Nicolas Cage has made quite a lot of movies, and a fair amount of them have been straight-to-video releases without much fanfare. These thriller movies often weren’t anything to rave about, but Cage himself stands by every performance he’s turned in.
“When I was doing four movies a year, back to back to back, I still had to find something in them to be able to give it my all,” he told GQ. “They didn’t work, all of them. Some of them were terrific, like Mandy, but some of them didn’t work. But I never phoned it in. So if there was a misconception, it was that. That I was just doing it and not caring. I was caring.”
Cage has worked consistently since the ’80s, but a spat of personal issues and high spending meant he needed to up the ante on his workload. Studios weren’t hiring him as much due to some bad luck at the box office with the action movie Drive Angry, fantasy movie Season of the Witch, and pre-MCU film Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. He pivoted to lower-budgeted productions as a result, taking on whatever he could to clear his debts.
“I enjoy making movies like Pig and Leaving Las Vegas more than I enjoy making movies like National Treasure,” he said. “When I talk about fair-weather friends in Hollywood, I’m not talking about [National Treasure producer] Jerry Bruckheimer. I’m talking about Disney. They’re like an ocean liner. Once they go in a certain direction, you’ve got to get a million tugboats to try and swivel it back around.”
Currently, Cage is promoting The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a comedy movie where he plays himself, opposite Pedro Pascal, who’s playing an obsessed superfan. It’s directed by Tom Gormican, who co-wrote the script with Kevin Etten.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is in theatres on April 22.