Elliot Page Got Shingles on ‘Inception’ Set and ‘Felt Out of Place’ in a ‘Cast Full of Cis Men’: ‘I Didn’t Understand the Role I Found Myself In’ 

Elliot Page reveals in his new memoir, “Pageboy,” that he developed shingles on the set of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” due to the anxiety that came with feeling out of place among the cast. Page starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the cerebral thriller.

“Shingles popped out of my spine while filming ‘Inception’ when I was 22,” Page writes (via Insider). “Despite everyone being delightful to work with, I felt out of place. In a cast full of cis men, I did not understand the role I found myself in.” 

Page adds, “For the first two weeks of the film I joked I would be recast with Keira Knightley, and rightfully so.”

“Inception” was filmed in the summer of 2009. Page publicly came out as gay during a speech made at a Human Rights Campaign conference in 2014 (“I’m here today because I am gay,” Page told the crowd). He later came out as transgender in December 2020.

Back in April 2021, Page joined Oprah for his first sit-down television interview since coming out as transgender and revealed he suffered an anxiety attack after the Paris premiere of “Inception” due to Hollywood gender pressure.

“There was so much press and so many premieres all around the world and I was wearing dresses and heels to pretty much every single event,” Page said. “I lost it, it was like a cinematic moment. That night, after the premiere at the after-party, I collapsed. That’s something that’s happened frequently in my life, usually corresponding with a panic attack.”

Page continued, “Ultimately, of course, it’s every experience you’ve had since you were a toddler, people saying, ‘The way you’re sitting is not ladylike, you’re walking like a boy. The music you’re listening to as a teenager,’ obviously, the way you dress. Every single aspect of who you are constantly being looked at and put in a box in a very binary system. That’s what it leads to.”

“Pageboy” is now available for purchase.

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