Nicolas Cage Reveals The Rule He Wanted to ‘Break’ as an Actor

by Jonathan Howard
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When it comes to pushing boundaries and doing things differently, Nicolas Cage might be one of the best in the world of acting.

Cage has never shied away from taking on obscure or bizarre roles. His work as an artist on screen is almost unrivaled. When you start to get into the details, the style of acting, then Cage is the guy to talk to. He knows the history, the subgenres, what is conventional, and what is out of the box.

In a conversation with Variety Nicolas Cage got into the finer details of acting. Since he knows the history and what makes the art of acting, acting, he knows how to push those boundaries. That’s why he’s considered one of the greatest of his generation.

“Stanislavski said the worst thing an actor can do is imitate,” Cage recalled in the interview. “Being a bit of a rebel, I wanted to break that rule. So I tried with ‘Wild at Heat,’ 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.”

It isn’t often that fans get to hear an actor go into detail about their craft like this. In the modern-day, it just isn’t something that you see. However, Cage is fine with sharing his opinions and feelings about his art. Really, it feels like when you get an elite athlete breaking things down and all the intricacies that go into their sport.

For Nicolas Cage, acting is more than acting. There’s more to it than that.

Don’t Call Nicolas Cage An ‘Actor’

As a student of his craft, and really, a master at that, Cage has some feelings about being called an “actor.” While we don’t think twice about it, the film artist would rather be called a “thespian.” Everyone pull out those old humanities notes if you need a refresher on the word.

For Nicolas Cage, “actor,” has connotations of also being a liar. So if he is a great actor, folks think he is also a great liar. For him, his art is more than that. He also knows how snooty it sounds asking to be called a thespian.

“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, y’all. Artist. Student of his craft. Thespian.

Outsider.com