The veteran star of stage and screen added that he felt “so disappointed” with himself for not recognising the struggles the then-teenage actor must have been grappling with around their identity when they worked together.
In an interview with Attitude, the 81-year-old spoke of the benefits of being honest about who you are.
“Everything gets better [when you come out because you get self-confidence”, he said.
“So you get better in terms of relationships, friends of all sorts, family, if you’re lucky.”
He added: “And in my case, I think in every case, your acting is bound to change and improve.”
The star of the Lord of the Rings franchise recalled a day on the X-Men set, where he was playing the heinous Magneto and Page was playing hero Kitty Pryde, when Page was speaking so quietly that “nobody could hear what they were saying.”
"I remember Elliot Page, in one of the X-Men, sat as close as we are now.
“And I had to speak when they’d finished, and I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Nobody could hear what they were saying.
“So, I said, 'Look, if you can’t speak up, would you mind when you’re finished speaking, just dropping your hand so I know when you’ve finished speaking?'
"And then they came out [as gay] years later and suddenly you couldn’t stop them talking. You heard everything.
“And now…they’re Elliot. And I’m so happy for Elliot. And so disappointed in myself that I didn’t detect what their difficulty was with communicating.”
The star of Juno and Whip It announced they were transgender in December 2020 on social media.
“I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot,” they wrote.
“I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life. I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey."
He continued, “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community.
"Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society.”
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