Describing Nicolas Cage’s acting in mere words is like trying to rope a whirlwind that is always screaming at you about America and time travel, but that didn’t prevent Nicolas Cage from taking on the job, even as he learned that it doesn’t really pay anything. Earlier this week, Cage attempted to put his recent, eclectic career choices in a perspective that we could all understand by comparing himself to the similarly press-averse and iconoclastic Led Zeppelin, saying he would "would like to find a way to embrace what Led Zeppelin did, in filmmaking," given that he’s “trying to create a kind of a cultural understanding through my muse that is part of the zeitgeist that isn't motivated by vanity or magazine covers or awards. It's more, not countercultural, but counter-critical.” Also, each of his films have had progressively more shrieking and Norse mythology, obviously.
But really, Cage says he’s tapped into something even more primordial than all that—an acting discipline that he describes as “nouveau-shamanic,” in deference to the lineage of primitive performers who ran through fires while shaking their scraggly manes and howling at the moon before Nicolas Cage finally came along. To evoke that same energy when preparing for a role such as Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance, for example, Cage tells The Showbiz 411 that he even blacks out his eyes and puts on “Afro-Caribbean paint” until he looks like an “Afro-Caribbean voodoo icon,” then he’ll “sew in bits of Egyptian artifacts that are thousands of years old into my costume, and gather some onyx or tourmaline or something that was meant to have vibrations”—all helping to make Cage believe he’s truly a “character from another dimension,” as well as ensure he’ll have to make at least three more movies next month to pay for all those ancient artifacts. Anyway, Cage also adds, “Today you’re called psychotic if you do that, but it’s all semantics,” which is perhaps the best epigram we’ve heard for Cage’s career yet.