Ellen Page On Producing Civil Rights Story and Lesbian Drama Freeheld
"There’s this awful bias that women can’t carry films, which is being proven not true."
Have you heard about Freeheld, the lesbian drama starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore? The adaptation of the 2007 documentary Freeheld: The Laurel Hester Story is about lesbian couple Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree after Hester becomes terminally ill and they have to fight to keep pension benefits. Page will be playing Andree and Moore will play Hester. To prepare for the role, Page spent time in Andree and Hester’s New Jersey home. On portraying Andree, Page expressed admiration for the two and the civil rights struggle they faced:
I’m grateful to tell the story, but you wish the movie didn’t exist. They rose to the occasion, while obviously being in unimaginably tragic circumstances.
Page, who is also a producer for the upcoming film, discussed the challenges of financing the film:
It’s always tough trying to finance an independent film, particularly when it’s about two women. There’s this awful bias that women can’t carry films, which is being proven not true. Hopefully that will start to change.
Writer Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) also discussed the responsibilities of representing a real story (take notes STONEWALL).
We worked hard to make it out of real people’s lives without distorting those people. They feel Laurel’s memory has been honored.
Freeheld is directed by Peter Sollet (Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist) and will open with limited release October 2nd. As we celebrate marriage equality and continue fighting for LGBTQ rights, let’s not forget those who struggled and fought for those rights!
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