Ellen Page Opens Up About Coming Out For 'Freeheld': 'Dude, Just Tell People You're Gay'

Playing an IRL activist gave the actress the courage to go public.

Last year, Ellen Page wowed us with her moving, heartfelt coming-out speech at the Time to THRIVE conference.

Now, she's opened up about the movie that inspired that moment -- and a role that she couldn't occupy fully from inside the closet.

In an interview with OUT magazine, Page spoke candidly about her new movie, "Freeheld," which tells the true story of Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree, a lesbian couple who were denied the right to share pension benefits after Hester was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

"I remember thinking, 'Ellen, how in God’s name could you make this film and not be out?'" Page said.

It was her character's bravery, and a desire to do her story justice, that made Page determined to go public sooner rather than later about her orientation.

"Stacie and Laurel’s story is incredibly inspiring and did take a lot of courage, particularly in a time of such unimaginable difficulty," she said. "It really did make me go, 'Dude, just tell people you’re gay. Just get over yourself, honestly, and support those who are not as privileged.' It’s like, 'You have f---ing privilege, so do something with it.'"

Page also admitted that playing the role of Stacie Andree, who had to fight for equality while also coping with the terrible grief of losing her partner, resonated in challenging ways with her own struggles with her sexual identity.

"Recreating a sort of closeted relationship in a film caused some stuff to surface, for sure. And then there’s [the matter] of speaking up or potentially owning an identity that I think does require a responsibility of trying to help move things forward," Page said. "For Stacie, it was more complicated, because her being fully involved in that activism meant accepting that the love of her life was going to die, and that was a lot of the complication for her. I could not imagine something worse."

"Freeheld," starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, will be in theaters October 2.