Biography

Ellen PageEllen Page was born on February 21st, 1987 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She showed an early interest in drama and was picked for her first major role in the heart-warming TV series “Pit Pony”, when she was only 10 years old. This role in the pilot turned into a 44-episode TV series airing in 1999 with Ellen as regular cast member. Her performance in “Pit Pony” earned her nominations for the ‘Young Artist Award - Best Performance in a TV Drama Series - Leading Young Actress’ and ‘Gemini Award - Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series’. This was the year 2000 and marked the beginning of Ellen’s ascending career. Following this success, Ellen showed up as recurring character in “Trailer Park Boys”. A ‘mockumentary’ style TV series, TPB rewarded Ellen with another nomination for the ‘Geminis’, this time in the category ‘Best Ensemble Cast’.

In 2003 Ellen became a household name in Canada through her work on TV in the following productions: as guest in the series “Rideau Hall”, “Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story”, ”Going for Broke” and “Mrs. Ashboro’s Cat” (for which she received her first Gemini Award for ‘Best Performance in a Childrens’ or Youth Program or Series’). She was also in the following movies that year: “Touch & Go”, “Love That Boy” and “Marion Bridge” (for which she won an ‘Outstanding Performance Award’ at the ‘ACTRAs’ and praise from fellow actors and critics)

The following year, Ellen was seen in the comedies “Wilby Wonderful” and “I Downloaded a Ghost”. IDAG was actually made earlier in 2002, because Ellen is obviously younger than in all the other releases at that time. The young Canadian then took a leading role in the British-German coproduction “Mouth to Mouth”. In 2004, Ellen embodied the popular character ‘Lilith Sandström’ in the first two seasons of the Canadian SciFi TV series “ReGenesis” which ran successfully till 2008.

Looking back at the end of 2005, Ellen’s international breakthrough in 2006 appears inevitable. She took the part of ‘Hayley Stark’ in “Hard Candy”, a thriller/drama narrating the real life-encounter between a 14-year old girl and Jeff, a photographer in his early thirties. We suspect from the opening scene that he might be a pedophile - after repeatedly chatting with Hayley on the internet. At Jeff’s place things evolve in another direction than we initially anticipate.  “Hard Candy” premiered successfully at ‘Sundance Film Festival’ in January 2005. Since then, it’s been accompanied by passionate and controversial discussions due to its real subject. However, her performance as Hayley smoothed Ellen’s way to be seen by a wider audience. The role of X-Men’s ‘Kitty Pryde’ (alias ‘Shadowcat’) was expanded in the 3rd part of the franchise, “X-Men: The Last Stand”. Director Brett Ratner - after seeing “Hard Candy” - suggested Ellen for the part, replacing Canadian actresses Katie Stuart and Sumela Kay, in the now larger role of Kitty.

Leaving behind all the glamorous X-Men premiere galas in May 2006, Ellen got busy with numerous projects in summer of 2006 namely: “The Tracey Fragments”, “An American Crime”, “The Stone Angel” and “Smart People”. In early 2007, she went to Vancouver to film the comedy “Juno”, which would become one of the best movies of the year. After a visit to the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic and some backpacking through Eastern Europe, Ellen started to promote her latest movies at Toronto Film Festival 2007 where she had three movies being screened. She earned a standing ovation from the audience for “Juno” and became a well-loved festival darling. After that she received many awards for her great performance in Jason Reitman’s comedy at several events and was named ‘Breakthrough Actress of the Year’ at the Hollywood Film Festival’s star-studded Hollywood Awards. The girl from Halifax also got a Golden Globe nomination for ‘Best Actress’ in December 2007 while “Juno” got a wider release in the United States.

After an appearance on the widely seen “Late Show with David Letterman” in January 2008, where she got some brownie points, Ellen didn’t win the Golden Globe, but had the chance to win another important award. Beside four other famous actresses, she was up for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” at the 80th Annual Academy Awards and became one of the youngest nominees ever. Although this award went to French actress Marion Cotillard, it was a great experience and honour for the 21 year old actress, who looked shell-shocked and humbled by her Oscar nomination experience. Overall, there's no doubt, the entire event gave her more control and choice over her career.

In the following months, she hosted the popular “Saturday Night Live” show and visited the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to promote her recent movie “Smart People”, which was released in US theatres in April 2008. Furthermore, Ellen signed on to star opposite Cillian Murphy in the psychological thriller “Peacock” and in Drew Barrymore's directorial debut “Whip It”, which were both filmed in summer 2008. Later that year, she was in talks for a new BBC film adaption of the famous British romance novel “Jane Eyre”, written by Charlotte Bronte and a role in an upcoming feature film about the New Jersey Police officer, Laurel Hester, who was known for her fight for equal rights in 2005. However, there were no further details or any confirmation at this point.

After taking a break, she signed on for Christopher Nolan’s thriller “Inception” joined joining fellow actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe and Michael Caine. Production started in July 2009 and attracted a lot of media and public attention all over the globe. After filming wrapped in December, Ellen kept herself busy and only took a few weeks off before shooting James Gunn’s dark super hero comedy “SUPER” in Shreveport, Louisiana in January 2010. It subsequently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Ellen went to “the Eternal City” to be in Woody Allen’s film set in Rome, alongside Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg and Greta Gerwig after doing some promo work for SUPER's US release, appearing on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and celebrating the Los Angeles premiere of the “Vanishing of the Bees” documentary. The Canadian actress first became aware of “Vanishing of the Bees” through some random events on the set of “Inception”. "Vanishing of the Bees" is a fascinating documentary about the mysterious disappearance of bees from beehives all around the world. She decided to join this project because it was important to her and served as narrator for the US version.

It was announced in May 2010 that Ellen is officially set to play Stacie Andree in a full-length feature film based on the Oscar-winning documentary short “Freeheld”. She was also going to costar alongside Diane Keaton in the upcoming Hollywood blogger comedy series “Tilda”. Unfortunately, the pilot never aired on television because HBO passed on the project in February 2011.

In the fall of 2011 she returned to Shreveport to star in “The East”, an eco-thriller featuring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård and Patricia Clarkson, replacing another actress who dropped out because of a scheduling conflict.

In her spare time away from the spotlight, Ellen likes to do a lot of different sports, loves to read, listen to music and enjoys camping with friends or just hanging out with them and having fun. She is also an outspoken environmental activist and has been involved with several green initiatives to stop the global warming and save the planet.

(This biography is Copyright © 2006-2011 by Dominik Keppner and may not be reproduced without prior written consent) / Last Update: 02/08/2012

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