- Over the years, Nicolas Cage’s career choices have been dictated by financial difficulties. However, as he says himself, he always did his best, regardless of the role
- Cage usually played shaky and eccentric characters. Following his artistic and commercial success, his career resembled a sine wave
- Cage seems to have found an acting fulfillment far from Hollywood
- More such texts can be found on the Onet homepage
Nicolas Cage returned, although he had not gone anywhere, not even for a moment. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he can finally breathe. And deeply. While unwritten Hollywood tradition usually makes us talk about astronomical debts every time actors take serial roles that are far below their talent and skill, it was the truest truth in this case. Cage, despite earning a fortune, lived beyond his means for years.
Driven by crazy eccentricity, he bought these historic properties, these luxury cars, these astronomically priced gadgets, and he did not think to pay tax at the same time. The stories about these luxuries are almost legendary, and the actor’s shopping list includes an island in the Bahamas, a cemetery pyramid, a homemade octopus and a dinosaur skull, which turned out to be stolen and had to be returned. But at last the card turned. Cage has officially paid off his debts, has fulfilled all his obligations and is once again on the verge of redefining his career. It was not, however, a stroke of luck, but a hard work. For over the years Cage may have compulsively played just about anything, but never just any sort.
He had great movies at that time (“Mandy”), at least interesting (“Pig”, “Color from the Sky”), and absolutely horrible (practically everything with a “direct-to-video” sticker), but he deserved his continuous on-screen presence on the label of a cult actor. The term is too easy to use today, but it fits Cage perfectly. It is, after all, part of his carefully planned strategy, or at least that is how he explained to the press his unorthodox choices, dictated largely by financial necessity. But it’s hard not to buy these translations, because they just come out of a cinophile heart. For Cage, as a lover of film art, liked to suddenly turn on the TV after dark, being almost sure that on some forgotten channel he would find an old, but invariably bright sensationalist with, for example, Charles Bronson. He also wanted to provide the fans with similar emotions, even if the films in which he appeared were not of the highest caliber.
Cage is not naive, he is well aware of the fact that he also played crap, but he does not even twitch his eyelid when, talking about these bad movies, he immediately emphasizes how much he gives on set. Because even a poor cinema is not an excuse for him to let go at least a little. Cage remains one hundred percent Cage and, he says, can squeeze even a single moment out of the biggest crap he is genuinely proud of. It is impossible not to believe his words, because in front of the camera he is a real celluloid beast, or, as he once described himself, a mega-actor. He then wanted to sum up the roles that were pressed to almost caricatured in places, filled with kinetic energy. But this is nothing new. Already in the late 1990s, when Cage was enjoying commercial triumphs playing in high-profile Hollywood action guys, Sean Penn said about him that he had become more of a performer than an actor.
Studying Cage’s career and his statements, you can see a picture of a man who consistently strove for similar acting freedom, but Hollywood hurt him. He would probably have made a number of completely different decisions and would not have gone where he had not been without the trouble he was experiencing. But the fact is that by accepting his Oscar for “Leaving Las Vegas”, that is, shortly before these high-profile roles in Michael Bay (“The Fortress”), John Woo (“No Face”) or Simon West (“Con Air – flight of condemned” ), for which he made a fortune, spoke aloud what he intended and how he saw himself. He confessed his love for acting and independent cinema, which is not afraid of experimenting and allows artists to do more. Even so, it is difficult to succumb to the temptation of fame and money, especially when you have as expensive tastes as Nicolas Cage.
The balance of profits and losses in the early period of his career, covering the 1980s and the time of his research, is definitely a plus for Cage, although he already became known as an eccentric actor, marked by creative madness. He had two teeth pulled out for the needs of “Bird”, without anesthesia, and on the set of “The Vampire’s Kiss” he ate a live cockroach, which he apparently regrets to this day. Years later, Ethan Hawke said that he was the only actor since Marlon Brando who brought something new to his acting, and it was not a missed comparison, because in “Moonlight”, in a white T-shirt, the vibrating Cage resembles that giant vividly.
But he quickly found his own method. David Lynch, with whom he made Wild at Heart, described his playing as American jazz. After he had climbed to the top of the artistic, and then commercial, Cage’s filmography began to resemble a frantic chaos that is difficult to confine within meaningful frames. While the first decade of this century is an interweaving of successes broken by disasters, the next one is for it an almost lost decade, with occasional flashes of what could be.
Because no matter what Cage said, no matter if he did not try, he changed himself into petty poor videos. He had no choice, so it worked out, but still. Nevertheless, he proved to be a real titan of work, who was given all sorts of mouths during this time, but he refused to impose any of them on himself. Today he triumphs as a man finally freed from the burden of financial obligations. Except, from what he says, we won’t soon see him in the background green screenspinning blistering blockbusters. Cage is at a crossroads, some of the gates have certainly closed for him, but for the first time in his acting life, he is truly free. He does not hide that he has a taste for the freedom that he is offered to play away from major labels, when he can wave his hand at studio dictates. Where will it go next?
In this light, symbolically the “Unbearable Burden of Great Talent” entering cinemas can be interpreted as Cage’s settlement with himself. Let it only be sincere.
Creation date: Today, 12:40