Ellen Page is the young star of the hot new flick Juno
, a witty story about an unwanted teenage pregnancy. DOLLY pinned down the busy star to ask her about Juno, feminism, fame and being the next big thing.
Juno is such a dark and witty character. Was she hard to play?
I'd never really done anything so comedic I guess. I think there's a fine line, if it's forced it's going to be annoying and contrived, so it was just about making sure there was a proper balance.
Are you anything like Juno?
I think in any role I play that feels well-written and honest, I'm going to be able to relate to them just because we're all made of the same stuff. In some ways Juno is very much like me and in some ways she isn't.
Apart from being very witty, Juno uses some really cool lingo. Is this the way American kids are talking right now?
[Laughs] Some people say 'boss', I feel like I say that. It just means 'the best', like 'this sandwich is boss'.
Are you ready for the fact Juno could be next big thing in '08?
I'm really excited and proud to be in this film because it's devoid of stereotype. I think there's a teenage female lead going out into the world that we've never seen and it gives a totally different perspective about what a young woman should be.
Would you call yourself a feminist?
When I get asked that question I usually reply "Who isn't?" It's not about establishing equality, it's the fact I play roles that I feel are honest and whole and then I get approached by people saying "Wow, you play such strong female roles, such feminist roles". No one would be saying that to me if I was a guy. Like Emile Hersch, no one says "Oh, he plays such strong male roles". The fact that that question still exists shows that we still have a long way to go.
How prepared are you for fame? Do you think about it?
I don't know, it's such a weird thing. I'm an actor because I love to act and I really love the low-key life I have, so it's definitely something I will strive to keep. Hopefully the film does well. It will allow for me to have more control and more choice, and that's a huge gift for any actor.
You already have a huge credit list for someone who's only 20. This must be really intimidating for other young actors out there.
I've had a really irregular path. I fell into it when I was 10. One thing has just lead to another. I didn't have parents who pushed me into it. I've really been able, as I've gotten older, to make my own decisions completely. I just feel really, really lucky.
Speaking of decisions, you had to shave your head for your role in Mouth To Mouth. Talk about bold!
It was definitely interesting to come back with my new shaved head and feel how I was treated. It changed a lot. I could feel my perception by other people was altered. It's a unique thing to experience when you're white, and you've grown up comfortably and what have you, to be immediately judged on appearance. It was something I hadn't experienced before.
What's the most exciting thing you've done so far?
Different things have been different... When I shot Mouth To Mouth I was 16 and shot in Europe, so that was a really incredible time.
You were cast with massive names in X Men, like Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman, was that the first taste of Hollywood for you?
I guess. I'm really, really grateful for that experience. They're all just really wonderful people and it was an honour to be involved with that legacy. I feel pretty lucky. It's helped me immensely.
If you could pick anyone to work with, who would it be?
It's hard, there are so many. I'm a huge fan of Sissy Spacek. Laura Linney, Johnny Depp, I could go on to directors. There are a lot of people who have inspired me.
What do your friends think about what you do?
It's funny, they're just excited for me and they support me. They just treat me like the person that I am. I'm just as excited about what they do whether it's studying to be a writer or holistic nutrition or whatever. I'm just happy to get attention for whatever it is I do.
Finish these sentences:
It sucks when... People have to work two minimum wage jobs just to survive.
I wouldn't pay for... Healthcare.
First CD I ever bought... I remember the first CD that made me fall in love with music, that was Radiohead's Amnesiac. I was in junior high school, year 8 or something.
I'm so over... The world being so unbalanced. I get too heavy!
Juno is in cinemas from 17 January 2008.