Of the current crop of absurd Nicolas Cage film projects—a list that includes loglines like “Five Nights At Freddy’s but it’s a movie now” and “secret martial arts sect swordfights alien” —the one where he plays a reclusive chef determined to track down his stolen truffle pig has turned out far better than its summary suggests. And, aside from providing audiences with a good movie to go see, Pig has also given Nicolas Cage a reason to get back out there and do interviews about his animal friends.
Speaking to GQ, Cage explains that he loves working with animals because “magical things happen when you have a scene with a dog or a cat” or “any animal, really.” Of his Pig co-star Brandy, he says “she was very, like many of us, payment-oriented.”
“She was interested in food really and food only, understandably. She wasn’t that interested in people and I get that,” he continues. “But if they need a very soulful look in her eyes, off-camera, you could show her a bit of carrot. She seemed to like that.”
Though she didn’t seem to care much for any humans, Cage says he “enjoyed working with [Brandy The Pig]” and that his pets—mammalian or otherwise— “had an enormous impact” on his understanding of how to play Pig’s protagonist Rob. “You don’t really have a relationship, per se, or a closeness in the way that we would like to think with reptiles,” he says about some of his pets, before highlighting the “profound relationships” filled with “unconditional love” that he’s experienced with his cat, Merlin, and deceased dog, Walker. Cage also brings up his pet crow Huggin, who he talks with, has built “a 16-foot geodesic dome” for, and has lived with since “he was from the egg.”
Cage is no stranger to being in animal-centered movies and has talked in the past about the acting lessons he’s taken from his pet king cobras (and getting peer-pressured by his cat into eating mushrooms together). It’s only too bad that this love of animals will no longer be channelled into a project that, whether in good taste or not, would have provided a perfect venue for picking up some acting notes from tigers.
Read the rest of the interview for more.
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