Elliot Page has discussed how undergoing top surgery was "not only life-changing but lifesaving" in his first interview after coming out as transgender.
Speaking to Time Magazine, the Juno star said undergoing a procedure to have his breasts removed "completely transformed his life" after the "total hell" of puberty.
An emotional Page shed tears throughout the interview, emphasizing that while surgical intervention is not a necessary part of all transgender people's transition, for him, it was "not only life-changing but lifesaving".
The 34-year-old actor said that he had "felt like a boy" since the age of nine, which was when he first cut his hair short.
"I wanted to be a boy," he recalled.
"I would ask my mom if I could be someday."
Not long after the milestone haircut, Page began acting professionally and grew his hair back out for a role in a TV show called Pit Pony.
Page later shaved his head again in his teens for a job playing a young anarchist in a film called Mouth to Mouth, but was soon asked to bring back his long hair for his breakout role in the 2005 thriller Hard Candy. Two years on, a 21-year-old Page starred in Juno, and was suddenly walking red carpets and featuring in magazines.
"I just never recognized myself," Page told Time.
"For a long time, I could not even look at a photo of myself."
Now, the actor says he feels "fully who he is", and is "excited" to take on new acting roles as his authentic self.
"No matter the challenges and difficult moments of this, nothing amounts to getting to feel how I feel now," he said.