NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, September 26, 2015, 2:00 AM
Ellen Page, who is out and proud, stars in new film “Freeheld” alongside Julianne Moore.
Recently out actress Ellen Page knows what it’s like to be in the closet – “It’s sad and it sucks,” she tells [email protected] – but it also gave her unique insights for her new movie, “Freeheld,” opening Friday.
The 28-year-old Canadian plays a New Jersey woman whose partner (played by Julianne Moore) gets cancer and learns that her pension benefits can’t be transferred because the couple isn’t married – which they could not be in 2005. The women fight back and, spoiler alert, win.
“It’s a film about (being told) no because you’re gay,” Page says. “Obviously as a gay woman I connected to the material.”
Page used the film’s debut at the Toronto Film Festival this month as a coming out party for herself and her girlfriend Samantha Thomas, the first time Page brought a significant other to a premiere. The couple reprised its red carpet romance Thursday night at a film festival in Spain.
“I’m a woman who loves women, and that’s a huge part of who I am. (So now) I couldn’t be happier living my life,” says Page. Back when she made her first big splash in “Juno” in 2007, she was secretive about her sexuality – though she knew what it was.
“I remember seeing ‘But I’m a Cheerleader’ when I was 14, and there’s this scene where Natasha Lyonne‘s boyfriend kisses her and everyone around her is ‘Oh, you’re so lucky!’ and she’s like, ‘I don’t get it,'” Page says. “And I remember thinking, ‘Man, that’s how I feel, too. Boys – I don’t get it.'”
But more and more, people are getting Page. Next month, the Human Rights Campaign will give her its top award – and Vice President Biden will deliver the keynote address. Still, the struggle for equality isn’t over.
“There’s still prejudice,” she says. “They’ll say, ‘I don’t mind gay people as long as they don’t flaunt it.’ Oh, so you’re not homophobic as long as we’re not visible?”
PRINCESS KATE ON GLAMOROUS STROLL
Kate Middleton speaks with Benita Refson from the Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPT) during a visit to the women’s HM Prison in Woking, Surrey. Kate also met with prisoners who receive treatment for their addiction from the RAPT charity within a separate unit in th e prison during her first visit to a jail.
WITHERS ROCKS INTO HALL OF FAME
The normally press shy Bill Withers will appear on “CBS This Morning” on Saturday to discuss being inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 class by Stevie Wonder. Withers, who grew up stuttering, talks about overcoming it and how his hit “Ain’t No Sunshine” was intended to be a “throw away song” until disc jockeys discovered it. There is also a tribute to his music scheduled for Carnegie Hall on Oct. 1. The show will benefit the Stuttering Association for the Young.
Red hot Selena Gomez gives us a smile as she leaves Radio1 and heads to Starbucks.
A GRANDE EVENT AWAITS
Barclays Center will debut its brand new Billboard Lounge in time for Saturday night’s Ariana Grande performance. The swank VIP digs will open to invitees at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres being served up until 8:30 p.m., when guests take their seats to watch the first of the “Problem” singers two weekend performances in Brooklyn.
BUCHWALDS ARE GOLDEN!
Super Agent Don Buchwald and Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center chairwoman Maggie Buchwald will celebrate 50 years of marriage Saturday evening. Or as Don likes to joke — 45 years of marital bliss! The big event will take place at a private members club in Midtown and those who were lucky enough to get invites have been instructed not to bring gifts, though we’ve never known Don to turn down a fancy fedora.
ELVIS’ WALK WILL TRUMP CANCER
Elvis Duran and The Z100 morning show, along with the Eric Trump Foundation will be walking across the Brooklyn Bridge for the third year in a row Saturday for the Elvis Trumps Cancer team, and host the New York City St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer. Over the past two years, Duran’s team has raised more than $ 340,000 and had more than 400 team members participate. Gathering in Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn, participant check-in begins at 10 a.m., with the walk starting at 11 a.m. Listeners, fans and supporters will also be treated to a performance by L.A. Reid’s new up and coming band, Lipstick Gypsy.
BIG BLUE WINS BIG
The Blue Man Group – a performance troupe of few words – will perform an autism friendly children’s show on Saturday to support Autism Speaks. The show takes place Saturday at 2 p.m. at Astor Place Theatre in the East Village where $ 64 tickets benefit the battle against autism. This New York performance coincides with Blue Man Group shows happening in Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas and Orlando to support the cause.