Nicolas Cage is an Academy Award winner noted for delivering remarkable, entirely unique performances in a variety of well-known films, including “Face/Off,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” and the fantastically weird “Adaptation.” Cage continues to amaze and find wholly unique ways to approach parts despite having been in the industry for decades. Despite this, he dislikes the title “actor.”
On the latest episode of Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, Cage discusses his career in depth, from growing up in a family of artists (his uncle is Francis Ford Coppola) through his most recent picture, “Pig.” Cage knows that his unique acting choices can sometimes be perceived as broad.
“For me it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar. So with the risk of sounding like a pretentious asshole, I like the word ‘thespian’ because thespian means you’re going into your heart, or you’re going into your imagination, or your memories or your dreams, and you’re bringing something back to communicate with the audience.”
Cage mentions a scene in “Face/Off” in which the barriers between fact and fiction blurred for him. He remembered, “There was a period in there where I believe I genuinely left my body, where I simply got afraid. ‘Am I faking it or is this the genuine deal?’ And I can see it in my eyes when I watch the movie, that one moment.”
Cage explains that his decisions were made on purpose, in order to shatter the form of what spectators are used to seeing. He was also a firm believer in synchronicity in the arts, and that what you could do with one art form could be done with another. He explains that one can get abstract, photorealistic, or impressionistic in painting, so why not do it with cinema performance?
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