Cheat Sheet: Nicolas Cage


Nicolas Cage (né Nicolas Kim Coppola)

Date of Birth:

7th January 1964

Place of birth:

Long Beach, CA, USA

Special moves:

Acting, disappointing, being mental

Films include:

Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off, Gone in 60 Seconds, Adaptation., Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Kick-Ass

What you probably already know:

For at least the past decade and a bit, ‘Nicolas Cage’ has basically been shorthand for ‘utterly fucking dreadful cinema, first on the left’. His choice of roles has been so diabolical that we’ve already devoted a blog to picking over his roles since 2000 in the vain hope of finding something worth watching (we found 3 films out of 22, for the record), and even his Fast Times at Ridgemont High buddy Sean Penn took to the papers – as long ago as 1999 – to declare him “no longer an actor”. With recent starring roles in instant classics like Season of the Witch, Drive Angry 3D (which, to be fair, Tash absolutely lapped up) and Ghost Rider – the sequel’s coming next year, don’t you worry – Cage’s stock has never been lower.
But it wasn’t always this way! When he first started out, Nic went for classy low-budget features which earned him critical acclaim – Moonstruck was great (although we are a bit biased towards things with Cher in them), and so was the Coen brothers’ Raising Arizona. And then there was Leaving Las Vegas, in which Nic played an alcoholic with an extremely long face (both in the sense that his character was suicidal and that he actually had a really long face – see the above picture). Do you know what happened after Nic Cage made Leaving Las Vegas? He got the Academy Award for Best Actor, that’s what. He was semi-officially the BEST ACTOR IN THE COSMOS (1995), for God’s sake! Whatever happened?

What you might not know:

In late 2006, Cage told a reporter that he planned to curtail his acting endeavours in favour of other interests (he’s currently working on his 15th and 16th films since making that statement, whilst #13 Trespass came out on Friday and #14 Justice is due on our screens at the end of this week). Perhaps Nic really would love to step out of the limelight, but there’s a reason he has to keep on working – and it’s not his adoring public, but his spectacular financial issues. Despite being one of Hollywood’s highest-earning actors, Cage just can’t seem to put anything aside for a rainy day; in the past six years or so he has bought and sold (usually in a tax-bill-induced panic) at least ten properties, which included two castles and an island. Standard. In 2007 alone, Nic splashed out on 22 cars (including 9 Rolls Royces), a twelve bedroom manor in Rhode Island, Midford Castle in Somerset and a dinosaur skull which cost him nearly $300,000 following a bidding war with Leo DiCaprio. Is it any wonder he turns to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the like to pay the bills?
Sorry, none of that was even funny – it’s just genuinely baffling that Nic’s in such a mess. Incidentally, did we mention that he’s Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew? We still can’t get our heads around that. How about that he named his youngest son Kal-El, which is Superman’s Kryptonian birth name? True say. Or – this is pretty much the best thing we’ve ever read – we might have forgotten to bring up the time he went totally psycho outside a Romanian nightclub and threatened to batter an inoffensive couple for, apparently, the crime of not being Nicolas Cage. Our two favourite lines were: “Get in that car and walk away. I’ll fucking die because of honour. I’ll fucking die right now,” which prompts all sorts of questions, and the spectacularly nonsensical “See my eyes – respect them as you’d respect me.” Surely they could just have respected all of you, Nic? In conclusion: once-talented actor a) sold out, b) spent all his money on dinosaurs and c) ended up roaring at Romanians and being arrested for domestic abuse. Classy.

Nicolas Cage quote:

What to say at a dinner party:

“Let’s be fair, guys, Nic was pretty good in Kick-Ass.”

What not to say at a dinner party:

“Well, you say that, but perhaps we just assumed he was good because he was allowed in the same shot as Chloe Grace Moretz. Who is 14. And has already made more good films than Nic Cage.”

Final thought:

As if you didn’t already think he was fucking bats, we have two more snippets for you. Snippet #1: Nicolas Cage believes that he has developed a unique style of acting, which he intends one day to codify in book form. It’s called ‘Nouveau Shamanic’.

…Yep. Snippet #2: Nicolas Cage chooses his diet based on the level of dignity present in the mating behaviour of the animals in question. He eats fish and fowl because they have dignified sex, but pigs are a bit too racy for Vanilla Cage so he won’t chow down on them (pigs are, after all, filthy animals). We promise we’re not making this up.

On a scale of one to mental, how mental is Nic Cage? Let us know below!

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