The actor said the showrunner of 'Umbrella Academy' worked with him to have his character's transition mirror his own.
Elliot Page's life has been improving drastically with each passing day since he came out as a transgender man, the actor said during an episode of “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” Page said the support of loved ones has been crucial in his coming out journey and looking past the "hatred and cruelty" from strangers. Page opened up about how comfortable he has felt just living his life and working since transitioning. “It’s improved my life drastically,” said the "Umbrella Academy" star. “I hope, you know, I hope maybe people who do have an issue with me can maybe try and hear that, or embrace that on some level.” Page explained that he was experiencing the joy that he thought was never possible. “What I want to focus on right now and has been so extraordinary is the degree of joy that I feel, the degree of presence that I feel,” he added. “I feel a way that I really never thought possible for a long, long time.”
Page also spoke about the showrunner of "Umbrella Academy" working his transition into the story, with his character Viktor also coming out as a trans man. "Steve Blackman, the showrunner of "Umbrella," who's just incredible and such a wonderful person, seemed really excited about incorporating it into the show," he said. He also revealed that the showrunners also consulted journalist and author Thomas Page McBee—the first trans man to box at New York City’s Madison Square Garden—to help with Viktor’s character arc for the third season of the series. In 2018, McBee released a memoir, “Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man.” Page said, "I feel proud of it and excited for people to see it."
The actor also spoke about the need to connect with one another. "Whether you're trans, non-binary, gender-nonconforming, cis... we all have these expectations and these sort of limits and constraints because of people's obsession with the binary and how we're all supposed to live our lives. So, to me, it'd be so special for us to all be able to connect and talk about how similar we are in all of our journeys," he said.
When asked if the transition has made it easier to go to work, he responded, "It does, yeah. I mean, everything does. And that's obviously a big component and part of my life. And a beautiful thing to experience now because a lot of the time, my life was just trying to move forward. So, getting to embrace the experience as much as I get to now. I think it's made me better in so many facets, as a person, as a friend, and in relationships," he said.
The actor recalled being boxed in and categorized while growing up. He said he wanted to continue playing football on the boy's football team. “I was crying to my mum, ‘Please, one more year, one more year!’” he recalled in his essay in Esquire. But unfortunately, he was not allowed to continue on the team. Page said he knew who he was since he was a toddler. "All trans people are so different, and my story's absolutely just my story. But yes, when I was a little kid, absolutely, 100%, I was a boy," said the 34-year-old actor in an interview with Vanity Fair.
"I was writing fake love letters and signing them 'Jason.' Every little aspect of my life, that is who I was, who I am, and who I knew myself to be," he added. He recalls being constantly dismissed as a child. "I just couldn't understand when I'd be told, 'No, you're not. No, you can't be that when you're older,'" said Page. "You feel it. Now I'm finally getting myself back to feeling like who I am, and it's so beautiful and extraordinary, and there's a grief to it in a way," said Page.
The third season of "The Umbrella Academy" starts streaming on Netflix on June 22.
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