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Bev Cohn: Ellen Page

Ellen Page at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie Whip It
Ellen Page on the red carpet for the Los Angeles premiere of "Whip It."Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage.Com, Courtesy of The Intersection of Entertainment PR, from Mirror Archives

A Moment With Ellen Page
By Beverly Cohn

orn in Nova Scotia, Halifax, Ellen Page's breakout role was in "Hard Candy," a story about a young woman who entraps a pedophile and the physical and psychological damage she inflicts upon him. Her performance was spellbinding as was her subsequent performance in "Juno" as the conflicted pregnant young lady for which she won the Independent Spirit Award in the Best Female category. She had a major role in "Inception" and currently co-stars in James Gunn's dark comedy "SUPER" as Libby, a sociopath who works in a comic book store. Through her relationship with Rainn Wilson's Frank, who becomes The Crimson Bolt superhero, she transforms herself into a violent superhero named Boltie, and together they try to rid the city streets of offenders. The film also co-stars Liv Tyler as Wilson's drug addict ex-wife, and Kevin Bacon, as a bad guy drug dealer.

The following interview, edited for print purposes, originally appeared in April 1st edition of the Santa Monica Mirror and is being reprinted as a courtesy of that publication.

Ellen Page as the dubious super hero Boltie in the dark comedy SUPER
Ellen Page as Boltie, a dubious super hero.
Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films

The part of Libby/Boltie is different from your other roles. Did it take you out of your comfort zone?

Page: I suppose, but that's why I loved doing it so much and that's why I'm an actor. I just have to forget about me in those moments where I'm feeling insecure or questioning myself. You have to put ego aside and not care about making a total fool of yourself. I actually love losing me and getting rid of this thing. (pointing to her body)

How did you manage those physical action scenes?

Page: I just showed up, drank some green tea, and did my best. After all, that's who Boltie is and you do what you need to do as the character.

What stood out in your collaboration with the director, James Gunn?

Page: The amazing thing about James is that he wrote a great script and created a character for a young woman that I got very excited about. A character like Boltie is few and far between as there aren't that many interesting roles for young women. Working with him was an absolute pleasure and I think what's so great about him is that he's open and collaborative, but he's also really sure of himself and I trusted him totally. I was able to just go for it and knew that he would either tone down my performance or let it go further.

poster for the movie SUPER featuring Ellen Page
Boltie the crime fighter. Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films

You recently made Inception, which was a really high budget film vs. Super, which is a low-budget film. Do you have a preference?

Page: Despite these two films being at the opposite ends of the budget spectrum, they were both totally awesome experiences. Inception took five months to shoot and despite the vastness of the film, Chris Nolan, (director) whom I think is a genius, created a feeling of intimacy and being grounded. He's completely present and there's no ego. All of his stunts and sequences are tangible and you're actually a part of them so you're really flipping upside down in a van or hung upside down by wires in an elevator to create his vision. I love all that stuff. It was a real pleasure to work with him and the rest of the cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The whole experience was an actor's dream.

The same goes for Super but in a totally different way because I enjoy low-budget films that are shot super quick. I'm sure it's much harder when you're the director and have 500 things to take care of. I'm just an actor and I kind of pop in and do my thing. I really enjoy flying by the seat of my pants, and especially for a character like Libby, you kind of have this kinetic energy because you're moving so quickly. I'm actually accustomed to this because I've been working in Canada since I was ten where no one had money for anything.

poster used for SUPER
Boltie on the attack against people who key cars or cut into lines. Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films

Do you see SUPER as pure entertainment or is there a message for the audience?

Page: I think it's definitely a film that will polarize people and a film that is very much open to interpretation in regard to the questions it poses, whether it's ethics or religion or just morality in general. I like films that ask questions and I also think it's a movie where you can just go and have a blast. It's kind of both, which is what makes it interesting.

What was the most challenging scene?

The intimate scene with Rainn Wilson whose character is The Crimson Bolt because it's absolutely unlike anything I've ever done before. I've done quite a few sex scenes for my age and I've also been in scenes that involved rape, but I've always been the victim and it's pretty easy for us to connect to the victim because we all know what fear feels like. But even though it was hard to wrap my head around being this little sexual predator, who could take on a dude who's six feet tall and force a sexual act, ultimately it was enjoyable.

What's your social life like and what do you do for fun? Do you still roller skate?

Page: I still roller skate a lot with my good friend KPCC's Alex Cohen who trained me for "Whip It" and played Axles of Evil in the film. My social life? Wow! I don't have much of a social life and don't go out much. I'm kind of boring. I like to spend a lot of time outside and hike.

Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson in the movie SUPER
Boltie with her superhero, The Crimson Bolt, played by Rainn Wilson.
Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films

Do you think people would find that surprising?

Page: I don't know why they would because I don't get my picture taken very much.

Is that on purpose or an accident?

Page: (Tongue-in-cheek) Oh no. I try really hard to get my picture taken all the time that's why I'm always flashing my nipple. (Laughter) I'm just who I am and I think because of media exposure, people think that actors are something they're not. I'm just a dork who's pretty boring.

You're anything but boring on screen and it's always a pleasure to see you perform.


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Let Bev know what you think about her traveling adventure.

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Thanks so much for those lovely tourism photos, especially of Ireland. I certainly enjoyed all the places you suggested, and am working towards my next vacation. Don’t forget Cuba. That’s an exciting place.

Rosalie, Los Angeles

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Enjoyed your article on Mira Sorvino. Such an interesting background – family, education, career and now human rights activist. I'm not a gossip mag fan so getting more meaty news about movie celebrities from you gives me hope that there are some inteligent life forms in Hollywood.

Peter Paul, Pasadena, CA

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Thank you, Bev. This reminded me to go see the movie, "An Education," which I had already almost forgotten about, having seen the preview a few weeks ago. I enjoy this actress quite a bit--she has a uniqueness about her and she pulls me in. I enjoyed this.

Sandeee, Seattle, WA

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Thank you Beverly,I really enjoyed reading about your intimate conversation with Forest, of whom I am a great admirer. I look forward to seeing the film "Our Family Wedding."

Yoka, Westlake Village, CA

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Thank you for the sending me the beautiful article you wrote about Ireland. We will use your recomendations for hotels in the Southern part. We plan to also go to Dublin and some other Northern cities so I will get some recommendations for these from others. After reading your article, I am getting more excited about going. I think we will be in Ireland for 8 days altogether.

Leah Mendelsohn, Santa Monica, CA

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Very much enjoyed Ms. Cohn's article about Munich, especially the visuals. Though it has been 25 years since my last visit, the piece brought back countless pleasant memories of the city and the people!! Many thanks.

Lawrence, Los Angeles

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Marianplatz and that general area is truly one of the best Christmas celebrations in the world. Between that and Oktoberfest (which I can only imagine) Munich is one of the greatest cities in the world for major annual events.

Christopher Dale, New York, NY

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Hi Bev, you have done some wonderful pieces on some great celebs...Great work. The travel articles are just wonderful too.

Scott Mueller, Huntington Beach, CA

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Your great Zurich article makes me want to go there for the holidays! I love the photos, too, especially the ones of you in the sleigh, the view over the houses and the zoo!

Anna Marie, Santa Monica, CA

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Lovely article! As a European, and having been to Zurich (albeit in summer) I can vouch for this lovely city. Great pictures, too!

Helene Robins, Santa Monica, CA

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Hi Bev,

Nice review, nice seeing you, nice website interface "...Talk to Bev" - Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Richard D. Kaye, Marina del Rey, CA

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Hi Bev,

Your interview with John Cusack is very interesting. I always wondered why these actors/actresses always get top billing when really, if you think about it, the real work come from the animators, writers and tech whizzes who spend far more hours on the movie than those actors. I know, I know, it's the all about marketing. The names of these actors are what bring in the big bucks. Still, I think these actors are way overpaid for the "little" that they do.

I remember that once upon a time, the early animation classics never mentioned the voices behind the characters. I think it was only later when Walt Disney tapped into the voices of known celebrities like Walter Matthau in the Jungle Book or Zsa Zsa Gabor in The Rescuers that the voices became a marketing magnet.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy your interviews as you peer into the lives of the Hollywood celebrities.

Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA



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