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I love being an actor, it's a huge part of my life, so I'm going to keep that private.' And, ' Oh, I have to keep it private because my job is about creating an illusion' and kind of all those bullshit excuses," she says.

"Because I don't see heterosexual actresses going to great lengths to hide their heterosexuality." Although no single incident led to her decision, she does reference a Dan Savage appearance in July 2013 on the Canadian talk show as having had a profound effect on her.

The next step was to call a meeting with her closest confidante, who also happens to be her main career strategist: manager-slash-bosom buddy Kelly Bush, who, as founder of ID Public Relations, is one of Hollywood's shrewdest image-wranglers.

The topic had been broached before, and each time, the 47-year-old Bush -- herself a lesbian, who raises two daughters with her wife, with whom she's been with for 18 years -- would lead her client down a winding road of what-ifs, and the conversation would end with Page feeling that the moment was not yet right. Page had the experience of two same-sex relationships that she'd painfully had to keep secret: a two-year romance that began shortly after 's premiere and a second, pricklier affair that played out after that.

As Page sees it, coming out has consumed her thoughts for years, but she kept it in check.

"For so long I just sort of thought, ' You just can't.

But for all the peace it brings to Page's personal life, a large question mark still hangs over how the revelation might affect her professional standing.

Not quite accepting her blossoming same-sex attraction, she tried in vain to date boys. I don't get it at all.' " But there wasn't much time for dating in those hungry early days: "I worked and worked and worked. I was like on fire." She left home in 2005 and moved to Toronto to enroll in the Interact program at Vaughan Road Academy -- the same arts school that produced Drake and Alison Pill -- where Michael Alex, her former social sciences teacher, remembers her as being a "humble, curious and intelligent" student.

"Any of my first experiences with guys," she says, "I sort of was like, ' What? Around that time, she was cast as a homeless teen wandering the streets of Europe in .

For all involved in that movie -- Reitman, Page, her co-star Michael Cera and the stripper-turned-screenwriter Diablo Cody -- life never would be the same.

Her chip-off-the-block daughter can't really understand why: "She's cute, she's sporty, she plays soccer, she likes beer," says Page.

"She's just a really cool chick." Page's acting career began when a casting director dropped by her school and spotted a cherubic 10-year-old with soulful brown eyes.


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