The actor’s unique style and expressionism were famously turned into fan-made images and compilations of his most eccentric movie moments. Cage, who was in a precarious career slump when they first emerged, is now sharing what that experience was like.
“I got into acting because I was moved by film performance more than any other art form,” Cage told The Guardian in an interview published Friday. “I didn’t get into movies to become a meme. That was new. I made friends with it, but it was an adjustment.”
The 59-year-old continued, “I thought maybe they would compel someone to go back and look at the movies. But I had no control over it. The same thing happens with Paul in ‘Dream Scenario’: he has no control over this inexplicable phenomenon.”
The upcoming comedy stars Cage as a hapless professor who unwittingly begins to feature in the dreams of countless strangers. Cage himself can certainly relate, as he is hailed on Reddit as the “One True God” by a sub-forum with more than 153,000 subscribers.
“Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit,” a compilation of his most manic scenes, has 1 million views.
Cage told The Guardian someone “cherrypicked” his onscreen “meltdowns” from dozens of films with no regard “for how the character got to that place.” He openly admitted being “frustrated” by this, as it seemed nobody cared about his work aside from the outbursts.
Cage has been acting since 1981 and won an Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995).
“I didn’t know what people were taking from the movies other than that,” added Cage.
The actor has since experienced a career renaissance, as Cage was an esteemed Oscar-winning star before taking on shoddy parts to pay off personal debts — and has since returned with fare like “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.”
The 2022 comedy notably stars Cage as himself at a time when movie offers have dried up from everyone but a rich fan. Cage, who once called his acting “nouveau shamanic,” said Friday he must be “the first actor who went through a kind of meme-ification.”
His resilience in the face of it means Cage is still here — and seemingly for good.
“Dream Scenario” hits theaters on Nov. 10 and has 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.