Elliot Page Slams Flatliners Set: Racism, Unsafe Stunts, Queerphobia

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Elliot Page writes in his new memoir, “Pageboy,” that filming the 2017 “Flatliners” remake was “a true mess from the very beginning” and a “shit show” due to unsafe stunt work and instances of racism and queerphobia on set (via Entertainment Weekly). Or, as Page puts it: “It went off the rails.”

In an entire chapter devoted to the making of the Niels Arden Oplev-directed thriller, Page alleges he and co-star Kiersey Clemons were put in unsafe working conditions during one stunt scene.

“We were getting ready for a car stunt when Kiersey and I realized that everyone had a built-in thick seat belt, except for us,” Page writes. “No restraints, a basic safety measure of the carefully orchestrated, expensive and elaborate stunt that hadn’t been thought through… We looked to the various stunt crew members strapping the others in, perplexed, questioning why we weren’t being secured for the scene. ‘Why does everyone else have a safety belt but not us?’ we’d inquired.”

Stunt coordinators allegedly told Page the two actors would be “fine” and that it would be “even better if you aren’t strapped in.” Page writes the actors were “flailing” around when the cameras started filming the scene, and they were left “speechless, staring at our shaking hands.” During a second take, a car found its way onto the closed set and forced the stunt car the actors were in to slam on the breaks.

“Luckily, everyone was fine, but I think back to how reckless and dangerous that was,” Page writes. “How Kiersey and I were treated with such flippancy and disrespect. Regardless of a stranger’s car making it onto the closed set of a car chase, what if something just… went wrong?”

Elsewhere during the making of the film, Page alleges that “someone approached Kiersey on set” and told her, “You only have this part because you’re Black, you know.” He also writes that producers wanted his character to dress “more like a girl” and “less queer” by wearing heels and skirts. Page was openly gay during the making of “Flatliners.” He later came out as transgender.

“[The characters] were medical students in residency at an intensive care unit,” Page writes. “There was categorically no rationale for the character to wear heels or a skirt.”

Page eventually got producers to settle on him wearing “fancy blouses, tight jeans and boots with a heel,” but writes that “one of the heads of production” later confronted him about the ordeal.

“‘Are you mad that this character isn’t gay?’ he asked me,” Page writes, saying he responded: “‘Are you asking me this because I did not want to wear a skirt?’ His face remained the same, an annoying grin with a glinting youthfulness in the eyes, but I pressed on. ‘Are you really asking me if I am angry about this character not being gay because I am not wearing a fucking skirt?’ He looked on inscrutably, as if being pleasant means you are not queerphobic. ‘Your view of women is egregiously narrow,’ I said to the man, reminding him lesbians wear skirts, too.”

Variety has reached out to Sony Pictures for comment. “Pageboy” is now available for purchase.



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