An underrated genre of Nicolas Cage film is the romance movie – he has wonderful chemistry with Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl), Cher (Moonstruck), Laura Dern (Wild at Heart), Holly Hunter (Raising Arizona), and Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) – to name just a few. And probably the most romantic of all was 2001’s Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Nicolas Cage co-stars with Penelope Cruz in one of the best movie based on books, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The book by Louis de Bernieres was published in 1994 and was a sensation, both critically and in terms of sales. It tells the story of a romance between a Greek woman and an Italian soldier, who is part of an occupying force on the island of Cephalonia during World War II.
The story is both joyful and tragic – especially concerning one of the best literary characters of all time; Carlo Guercio – who we can’t even think about without sobbing. But Nicolas Cage ended up having a tragic time on set for a reason that was nothing to do with the plot of the movie, as de Bernieres explained at Henley Literary Festival recently.
Speaking via The Independent, de Bernieres talked about visiting the set of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; “I met all the cast. Nic Cage was going through a horrendous time.” His wife had left him, “so I was totally sympathetic about that, but he had to fly back to California every week, and he was in a really bad way. He didn’t want to chat really.” It must have been painful filming one of the best romance movies with that going on behind the scenes.
“The Italian actors playing the soldiers were acting exactly according to stereotypes and it was terrific. They were playing football, having affairs, cooking huge meals, you know, getting drunk. So I hung around with them obviously.” de Bernieres added; “But the nicest thing of all was how sweet Penelope Cruz was. She was completely natural. She was totally happy to sit with you in a café and just talk rubbish.”