(NEW YORK) — When actor Elliot Page came out as transgender in November, many fans, famous and otherwise, spoke up to applaud them.
One of those is Page’s former X-Men: The Last Stand‘s co-star Ian McKellan. The acclaimed actor, who is also out and proud, tells the UK magazine Attitude that he’s “so happy” for Elliot’s decision.
The Lord of the Rings and X-Men series star says, “Everything gets better [after coming out],” explaining those who do often see a boost of confidence. “So you get better in terms of relationships, friends of all sorts, family, if you’re lucky. And in my case, I think in every case, your acting is bound to change and improve.”
McKellen recalled difficulty he had shooting a scene with Page, before they found this confidence. “I remember Elliot Page [was sitting] as close as we are now. And I had to speak when they’d finished, and I couldn’t hear what they were saying,” McKellen said of Page, who played mutant heroine Kitty Pryde.
“So, I said, ‘Look, if you can’t speak up, would you mind when you’re finished speaking, just dropping your hand so I know when you’ve finished speaking?’ And then they came out [as gay] years later and suddenly you couldn’t stop them talking. You heard everything.”
He says, “And now… they’re Elliot. And I’m so happy for Elliot. And so disappointed in myself that I didn’t detect what their difficulty was with communicating.”
Page took to Instagram last month to thank everyone for the support of their announcement. “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” Page wrote in part. “I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community.”
By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.