Nicolas Cage is on something of a hot streak of late. Over the past few years, he’s turned in a handful of fantastic performances that reminded us why we became obsessed with Cage in the first place. Though the quality of the overall films varies, Cage finally got some pictures worthy of his specific skills with turns in Color Out Of Space, Prisoners Of The Ghostland, and his latest, Pig, which could put him back in the Oscar race for the first time since 2003.
Despite being one of the world’s most beloved and confusing screen presences, it turns out that Nic Cage doesn’t care much for the term “actor,” which tracks. Instead, as he said on the Variety Awards Circuit podcast, Cage prefers “thespian,” which also tracks.
“For me it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar,’” Cage said. “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.”
We would never accuse Nicolas Cage of being a “pretenious asshole.” Still, he explains his thought process a little more in the interview, leaning on other modes of acting other than naturalism.
It was my aunt Talia Shire who first said to me, ‘Naturalism is a style. And I was also a big believer in arts synchronicity, and that what you could do with one art form you could do and another meaning. You know, in painting, for example, you can get abstract, you can get photorealistic, you can get impressionistic, why not try that with film performance?”
When pressed about the phrase “over the top,” Cage responded as only he could: “ “Well, when they say that to me, I say, ‘You tell me where the top is, and I’ll tell you whether or not I’m over it.’”
Happy New Year, Nicolas Cage. We’ll see you on the other side.