Nicolas Cage Credits ‘Rocky’ Star Aunt With Influencing His Movie Roles

by Liz Holland

Nicolas Cage has led a successful acting career for decades. Appearing in cult classics like the “National Treasure” series, the 57-year-old actor certainly knows his stuff. Cage has portrayed a vast variety of roles, ranging everywhere from action movies to romantic comedies. According to Cage’s IMDB page, he is credited for acting in over 100 projects. The actor already has 3 movies slated for release in 2022! Additionally, Cage has also produced several projects throughout his career and even directed a film in 2002. 

However, the filmmaker doesn’t like being referred to as an actor. In an interview with Variety, he explains why.  “For me it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar,’” Cage says. “So with the risk of sounding like a pretentious asshole, I like the word ‘thespian’ because thespian means you’re going into your heart, or you’re going into your imagination, or your memories or your dreams, and you’re bringing something back to communicate with the audience.” 

Nicolas Cage Says He Won’t Ever Retire

It’s clear the art of being a thespian is important to Cage. In addition to holding the chops it takes to do his job well, he genuinely loves what he does. Cage even says he’ll never retire from acting. “That can’t happen. To do what I do in cinema has been like a guardian angel for me, and I need it,” Cage told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m healthier when I’m working, I need a positive place to express my life experience, and filmmaking has given me that. So I’m never going to retire. Where are we now, 117 movies?”

Nicolas Cage is known for his bold acting choices and the unique approach he takes to his roles. He makes an effort to break away from the form audiences typically see from other actors, which is a very intentional choice. He credits his approach to acting to his Aunt. Cage tells Variety, “It was my aunt Talia Shire who first said to me, ‘Naturalism is a style.’ And I was also a big believer in arts synchronicity, and that what you could do with one art form you could do and another meaning. You know, in painting, for example, you can get abstract, you can get photorealistic, you can get impressionistic, why not try that with film performance?” 

The Actor Enjoys Defying Expectations

He continues, “Stanislavski said the worst thing an actor can do is imitate. Being 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 Ghost Land’ or even ‘Face/Off’ or ‘Vampire’s Kiss,’ I was experimenting with what I would like to call Western Kabuki or more Baroque or operatic style of film performance. Break free from the naturalism, so to speak, and express a larger way of performance.”

Cage’s approach to his art is an undeniable contributor to his long-term success. The Hollywood star has won upwards of 45 awards throughout his career, including an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his work in 1996 film “Leaving Las Vegas.” We can’t wait to see what he does next on the big screen!