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Ellen Page Says Her Role in ‘Freeheld’ Impacted Her Decision to Come Out

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Ellen Page and Julianne Moore recently did an interview with Glamour to discuss their new film Freeheld, which centres on New Jersey police lieutenant Laurel Hester, who while battling lung cancer fought to pass on her pension benefits to her partner, Stacie Andree, and won her case just weeks before her death in 2006.

In the interview, Page says, seven years ago, she was sitting in a hotel room in Detroit with her then girlfriend when she received an email asking whether she was interested in being cast in a movie.

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It contained a link to the trailer for Freeheld, the documentary about a New Jersey detective Laurel Hester, who, while dying of lung cancer, fought until her last breath to pass on her pension benefits to her partner Stacie.

She won her case weeks before her death in 2006.

Page was asked whether she would be interested in playing Stacie in a cinematic version, and after three minutes, said she was ‘in tears’.

I was super closeted at the time. I was moved, so unbelievably moved. I wanted to be involved.”

She then became a producer of Freeheld, and working on the project helped her to come out on Valentine’s Day last year.

I thought, how can I make this film if I’m a closeted person? Keeping that part of myself hidden was affecting my work, my ambition, my relationships. It was a constant burden — it was so toxic. As a gay woman, playing a gay character is a pretty monumental moment.”

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Julianne was also clearly moved by this couple.

These women were forerunners of this year’s case. They were very regular people. Laurel was a detective, and Stacie a mechanic. And for the first time in their lives, they were public about their sexuality in a way that they hadn’t wanted to be. So what they did was major. They really put themselves on the line.”

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Watch the trailer for Freeheld, starring Page and Julianne Moore, below:

For more on Ellen and Julianne, read the rest of their interview in Glamour’s September issue.

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