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Nicolas Cage Claims He’s a Thespian, Not an Actor

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

With Cage having made his screen debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High 40 years ago, the celebrity’s career has been fascinating to watch, with the star managing to climb to the top of the industry before ultimately slumming it on VOD.

After a meteoric rise from the quirky darling of independent film to the undoubtedly more unusual star of blockbuster entertainment, the multifaceted artist eventually abandoned the studio system in favor of signing up for as many monotonous action thrillers as he could get his hands on, with most never even making it to a theater.

A younger, more experimental approach to filmmaking has enlivened and re-energized Cage since the recent and upcoming slate including Mandy, Color Out of Space, Willy’s Wonderland, Pig, Prisoners of the Ghostland, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and Butcher’s Crossing.

During an appearance on Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, Cage revealed that he doesn’t like to refer to himself as an actor at all.

“For me it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar,’ 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.”

Many of Cage’s contemporaries will disagree with him, yet he is precisely the sort of individual you’d picture calling himself a thespian first and foremost, because he’s always played by his own rules.

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

About Nicholas Cage

Nicolas Cage is an actor and a producer, but he insists that he’s not an actor. “I’m not really an actor,” the Oscar-winner said in a recent interview with The Guardian. “In fact, if I had to choose between acting and directing, I would have chosen directing because it’s closer to being a painter or a poet.”

Regardless of his comments on the matter, Cage has been appearing in films since 1980 when he made his debut as one of the most famous vampires in film history: Louis de Pointe du Lac in Coppola’s Interview With A Vampire. His next major role was playing Charlie Wilcox Jr., who after being convicted of killing his father (Charlie Wilcox Sr.), then tries to kill his girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and himself in the opening scene of Alan Parker’s The Civil War, but is unsuccessful and ends up shooting off his own arm instead.

After appearing in minor roles for a few years, Cage got his big break playing Ronny Cox’s son Oklahoma in Joel Schumacher’s action-thriller, Action Jackson. The film was a commercial success and Cage’s performance even earned him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.

As the 90s rolled around, Cage began to cement his place as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars with such films as Deadfall (1992), Red Rock West (1993), and Leaving Las Vegas (1995). In 1996, he produced his first film, Shadow of the Vampire before going on to star in David Lynch’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. The film was a box office bomb that received mixed reviews from critics.

He’s gone on to become somewhat of a cult fan-favorite. Almost legendary.

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