Halifax native Ellen Page (Hard Candy) scored a hat trick at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival with three films—The Tracey Fragments, Juno and The Stone Angel. She also recently wrapped the romantic comedy Smart People with Sarah Jessica Parker and Dennis Quaid. Flare sat down with the twenty-year-old leading lady at the festival to find out what makes her a standout on and off screen.
F: In Hard Candy and The Tracey Fragments you played psychologically complex women. Do you take your characters home with you at night?
EP: For sure, but I’m not a hard-core method actor—I didn’t ask people to call me Tracey. But, while I’m shooting a film I’m in a little bit of a self-indulgent vortex; I can’t really talk to friends and family.
F: I’ve read that you consider yourself a feminist and that you find a lot of the female roles in film weak and stereotypical. Were you attracted to Tracey because of her strength and depth?
EP: Yes. This character totally branches from stereotype, but at the same time she is a type of girl who definitely exists.
F: Do you think you’re similar to Tracey in any way?
EP: Sure. In junior high and high school, I didn’t dress like everyone else and I listened to different kinds of music. I am not the girl who gets completely decked out at festivals. People think that I am making some sort of statement or that I’m arrogant, but I’m just being me.
F: You’ve called women like Patti Smith, Kate Winslet, Sissy Spacek and Catherine Keener your idols. Why do you admire these women?
EP: I like women who are kind of feisty and not afraid to say what they think.
F: If you weren’t acting, what do you think you would be doing?
EP: Probably studying art history and sociology. I would also like to be an organic farmer and be self-sufficient. And, I would love to direct my own film, but it scares me. I have been trying to work on a script.