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Face/Off: Nicolas Cage says He ‘Left His Own Body’ in Iconic Scene

Published on December 31st, 2021 | Updated on December 31st, 2021 | By FanFest

It should be no surprise that John Woo’s action classic Face/Off is a masterclass in overacting, with Nicolas Cage and John Travolta not just eating the scenery but ingesting it.

Cage and Travolta go all out with their dual performances, with Cage as Castor Troy, one of the most deliriously unhinged turns you’re likely to see in a major studio blockbuster. It turns out that the Academy Award winner believes he came close to full-blown astral travel during the jail sequence.

Both Nivola and Cage noted that their on-screen brothers improvised much of the most quotable lines spoken while trapped in Erehwon, with Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast revealing that Cage described his approach as only he can.

“That movie was an interesting example of independent attitude and big-studio filmmaking. The fact that it worked, that it landed, and the public loved it, I was like, ‘Okay, see, this is why we gotta make both. We can’t give up on the independent movie’. That was the scene in the jail cell where — god, it’s such a trippy movie — where Sean Archer is pretending he’s Castor Troy and so it was so … cubist. And I remember I was like, ‘I’m Castor Troy!’ And it went on and on, almost like a riot. There was a moment in there where I think I actually left my body. I got scared, am I acting or is this real? I can see it if I look at the movie, that one moment, it’s in my eyes.”

It’s also unclear what producer Steven Reuther was aiming for when he hired the manic Method Man to tone it down and be more succinct, since you don’t get Nicolas Cage to play a career criminal and psychopath who literally steals someone’s face.

We think it’s great that he didn’t listen, though. Castor’s insane rant while behind bars is one of the most unforgettable moments in a film chock-full of them.

What do you think about Nicolas Cage’s comments? Let us know below!

About Face/Off

In Face/Off, two guys – Sean Archer (John Travolta) and Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) swap faces after they get in an accident. They both discover the other guy’s life and each other. The movie is action packed with double cross after double cross.

It’s known for an iconic scene where Cage, playing Archer, shouts the line: “I left my own body!”

Nicolas Cage told a somewhat bizarre story on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert about shooting the famous sequence. It involves a bag of vaseline and a painful stunt. He said: “We had to slip our own faces off and put each other’s on. And we both had to wear prosthetic make up appliances on our chests, and they were glued on and my hands and feet were encased in my own blood.”

He went onto say: “I didn’t know what was going on with the skin, some of it I slipped off pretty easily and some of it didn’t, and I ripped the chest open. It was covered in vaseline because we were trying to get it off camera.”

Nicolas Cage then said: “I felt like an actual alien had taken over my body and did what he wanted… We did our scene so many times and finally I just threw a bottle and walked off.”

Face/Off is available on Netflix.

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