Nicolas Cage is one of Hollywood’s most enigmatic talents. We shine the ‘Fascinating facts’ spotlight on this legend
Ahead of the release of his highly anticipated film ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ (review here) the next profile in our Fascinating Film Facts series looks at Nicolas Cage so with that said, here are 10 fascinating film facts about the enigmatic actor
1. Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola. He is the nephew of legendary Director and Producer Francis Ford Coppola. So why the name changes and what inspired it? Well, he wanted to avoid any accusations of nepotism associated with the Coppola name and carve his own path. He chose ‘Cage’ after the Marvel comic character Luke Cage.
2. Speaking of comics, as evidenced by his ‘Cage’ moniker Nic is a massive comic book fan. He once owned a pristine copy of Action Comics No. 1 the issue in which Superman makes his debut which was stolen and later recovered. It sold for a record $2.161million at auction in 2011.
3. Continuing the comic book theme one of the biggest ‘what ifs?’ in cinema is what the planned Superman film ‘Superman Lives’ directed by Tim Burton and starring Nicolas Cage would have been like. Footage of Cage in full Superman uniform are available online but, unfortunately, the film was scrapped. Nic even named one of his sons ‘Kal-El’ which is Superman’s name on his home planet of Krypton.
4. Nicolas Cage has over a hundred acting credits to his name and has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, both in the Best Actor category, winning in 1996 for his role in Leaving Las Vegas and also being nominated for his role in the film Adaptation.
5. Despite appearing in what some would describe as ‘B’ movies of late Nicolas himself believes that he has done some of his best work in the last 10 years of his career stating that he would put his performances in films such as ‘Pig’, ‘Massive Talent’, ‘Mandy’, ‘Color Out of Space (review)’ and ‘Bad Lieutenant’ over some of his earlier, more celebrated work.
6. Nicolas Cage has been in a number of action films, but did you know that he actually has a black belt in Jiu Jitsu? He trained for years under the Mixed Martial Arts Legend Royce Gracie.
7. He made his directorial debut with the 2002 film ‘Sonny’ starring James Franco as a male prostitute whose mother serves as his pimp. Cage has a small role in the film. It is, as of this recording 20 years later the only film he has directed
What are the other incredible films out in april? find out in ‘Most wanted’ here
8. Fellow actor Ethan Hawke paid tribute to Cage’s eccentric acting style stating in 2013 that he was the “only actor since Marlon Brando that’s actually done anything new with the art” likening his presentation style of acting as something that was popular with the old troubadours
9. He has donated millions to charity over the course of his career, has been honoured with a Humanitarian Award from the United Nations for his works and was appointed as a UN Ambassador for Global Justice both in 2009 and 2013.
10. Which film role does Cage deem to be his most challenging? ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (review)’ is his latest film and Cage describes it as “the most terrifying thing I’ve done in my entire body of work” stating that in the 43 years he has been involved in acting this film is “hands down the scariest thing I’ve ever done”.
So, there you have it, 10 fascinating film facts about Nicolas Cage. Were there any we missed out? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out our review of ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’. I’m Matt Black for We Talk Film and I’ll see you on the next Fascinating Film Facts.