In the 2005 movie hard candy, Elliot Page plays a teenage vigilante seeking revenge against a sexual predator. But as revealed in his new memoir Edge, the then 17-year-old actor was the victim of unwanted sexual advances from at least two members of the film’s production team.
Page, now 36, recounts an incident involving a male crew member who took him home.
“His soft voice, his hands on my shoulders, he guided me to the bedroom,” the trans star wrote in the book. “I got stiff. I didn’t know what to do as he stood up and took off his glasses. He laid me on the bed.”
According to Page, the man took off his pants and started performing oral sex on her. “I froze,” writes Page, who came out trans in 2020. “After it was over he tried to stay in bed with me. not go out.”
In a new interview with the GuardianPage discussed the “traumatic” incident and how it affected him throughout his life.
“Besides the conversation about power and the toxicity that comes with it, it’s just being a young person that’s in a space with a lot of adults and in situations where people have taken…I don’t even know the word. I was about to say ‘advantage’ or ‘dreadful advantage’, but that just seems rude,” Page recalled. “I almost don’t have the words because it’s so hard to understand why someone wants to do that.”
In another incident during the production of hard candyPage was grabbed by a female crew member while the duo were house hunting.
“I was standing in the empty living room, in front of the sofa, when I felt her grab me. She pressed her face against mine, a version of the kiss,” he wrote. “This frost that invades me again. The next thing I knew was that I was on the mat, the ground firm on my back. I didn’t say no, I didn’t resist, I just stiffened up.
Page also noted that a director groomed him as a teenager, stroking his thigh under the table during dinner. The director told Page, “You have to take the step, I can’t.”
Looking back, Page says he never discussed the incidents during the production of hard candy with anyone because he had come to consider it the norm in Hollywood.
“I didn’t know how to tell people about it. I thought you were getting over it and moving on,” he told the Guardian. It wasn’t until a little later that he found the ability to “sit down and talk fully about those experiences or acknowledge that they were traumatic and had a significant impact on me.” Later, Page went deeper into the trauma during therapy.
“I would sit in therapy and talk about these things, and my therapist would say to me, ‘This is a plotit’s traumatic,’ and I would say: ‘What? What you are while speaking about?’ I don’t know if it was a self-defense mechanism or just feeling like it’s no big deal,” he explained.