Monday Face/Off – Nicolas Cage

Sarah (still has nightmares about Season of the Witch):
Anyone who holds themselves solely responsible for launching Johnny Depp’s career has got to be a bit of a tool. Nic once said of Depp: “I told him ‘I really think you are an actor, that you have that ability’. That was just from playing one game of Monopoly with him. I sent him to my agent and he has gone on to carve out a successful career”. Well Nic, clearly your agent doesn’t like you very much, because why the heck hasn’t he helped you out in the same way? Depp doesn’t have bonkers YouTube videos highlighting just how bad he actually is. Are you aware of the video “Nicolas Cage losing his shit”? It’s really quite something to behold. Watching, you can just tell in his mind that he reckons he’s “acting” (or something to that effect), but in fact the whole thing is a hot mess. He’s just screaming: sometimes in a high voice, sometimes in a low voice, sometimes in John Travolta’s voice. Screaming. In every scene he’s like a nutty estranged Uncle you only see once a year who lives in Romania and wears socks with sandals; and when you do see him, gets caned, gets your name wrong and starts a fight with your parents. Props to him for trying to make a career for himself outside of the Coppola family name, but the apple has fallen very far from the tree.


Megan (quotes Drive Angry at funerals):
*Sigh* Sarah, Sarah, Sarah… Haven’t you heard? Genius and eccentricity go hand in hand… And Nicolas Cage is nothing short of a genius when it comes to acting. So let us excuse those few foibles that make him a little like mad hatter in real life. Can you not see that this man is DEEPLY committed to his art? So much so that he proudly carries it on through to his normal life, entertaining folk wherever he goes. It is this very commitment that has enabled him to create some of our most favorite off-the-wall characters. Remember Face/Off? Not only did he set up the insane but strangely suave Castor Troy but then he went on to bring the desperation and resilience of Sean Archer to vivid life. He MADE that flick what it is today, an absolute action classic, one that we appreciated soooo much we aptly named this particular debate after it! How much more of an influence can this guy be? But it doesn’t end there? What about Roy Waller from Matchstick Men? Can you really tell me that he didn’t truly epitomize the idiosyncrasies of that obsessive-compulsive agoraphobe? Tell me one other actor who could have pulled off that role without resorting to cheap laughs or melodrama. Cage made Roy a person by inhabiting his persona, not just pretending to be someone somewhat like him. He’s an actor with the courage to go all the way, with no fear as to what that might make him look like on the other side. Nicolas Cage, sir, I salute you!


Nic already knows he is floundering, which is sad, but also hilarious. He keeps missing out on roles that would probably CHANGE THE COURSE OF HIS ENTIRE LIFE and stop things like Bangkok Dangerous and Knowing from happening. He was offered Shrek but said no because he is “vain” and “didn’t want to look like an ogre”. Mike Myers didn’t mind this fact and went on to produce five highly successful Shrek films. Cage could have been Superman in Superman Lives. He dyed his hair, sported the super-suit with rippling abs built in and everything; he wore the swishy cape. But it was canned. Poor, poor Nic. He could have been the Man of Steel! He was considered for the part of Scarecrow in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Triumphant which never happened. Can you imagine if it had? It would have been the comeback Cage deserved, but maybe not the one he needed just then.


Frankly, I’m not sure the world really needs FIVE Shrek films in the first place but that is beyond the point. Nicolas Cage at his core is a character actor, not an impersonator or a comedian. He excels and does well in roles where he can express himself. I don’t think his particular style would have translated well in to animation and good on him for not wasting his time trying. As for your other complaints, I agree these would have been amazing parts for Nic to sink his teeth into. But you can’t seriously be hold him accountable for these missed opportunities seeing as these projects never even made it in to production! If they had, he’d have been the shoe in and we’d have stood gaping at the awesome talent that is Nicolas Cage.


Unfortunately for you Megan, and the universe at large, Nicolas IS trying his hand at animation in The Croods. This cannot bode well for the film. His voice, that drawling, deep and nasally voice, is too instantly recognisable for him to cut it as a caveman. Sure, it’ll be a hit because children will scream blue murder until their parents take them to see it – but it won’t add any depth to Cage’s career. Perhaps it will spawn four sequels? Cage talks too much, anyway. For example, say you get him in a room with four other highly successful actors. Any actors, but for argument’s sake let’s say Morgan Freeman, Christoph Waltz, Colin Firth, Peter Saarsgard and, oh I don’t know, Stanley Tucci. All incredible actors with wonderful careers that you want to hear more about, right? Only, Nicolas Cage is there too. And he maybe won’t shut up about how he once snorted baby powder to get into a role. Or something like that. He rambles on and all Freeman, Waltz, Saarsgard, Firth and Tucci can do is listen to this mentalist go on and on about it. Wouldn’t that just be the worst thing ever in the history of worst things ever? Can you imagine if this scenario ACTUALLY HAPPENED? Oh wait. IT DID.


Wow! That’s bad… Ahem… Ok… Where was I again? Right, defending Nicolas Cage!
To be fair, the man does have a point to the ramble and it’s not like he takes over the WHOLE show. He lets Morgan Freeman talk at the beginning as well as Stanley Tucci for sometime. And anyway this is only 2 minutes and 45 seconds of the whole thing, how can we say that others didn’t monopolize time at other points of the roundtable? And what if he did, the man has an opinion and if the others were not making the effort to have their say why shouldn’t he have the floor? I say put up or shut up!


It’s not a case of the others not making an effort to have their say. I’m pretty sure Christoph Waltz – beautiful, talented Christoph Waltz – would have said something profound were he not bowled over by the onslaught of crazy that is Mr Cage. I mean, snorting baby powder? Actually, I heard a rumour you did that on one of your days off, Megan… And of course he let Morgan Freeman talk. He’s Morgan Freeman. When he talks you listen, gosh darn it!


Hey! If I was an actor so committed to my art that I would indulge in a bit of powder snorting to get my head in the game then shouldn’t I get kudos for such a feat? I think I should and so should Nicolas Cage. You wouldn’t see Morgan Freeman stooping to such acts to up his performance.
Regardless, whether you love him or hate him you cannot deny the fact that Nicolas Cage is an interesting entity. I mean how much research have you done just today on him, Sarah? Do you think Morgan Freeman could have captured so much of your attention for so long? I doubt it!


Has Morgan Freeman ever told a reporter that he thinks fish have dignified sex? Case closed.


What’s your verdict – is Nic Cage a genius on the back foot or a madman who has actually probably eaten someone’s foot at some point? Let us know below!


By Sarah Deen and Megan Sirisena

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