'Juno' Star Ellen Page Is In India, Filming A Really Cool Show On The Local LGBTQ Culture

08/05/2016 8:10 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Jonathan Leibson via Getty Images
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Actress Ellen Page attends The Samsung Studio at SXSW 2016 on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Samsung)

Ellen Page, known for appearing in major Hollywood films like Juno, Inception, To Rome With Love and X-Men: Days Of Future Past, is in India shooting something that most local filmmakers refrain from.

Page is filming a show called Gaycation which explores the diverse cultures of sexual minorities around the world. She anchors the show with her close friend, Ian Daniel. The focus of the show is to explore what life is like for the LGBT community in different countries and the duo has so far covered the United States, Japan, Jamaica, and Brazil.

In February 2014, Page came out as gay, saying, "I am tired of lying by omission," and ever since then, she's been championing the cause. In an interview for the Viceland-commissioned show, Page's co-host Daniel had said that "the focus is ... [giving] the platform for these stories that you don't really see represented in mainstream media."

Here's a trailer of the show:

The actress is here for a few more weeks and is likely to cover Mumbai and Delhi, while a trip to Varanasi is also planned, a person familiar with the details told HuffPost India.

"The idea is to get an in-depth insight into the gay culture of India, understand the struggles and the resistance the community faces, the stigmatization as well as the country's homophobia," a source close to the development said.

Page's show is particularly important in the Indian context as a local filmmaker's attempts in doing the same would be thwarted by a conservative censor board. Recently, Hansal Mehta's Aligarh (2015) courted controversy for its depiction of a gay lead character and homosexual relationships. Ironically, the film was banned in Aligarh while the censor board didn't allow its trailer to be run on television by giving it an 'A' rating.

Incidentally, Apurva Asrani, who wrote the script for Aligarh, is one of the guests who'll feature in Gaycation. "Page came over to my place recently and met the family. She's an extremely humble, unassuming person who I had a great time interacting, especially about Aligarh which she absolutely loved. I am also one of the guests on the show that she's shooting."

ellen page

Gaycation has taken Page and Daniel to several countries. Like Japan where they saw a young man come out to his mother on camera and Brazil, where they encountered a man who admits to killing gay people. In Jamaica, they engaged in an intense discussion with the rapper Beenie Man over the use of homophobic lyrics in dancehall music, a report on Advocate.com stated.

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