“I had this rather bizarre idea of restarting a career under another name. A bit like Andy Kaufman. But I never thought of stopping playing. I love telling stories too much. I can’t do without! I need this.”
Released this Wednesday at the cinema, A talent in solid gold allows to Nicholas Cage to play with his career and with the image he may have with the public. Multiplying roles “crazy” during his career, the star of Flip/Face enjoyed great success in the 1990s before turning into less notable films, even forgettable DTVs. This work “meta” offers him the opportunity, at 58, to take stock, and to put back at the heart of the debate what interests him the most: his passion for cinema.
In number 528 of First (with Oscar Isaac on the cover)he comes back to the fact of playing Nic Cage in a fiction, to certain scenes of his filmo which have become “memes”, on his sources of inspiration or on his best memories of filming. We share below the beginning of this captivating interview to be found in full on newsstands, or on our online store.
Nicolas Cage dreams of working with Chris Nolan, Ari Aster, Robert Eggers and Spike Lee
PREMIERE: How’s Nicolas Cage?
NICHOLAS CAGE: The character on screen? Not terrible. But me, fine. The Nicolas Cage seen by Tom Gormican is a stylized version of myself. Personally, I have no problem with my son and I have always put my family before my job! Besides, when Tom offered me the film, I told him it wouldn’t fit. His Nicolas Cage was too far removed from who I am. But he replied that he needed a narrative structure where the character evolves, grows. This fictional and fantastical dimension, I ended up accepting it…
So everything is going well for the real Nicolas Cage?
I’m going to have a child and I’ve made a few films recently that I don’t have to be ashamed of. Pig, Bad Lieutenant, Joe Where mandy were important moments in my career. Over the past twenty years, the industry has completely changed, and by force of circumstance I have moved on… no, I have returned to films with lower budgets. But from a creative point of view, it’s much more satisfying. I am freer than before. It is there, in indie cinema, that I started and it is a path that suits me better. There’s less pressure than when I was making $120 million movies, which eventually wore me out.
In the film, Nicolas Cage considers quitting acting. Have you thought about it?
At one point, I was more involved in my work for the UN and Amnesty International than in the cinema… But it’s common knowledge: I had problems with money. I had to chain contracts to pay off my debts. After a while, it got overwhelming. I was no longer working for the right reasons and I was fed up. Tired of me, tired of being Nicolas Cage – I even had this somewhat bizarre idea of starting a career again under another name. A bit like Andy Kaufman. But I never thought about quitting playing. I really like telling stories. I can not live without it ! I need this. On a holistic level, it is even crucial. I’m a better man when I play. I need to have a place to express myself, a place where my demons can find a more… constructive expression.
With A talent in solid gold, you play for the first time with your public image and your performance. In recent years, it seems that the first has gradually swallowed up the seconds.
Anyway, it got complicated. You go into a bar with friends, you have a drink, you relax and the next day when you wake up, you find yourself on the internet. Videos of you screaming go viral. And it’s an outburst… It was hard to live with.
Because it maintains a false image of you?
Because it’s just unpleasant. And yes: people think that I have a life of crazy, whereas it is false. I live in Las Vegas, very far from the excesses that people want to lend me
Nicolas Cage explains that he chained the DTV to pay his debts