In December, the Juno star announced on social media that he is trans and uses he/they pronouns.
Speaking about promoting the 2010 film Inception around the world, and how wearing feminine clothing was becoming detrimental to his mental health, Page said he was “wearing a dress and heels to pretty much every single event”. He explained that his manager surprised him by offering him a choice of three dresses to wear and he “lost it, it was like a cinematic moment”.
Page said: “That night, after the premiere at the after-party, I collapsed. That’s something that’s happened frequently in my life, usually corresponding with a panic attack.
“Ultimately, it’s every experience you’ve had since you were a toddler, people saying, ‘The way you’re sitting is not ladylike, you’re walking like a boy…,’ every aspect of who you are being looked at and put in a box in a very binary system. That’s what it leads to.”
When asked about attending the Oscars in 2008 – when he was nominated for his performance in Juno – he tearfully recalled: “That was a pretty intense time. I remember it felt so impossible to communicate with people how unwell I was, because obviously there is so much excitement. The film unexpectedly became a big hit, I became quite known, all these things and I felt I couldn’t express the degree of pain I was in.”
He added: “I could not look at a photo from that red carpet. People might watch this and say, ‘Oh my gosh, this person is crying about the night they went to the Oscars.’ That prevents the ability to allow yourself to not just feel the pain but reflect on the pain, to begin to sit down and bring it all up and finally confront all of that.”
Page said the clothes he was asked to wear as an actor, playing female roles, made him feel “unwell”.
Elsewhere in the interview, Page talked about feeling “incredibly uncomfortable” wearing girls’ bathing suits as a child.
Winfrey’s interview with Page is available on Apple TV+ now.