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Ellen Page: Straight Actors Who Play LGBT Characters Shouldn’t Be Called ‘Brave

Ellen Page has said it is ‘borderline offensive’ to call straight actors ‘brave’ for taking on gay roles.

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In an interview with TIME Magazine, Page said that when people call straight actors courageous for becoming a gay character for a film or TV show it’s “borderline offensive” to the LGBT community.

Maybe this is a bad thing to say, but I have a hard time when people call actors brave. I don’t really get that, because our job is to read something on a page.”

Page who portrays one-half of a lesbian couple in Freeheld opposite Julianne Moore — explained why such a characterisation is inherently insulting by way of contrast:

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When people are [called] brave in regards to playing LGBTQ people, that’s borderline offensive. I’m never going to be considered brave for playing a straight person, and nor should I be.”

She also discussed the growing level of diversity in entertainment that’s been cropping up lately — and what it could mean for the future of the biz.

It’s evident from what people are watching on television that people want diversity. They want it. Whether they consciously know it or not, I’m not sure, but look at Orange Is the New Black. You’re seeing actors that, if that show didn’t exist, we might not have ever seen — that are extraordinary.”

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This trend makes Page “excited,” she said,

because the whole reason to go to a film is to disappear into another world, and to have your humanity connect with someone else’s, who you might not ever meet in your life!

To be moved and have more compassion, that’s the wonderful thing all art can do, and particularly film!”

For Page, this goes well beyond a celebration of the LGBT community, too.

I want to see gay stories, of course, because I’m gay, and I want to connect to a reflection of my life on film, but I also want to see what it’s like to be a young Native person, African-American, African-Canadian. Hopefully that will keep changing.”

Page recently confronted Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz about his discrimination of LGBTI people in the name of ‘religious freedom,’ and she addressed the debate in the interview.

The tricky thing about religion is you can’t even have a conversation. You just cannot have a conversation. It doesn’t affect me: For me it goes in one ear and out the other. But when you think of young people who are potentially being preached to by said person and their parents believe it, and they happen to be gay or trans or what-have-you, they’re going to have a really, really challenging time.”

Page said she is often told that she will find God and be with a man.

And that’s what’s so sad about it. Getting infused with that amount of shame into your body and into your mind. Potentially getting kicked out of your house. Potentially in a place where you’re homeless and every night of your life is life-or-death. That’s when I have no time for this religious argument. I don’t understand being part of a religion where your religious liberty or your religious freedom is based on other people not being treated equally. I don’t understand that – I really don’t.”

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