Everyone knows the name Nicolas Cage, right?
It's one of those household few — like Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman and Sandra Bullock, for example — who even your 94-year-old great-grandma would recognize and has probably even seen in a movie or two. Better yet, chances are she could even spout off some errant knowledge about his off-camera life to boot, since some of the dude's private woes have become very public information.
But to hear Nicolas Cage talk, people, we've just got the guy all wrong, and he's ready to "Face/Off" with all the rumors once and for all.
Cage has now detailed the many, many public misgivings about him in a new interview with The Guardian, and as it turns out, we know nothing. NOTHING. Brace for imminent mind-blowage as we break down the five biggest things we've gotten wrong about Nic Cage ... according to Nic Cage.
1. It ain't about the cha-ching cha-ching
Yeah, yeah, everybody knows that Nic C. has a few money issues — as he pegged it, "I was a big believer in real estate, and I got caught up in that bubble that exploded." And while he knows he's totally got a rep for having shelled out gobs of cash on "castles, comic books and cars," he says the reason he's been giving Samuel L. Jackson's filmography a serious run over the past few years is because he's got a good ole' fashioned work ethic ... not because he needs the dough.
"[A] misconception about me is that I just do movies for pay cheques," he said. Instead, he's just too tail-wagging excitable to take breaks in between movie gigs. "It's like if you have a doberman and you don't let the dog work, it's going to get a little… hyperactive. They want to please, they want to work."
2. He's not a celebrity or an actor
Before you go "but, yeah he is," just hear him out. This is an issue of word distinction, class. "I'm actively anti-celebrity. I'm about creative expression," he explained. Also, he's happy to be titled a "performer" rather than an actor because "acting to me implies lying. 'He's the greatest actor in the world' is like saying, 'He's the greatest liar in the world.' To perform, in my opinion, is more about emotion." Consider us schooled.
3. Psst, guys he knew 'The Wicker Man' was absolutely ridic
Our boy Nic has had his fair share of stinkers, but like all that hilarious meme fare centered on him — which he perceives as "affection loaded with irony" — he's in on the joke of the movie that earned a whopping 15% on the Tomatometer. "The issue with 'The Wicker Man' is there's a need by some folks in the media to think that we're not in on the joke. But you don't go around doing the things that character does – in a bear suit – and not know it's absurd. It is absurd."
What's more is Cagey-poo originally wanted to make it even Cagier. "I wanted to play that cop with a handlebar moustache and like a really stiff suit, and the producers wouldn't let me do it. And then you would have known how in on it we were, Neil [LaBute, director] and myself. The fact that that movie has been so lambasted means there's an inner trembling and power to that movie. It has become an electromagnetic movie! And so I love it."
4. He's totes not medicated ... even if maybe he should be
We'll just let you absorb this part, sans any editorial: "I invite the entire spectrum, shall we call it, of feeling. Because that is my greatest resource as a film actor. I need to be able to feel everything, which is why I refuse to go on any kind of medication. Not that I need to! But my point is, I wouldn't even explore that, because it would get in the way of my instrument. Which is my emotional facility to be able to perform." Did you get all that?
5. His characters aren't always Mayor of Crazy Town
If you've seen a Nicolas Cage movie, there's a very good probability it either had a bad accent, him riding/owning/stealing some kinda juiced-up vehicle, or it just outright featured Cage as some batsh** crazy dude. But apparently we've missed something in that analysis because according to him, "There is a misperception, if you will, in critical response or even in Hollywood, that I can only do exaggerated characters," Cage explained. "Or what they would call over-the-top performances. Well, this is completely false."
Sure. In the spirit of his characters not always being completely outta their minds, let's revisit "Nicolas Cage Losing His Sh**," shall we?