In fact, Page is a lot more complicated than that. Sitting in a Manhattan hotel bar, just off the plane from her native Halifax, Page is slight, girlish and vaguely grungy in her sneakers and layered clothing - that is, until she opens her mouth. What comes out is not so much smart-alecky as self-assured.
Advertisement "I read a really interesting quote today, and I'm going to sound like a jerk because I don't know who said it, and it was, 'When did the future become full of threats instead of full of promise?
Well, hers is full of promise. Her newest film, "Juno," was one of the hottest films on the fall festival circuit. Directed by Jason Reitman, who made "Thank You for Smoking" and is the son of director Ivan Reitman , and written by blogger and former stripper Diablo Cody, it stars Page as the title character, a pregnant teenager who decides to give her child up for adoption to a yuppie couple, played by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner.
While waiting for the baby to arrive, she gets to know more about the couple - and life - than she's ready to handle. Juno doesn't confront this situation completely unarmed, however.
She's got an attitude and a unique, frequently hilarious way of expressing it. As Reitman puts it, "The language is hyperfast and uses all of these pop culture references that are often verbose. However, if spitting out lines were all the role required, any number of actresses could have done it. What makes Page unique, in Reitman's estimation, is her ability to find a beating heart behind the bravado. Though she's not to be confused with Juno, she certainly shares her independent spirit.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Page started acting at an early age, appearing in cuddly dramas on Canadian television. She says that by the age of 12 she had banned her very supportive parents from the set because they made her "uncomfortable.
Rather than capitalize on the notoriety she'd achieved with that film, Page showed her independence again by dropping out of acting for a year to complete high school, enrolling in a Halifax school run by Buddhist monks. The summer after graduation she changed speeds again, appearing as kittenish mutant Kitty Pryde in the big-budget "X-Men: Usually the path of least resistance with young actresses, especially ones who've played provocative roles, is to sexualize them, but Page has so far resisted that.
The next easiest approach is to portray them as extensions of the parts they've played. In Page's case, that makes her a wise guy.
For an actor at any age, that's a huge gift.