feminist and I am totally pro-choice, but what's funny is when you say that people assume that you are pro-abortion. I don't love abortion but I want women to be able to choose and I don't want white dudes in an office being able to make laws on things like this. I mean what are we going to do - go back to clothes hangers? [in the UK newspaper The Guardian, responding to being asked about the controversy aroused by her role in Juno (2007)]
Usually, I could care less if my friends see my movies or not. In Nova Scotia I like to leave my job behind. So when friends say, 'Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see that one', I don't care. But 'Inception' was different. I was like, "Go see this!"
[on working with Woody Allen on To Rome with Love (2012)] People prepare you for the first meeting and tell you it will be very short. And it is. I think I met him for seven minutes. I've never worked with a director who is as quiet and reserved. And that was weirdly intimidating. Not that I need someone to tell me I'm doing a good job. I don't. But his quietness made me wonder if what I was doing and what he was seeing was working.
I feel fortunate that since I started acting at the age of ten I've had lovely people in my life, who are still in my life, who are older and have been there for me in a way that is supportive, but separate, from the work I do.
[on being approached with the project Freeheld (2015)] It really did align with an internal process I was going through with my own identity, with my own struggles of being closeted. It's lovely to be part of a film that's reflecting upon why we need the Supreme Court ruling [that same-sex marriage is a right] and why we need to continue to strive to equality. It's reflecting a time when that change is happening.