Nicolas Cage’s mysterious life often seems like a … Book of Secrets (sorry, we had to). The Oscar-winning actor, 50, has made some of the oddest, wide-ranging career choices in Hollywood history, from starring in critically-acclaimed films like 1995’s Leaving Las Vegas and 1987’s Moonstruck to ridiculous box office flops like 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Drive Angry.
In a rare new interview with Britain’s The Times Magazine, the always-viral Cage opened up about his life, his critics, and his seemingly bizarre oeuvre.
“I’m proud of the chances I’ve taken. They haven’t all worked, but I had a concept and I’ve pushed for it,” the father of two noted. “It’s probably annoyed a lot of critics and a lot of people who didn’t get in step with it, but I’m proud I did it. Tolstoy said something to the effect of, it doesn’t matter whether the response you get is love or hatred, because you’ve created an effect. What’s not worthwhile is when it sits there and people forget about it. But whether people love it or hate it, at least you’ve done something. That gives me some solace.”
Rather than acknowledging some of his on-screen bombs, Cage noted that there might be another reason that critics aren’t in tune with his vision.
“Sometimes I feel like an outsider,” he admitted. “When you’re endowed with an original way of thinking, or with a highly active imagination, you can become quickly ostracized. You can feel isolated and misunderstood.”
Ultimately, the actor, who has been the subject of various Internet memes and lively debates, conceded that the harsh opinions have gotten to him.
“I care about what people think of me,” he continued. “Some of the snarky comments people make can get under my skin. I can be a bit of a broken record at home when I read the things that are said about me. But I have to just stop belaboring these things and let it go, rather than complaining to my wife all the time.”
Cage is currently married to his third wife Alice Kim, whom he wed in July 2004. They share son Kal-El, 8, and Cage is also dad to son Weston Coppola Cage, 23, whom he had with ex Christina Fulton. He rarely talks about his private life, because he wants the focus to remain on his craft.
“There used to be a mystique and romance surrounding actors,” he said. “But now people are more interested in their lives than their performances. It’s not about what they do on camera, but what I would describe as their dirty laundry. I’ve had my share of that.”
After almost four decades in acting, Cage — whose uncle is Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola — insists he’s still incredibly dedicated to his craft, no matter what the role.
“Every time I start a movie, I want to vomit,” he dished. “I really care. I don’t want it to seem like I’m acting, I don’t want it to look fake. Even if I’m doing a movie where I’m in some sort of supernatural situation, I’m still going to approach it with the same commitment and quest for authenticity. And that may look ridiculous. But, to me, what’s important is that I didn’t fake it.”
And the critics might want to be careful, because Cage has a different career path in mind if he eventually gets fed up with acting.
“The ocean attracts me. If I wasn’t an actor, and if both my boys were grown up, I would probably enjoy a life at sea. Maybe a fisherman,” he said.
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