Oscar-nominated Ellen Page on her role in the most-talked about film of the year: Juno
Ellen Page turns 21 three days before she discovers if she has been honoured with a Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of a high school student, who grapples with teen pregnancy and everything else life throws your way as a 16-year-old girl. She talks Oscar follies and fake bellies with marieclaire.co.uk
Congratulations on your Oscar nomination. Where were you when you heard the news?
I was in Paris – it was a bit of a crazy day for me. I’m extremely excited but it’s ridiculously humbling to hear your name with women you respect and admire so much. Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie, Laura Linney and Marion Cotillard, it’s hard to wrap my head around. I don’t know if I really have.
Juno director Jason Reitman compared you to Meryl Streep and Audrey Hepburn. How do those kind of accolades make you feel?
It’s very kind of them to say but it’s a little ridiculous to hear names like that when I’m just a young actor with a lot to learn.
Is it true that you had a lot to do with the soundtrack for Juno?
Jason Reitman asked me who I thought my character Juno would listen to and I said the Moldy Peaches. So I played him their music and the next thing I knew he wanted to put the song Anyone Else But You at the end of the film and contact the group’s singer, Kimya Dawson, to do most of the soundtrack. I adore her music.
What made this script stand out for you?
I was so excited that a young, teenage girl had been written this way, like nothing we’d seen before – it’s a film devoid of stereotype. I’m much more like Juno than the young women we’re used to seeing in conventional popular media.
Juno gets pregnant by her high school friend, how did you cope with the prosthetic belly?
I wore a variety of belly sizes and fake breasts too. It helped immensely because your body language totally changes. But, you know, I’m no Daniel Day-Lewis, I took it off at the end of the day!
So after the madness of the Oscars, what’s next for you?
I’m shooting a film called Whippet this summer with Drew Barrymore directing. It’s about a girl who’s forced to be a beauty pageant in Texas but runs away and joins a Roller Derby team.
Juno is released on 8 February.