Nicolas Cage does not like the term actor, says he prefers ‘Thespian’

Veteran of the screen Nicolas-hok is a skilled artist with an Oscar win and dozens of film titles on his carving staff, but he prefers you not to call him an actor. In a new interview with Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, Cage talked at length about his career. While technically doing a lot of acting, Cage explains that he is not a fan of the word because he feels it comes with a negative connotation.

“To me, it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, that’s why he’s a big liar,’ Cage explains. “So with the risk of sounding like a pretentious ass, I like the word ‘thespian’ because thespian means you go into your heart, or you go into your imagination, or your memories or your dreams, and you bring something back to communicate with the audience. ”


In the conversation, Cage also touches on the perception he adopts “exaggerate” role sometimes. This is another case of Cage not taking these kind of specific terms really well, as he does not even quite understand what “over the top” means. As the tespian says, “Well, when they tell me that, I say, ‘You tell me where the top is and I’ll tell you if I’m over it or not.’

“It was my aunt Talia Shire who first told me, ‘Naturalism is a style,'” Cage adds, noting that his unique role choices are all through design. “And I was also a great believer in arts synchronicity, and that what you could do with one art form, you can do and another meaning. You know, in painting, for example, you can become abstract, you can become photorealistic, you can become impressionistic, why not try it with film screenings? ”

He goes on to say: “Stanislavski said the worst thing an actor can do is to imitate. Because I was a bit of a rebel, I wanted to break that rule. So I tried with Wild at heart, a Warhol-like approach to the Sailor Ripley character. In movies, like Prisoners of the Ghostland or even Face / off or Vampire’s kiss, I experimented with what I would call Western Kabuki or more Baroque or opera style of film performance. Break free, so to speak, from naturalism and give expression to a greater way of performing. ”

This is not to say there is no room for more subtle characters in Nicolas Cage’s career. Recently he starred in the award-winning drama Pig as a truffle farmer who goes on a journey to save his pet pig, she is kidnapped. Cage refers to director Michael Sarnoski as “Archangel Michael,” excited that the filmmaker saw the potential in Cage performing this role so well (Pig is Cage’s highest rated live action role on Rotten Tomatoes).

“After a few flops, I knew I was marginalized in the studio system; and I would not be invited by them, ”says Cage. “I always knew it would take a young filmmaker to come back or remember a few movies I made and know that I might be ready for his screenplay and rediscover me. And that’s why he’s not just Michael, he’s Archangel Michael. It would not have happened if he had not had the open mind to say: ‘Come with me’. ”

You can catch Pig stream on Hulu.

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