There is basically no story about Nicolas Cage that’s too outlandish to believe at this point. Over the years, we’ve learned that the goth thespian once won $20,000 in a casino in 20 minutes before donating his winnings to a Bahamian orphanage, and quitting gambling forever afterwards. We’ve learned that he owns a talking crow that calls him “asshole,” and once had a pet two-headed snake that Werner Herzog wanted to cast in Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans. We’ve learned that he takes acting tips from king cobras, had a cat that peer pressured him into eating mushrooms, discusses which insects are “most ferocious” with David Cronenberg, and is haunted by nightmares of a malevolent shrimp-headed figure.
Naturally, then, during Cage’s first talk show appearance in 14 years, Jimmy Kimmel wanted to figure out if any of the absurd stories people tell about his guest are actually fake.
During the interview—meant mostly to promote his latest movie, The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent—Kimmel decided to ask Cage about the many ridiculous stories that have been told about him over the years. His talking crow and orphanage-benefiting gambling win were addressed before we got to other stories from his past.
For example: That two-headed pet snake.
“Does that make me impossibly strange that I had a two-headed snake?” Cage asks when introducing the topic.
In order to quash that impression, Cage relates how his manager called him up to let him know that there was a very expensive two-headed snake up for sale which he bought after having a portentous dream “about two-headed eagles” the night before. The unnamed snake—“The reptiles don’t really care about us. They don’t want us to name them. We’re not part of their world.”—gave Cage trouble because its two heads had differing personalities and fought with one another. After it “got a little too freaky” having to feed them by separating their feuding heads with a spatula, Cage gave the creature to a zoo, where it lived out a long, full, two-headed life outside of his care.
Later, Kimmel asks if it’s true that Cage once bought a bat cave. He explains that he wanted to, having explored all the elements but earth (fire in Ghost Rider, water by scuba diving, air by trying to learn hang-gliding) when he heard it was for sale. The idea, Cage says, is that he and his then-wife would get naked and drink wine in the cavern in order to properly connect with the earth. But he didn’t end up buying the cave—and it didn’t even have any bats in it.
There are also stories about being stalked by mimes and spending the night at Dracula’s castle, which are both, of course, true.
Throughout all of this, Cage is charmingly game for the direction the conversation takes. He makes regular references to how cool his stories will sound for viewers watching on 4/20, disparages Elon Musk for taking local funds away from his Las Vegas movie studio project while draining the city’s water supply in the process, and describes his shiny suit as fulfilling a desire to look like “brushed aluminum on a dashboard of an old Cadillac.”
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