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Post Info TOPIC: WONDERFUL old Nic interview

Nic Warrior

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Date: 1:01 PM, 09/28/10
WONDERFUL old Nic interview

Interview with Nicolas Cage
By Roxanna Bina


IFQ sits down with Nicolas Cage, as he discusses how being a Coppola helped and hindered his career when he was breaking into Hollywood, how he chooses roles, the tabloids and his current projects.

IFQ: You have such a range as an actor and play an action hero in a big Hollywood film as good as a lone soul in a more intimate drama, how do you do it?

Nicolas Cage: It's really just my job as an actor to keep myself interested, keep myself challenged. Try to stretch myself. I don't consider myself as a master of
the craft [of acting]. I consider myself a student and I always have something to learn. When you look at it that way, there is a 50 percent chance you will make mistakes and you won't succeed, but there is also a 50 percent chance that you will find something new and it's a matter of staying interested. I never want to get trapped in any one type of role. I think I would have been a much bigger "star," if you will, if I had only done a certain type of role that people can count on, but it would be boring and I'd rather take chances in different areas. The other aspect of it is the unknown, it's beyond. I get into a mode where I almost like channeling and trying to find inspiration.

IFQ: Tell me about your relationship with Jerry Bruckheimer ?

NC: I admired different kinds of movies when I was growing up. At 6, I would watch television, and I wish I still had this particular TV because it was my window to the different kinds of movies. I had so many different tastes of movies. I think it's so valuable. Jerry Bruckheimer has a vision which is an honest vision. He is a movie going fan. Also, it's a vision that makes a lot of people happy and I share that vision. I grew up watching James Dean, Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Charles Bronson, Bruce Lee and Clint Eastwood. I guess, I wanted to try different kinds of careers but it wasn't until Jerry Bruckheimer that anyone really saw me in a sort of adventure hero type of light. I had wanted to do that for a while, but it wasn't until The Rock that it happened. One of the reasons that I like working with Jerry Bruckheimer is that he really encourages his actors to explore and come up with ideas. Many of his actors in his movies are independently spirited. I think that is the secret to his success.

IFQ: Do you think aging will change you and the type of roles you choose?

NC: I know it sounds strange, but I like aging. I feel comfortable getting older. Age is a state of mind. As I grow older, the kinds of roles I want to play are increasingly truer and pure to whom I really am. I think that I'm fitting better into my skin as I get older.

IFQ: When did you know you wanted to be an actor and did having the name of Coppola, like Francis Coppola, help you?

NC: I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was 6 years old. I would walk to school and visualize crane shots. I remember that I had a crane shot where I was getting smaller and smaller in the street and the camera is pulling out. These are very visceral memories that made me think I wanted to be in a movie. And that started at a very early age. And the Coppola name was in the way of my freedom, in a way. Yes, it exposed me. I remember I was on the set of The Godfather:Part II in Lake Tahoe and was fascinated by that world, but at the same time I felt watched and judged when I tried to make it in Hollywood with that name. And when I met other actors, they thought I was only there because of my name and that I had no talent. So it was like a pitch-fork in mass telling me I was going to work harder than everybody else to prove that I could do this. Today, I really can say that I don't think people are going to see my film because I'm Francis Coppola's nephew.

IFQ: How do you choose your roles?

NC: It really depends upon what my state of mind is at the time. When I did National Treasure, I had already done Adaptation and Matchstick Men, which the characters forced me to look more into uncomfortable subject matter. That's where I was at that time. When I did National Treasure, I was in a headspace where I really wanted to do something lighter and more playful. I'm not going to say that one is more difficult or easier to play than the other, it's just an equivalent state of mind, but a different polarity.

IFQ: What great role can we expect from you next?

NC: I have a movie coming out called The Weather Man. I don't know how to categorize this one. I guess it's a family drama with a unique lens of Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean 1 and 2, The Ring). I play a weatherman who wears the face of somebody who pretends to be happy, but behind that curtain there is an incredible dysfunction about him. Then after that, I have another film called Lord of War. It's like The Insider meets Scarface, but take away the drugs and cigarettes and replace them with guns. I play a gun dealer, and we follow his rise and you can imagine the political ramifications with that. Also, I may do Ghost Rider, the adaptation of the comic book. As you know, I love comic books and especially this title. I don't know if other people see it the way I see it. I would interpret it as a chance to draw some pop art. Even so they are scouting in Europe, in Austria, for location. Nothing is for sure just yet. So it's getting down to the wire now.

IFQ: How fun or how hard is it to be Nicolas Cage?

NC: Well, I have fun. I play as hard as I work when I get a chance to play. I enjoy my friends and family and plenty of good books to read. I'm trying to develop my interest in different areas. For the most part everybody is being very nice (laughs). You know, it's a good feeling when people say "Hi!" to me.

IFQ: What about the tabloids?

NC: Well, why complain? If you're complaining about your reality, then you've got some work to do on yourself. If I didn't know how to enjoy my life I would be in Hell! This is the direction I chose. Yes, I didn't know there were such things as the "tabloids" because I just wanted to act. The tabloids are part of my life and I despise them, but I guess they are just doing their job too. I have learned how to not take it personally.

IFQ: People think you're eccentric. What do you think?

NC: Well, eccentric is a very polite word for CRAZY! I think that any artist, painter, musician, actor or dancer--they all try to make the work exiting for themselves and for the audience. Sometimes you might be perceived as being crazy in a quest to explore. I don't know if it's a conscious choice or if I'm in fact, definitely, out of my mind, but I think it's channeling the beyond. I am whatever you want me to be. If you want me "eccentric," go for it!

IFQ: You had successes and less successful movies. What would you do if there was a major flop and you had to do something else?

NC: Well, I have been doing this for over 20 years, so I survived a lot of flops! It's interesting because at one point, I used to think that I didn't do my job if I was getting bad reviews because I think it's important to not get stuck in a box. If you're doing what everybody wants you to do, by some definition, you're pleasing everybody and you're giving them what they want and you can't say you're not and that you're a rebel. But if you're doing that, then you're following other people's expectations. Very often if you do something that's challenging, it's going to be met with a great deal of resistance. I think these are the roles and the works to look at, the ones that make you a bit uncomfortable. I think it's nice to make movies that make people happy, too. But I wouldn't want to limit myself based on what people like, and I want to make myself a little bit uncomfortable, and make people feel uncomfortable. Also I like to make myself comfortable and make people feel comfortable. It's just going from different sides.

IFQ: You've worked with a lot of actors, but are there some other actors you'd like to work with?

NC: Well, there are lot of actors and directors I'd love to work with. But my greatest dreams are not possible because Stanley Kubrick and Marlon Brando are dead. I would have loved to work with them. Also, I think Jack Nicholson and I would have a lot of fun together. I wish that would happen at some point. There are plenty of talent and filmmakers out there. Also I would love to work with Alexander Payne.

IFQ: Would you like to work with foreign talent?

NC: Yes, I'd love to work with the Japanese talent behind The Grudge and The Ring. I think that there is so much creativity coming from Japan, in terms of the horror genre. When I looked at The Grudge, I thought it was like Kabuki Theater. It's not relying on gore, but it's almost looking at an old ghost painting coming from Japan, and I found that the usage of sounds and the images are wonderful, and this is something I'd like to do.

IFQ: Do you think turning 40 years old changed you?

NC: I don't think that when I reached 40 I turned different! (laughs) I feel very content right now and more relaxed and calmer. I'm glad I'm still here and that I made it. I was not sure I was going to make it to 40 for whatever reason, but I have, so it's a good feeling.

IFQ: What about directing, is it still a part of your plans, like when you directed Sonny?

NC: First of all my plans are about acting! At the time, I was trying to find out a way to re-stimulate myself about the art of acting and stay interested in filmmaking, in general. Doing Sonny was a way to find some actors who were brilliant and have an opportunity to exchange ideas with them and hopefully get some sort of inspiration. I have to say that it worked. James Franco and Harry Dean Stanton charged me with their energies. I went into my next film as an actor full of energy, and I think I did a better job. So, I'll do it again if I can find the right script. I'm still trying to find my identity as a director. My interests are not necessarily the ones that many people have. I like taboo subject matters dealing with inter-relationships with people and families. These are kinds of things that make people uncomfortable. Not too many people want to go see a movie about a mother who raises her son to be a prostitute (subject of Sonny). To me it was interesting, and I felt for the people and I wanted to show why it happened to these people.

IFQ: How do you stay so fresh in your roles and about acting?

NC: It's a constant job to stay passionate about acting. It's something I have to keep fresh for you and for me. I have been doing this for awhile and I have to keep looking for the next step, or what can I learn, what can I explore. At the end, even if I know a lot of my colleagues put it down, and I understand why because it's an interesting dilemma between lying and finding the truth, that it's always been a place where I can do something productive with something destructive. I take whatever sadness or anger that I feel during the day and instead of taking it out on somebody else, I channel it into my work and use it for my character as a fire to build and grow on. That is why I really believe that acting for convicts in prison can be positive. I think the people in juvenile halls or delinquency need an outlet where they can express their anger, and acting is a great way to do it because you don't have to learn to play an instrument. You can channel that energy with the right director and do something positive with it. I think you would have less crime. I think I would have been in trouble if I didn't start acting at an early age.

IFQ: Would you consider starring in a movie where all of the Coppola's get together?

NC: For sure. No one asked me about it yet, but I'd love to have Francis, Sofia and I in the same picture. I hope the opportunity comes our way.

By Roxanna Bina

Love it when they ask Nic some 'personal' questions.   Interesting read!


" Nothing is worth more than this day.Goethe

Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

Status: Offline
Posts: 8403
Date: 1:49 PM, 09/28/10
RE: WONDERFUL old Nic interview

Great interview Voodoo Child, thanks for posting!flowerface Loved his answer to the question about being eccentric!thumbsup.gif





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Posts: 6722
Date: 3:04 PM, 09/28/10
RE: WONDERFUL old Nic interview

This is a great interview, thanks for posting, Voodoo child! I found lots of interesting things to ponder in there.  I really wish a movie with Nic and Jack Nicholson would happen, I am a huge Jack fan. They would be awesome together.
It kind of disturbs me to read that he felt he wasn't going to make it to 40 for whatever reason, but I am glad he was feeling content at that point in his life. Hope he still is.



The Changeling

Status: Offline
Posts: 1288
Date: 3:30 AM, 09/29/10
RE: WONDERFUL old Nic interview

Great find Voodoo.  I don't think I've ever read this interview before!


"Love one another but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls"
~~~~ Khalil Gibran ~~~~

the mystery master

Status: Offline
Posts: 2316
Date: 4:54 PM, 10/22/10
RE: WONDERFUL old Nic interview


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