AUSTIN, TX – Nicolas Cage was everywhere at the South by Southwest Festival.
It was on a temporary tattoo, distributed as part of the promotion of his new film, “The Unbearable Weight of a Huge Talent”, and on T-shirts worn by many fans who attended the weekend premiere.
His face was on posters drawn by a superfan, plastered all over Austin, with the caption: “Nicolas Cage, I’m your biggest fan, please call me.” any, Later, Cage did. There were even three Nick Cage mascots, who looked like life-size bobble heads for the actor, roaming the city.
The hype around Cage isn’t just natural, it’s to be expected.
“There is an authenticity to Nick, because He is this person. He’s a very strange, cinematic, very sensitive person,” Tom Gormican, director and co-writer of the new movie Cage, told NBC News at SXSW. Trust that I think people understand that, they understand that it’s real.”
Cage plays a fictional role more conceited and financially unstable than himself in “The Unbearable Weight of Bulky Talent.” In Spain, the events that turned the film into a companion comedy meet a Cage-style action film.
You’ve already produced a Lionsgate comedy 100% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes – The Verge appropriately described her as “A Nick Cage Meme as a movieAnd a lot of fanfare ahead of its theatrical release on April 22.
“I think part of the interest in the movie is, ‘Who is it actually?'” Gormican said. “.
Co-writer Kevin Eaten said the goal was not to make fun of Cage, but to celebrate his prolific career. Throughout the film, there are references to Cage’s notable films, including “The Rock,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Face/Off,” “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,” “Guarding Tess,” and “The Wicker Man.” There is even a room filled with various props from Cage’s Law that Pascal’s character has collected.
Neither Etten nor Gormican Cage had met before the film was written. “We just started writing it – it’s a very stupid decision that was well executed,” Gurmikan said. The two wrote the script in 2018 over the course of eight or nine months, then shopped the studios.
Eventually, the Lionsgate got aboard, but “with the caveat that if Nicolas Cage didn’t get aboard, they wouldn’t get aboard,” Gormican said.
Iten and Gormechan said they would not have rewrote the script to have a different actor playing the role if Cage had rejected it. “The narration just works with him,” Gourmikan said.
“There is a deep love for him in a way that some other people with similar paths don’t,” added Eaten.
To impress Cage, the duo wrote a letter. They emphasized how they were making something to celebrate Cage’s career.
“He did everything so well,” Gormican said, “and there are very few actors who can transcend genres like this.” “We said, ‘How about the opportunity to do all of that in one project?'” ”
“We also talked about how in a world where your identity is constantly litigated in a public domain… we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to do an artwork to do this in a narrative film and put the real and the fiction that are in a mixture of the two and not know it? the people? “
For example, Cage does not have a daughter in real life. But in the movie, he has a broken relationship that he seeks to mend with his on-screen daughter Addie, played by Lily Sheen, who is frustrated by her actor father’s need to be the center of it all.
“There are things that people don’t know, there are things that are real and things that aren’t,” Gurmikan said. “The more Nick puts pieces of himself into that equation during filming, the more exciting this piece of performance art will be for us.”
It helped that the two did their research.
Cage was hesitant at first, turning down the opportunity several times before saying yes. The often-satirized actor said he worried the movie would look more like “an Andy Samberg sketch on SNL parodying all the so-called Nick Cage.”
“No muscle in my body told me to play any version of myself in a movie. Because that scared me nonsense, I knew I had to.”
-Nic Cage on playing a fictional version of himself in “The Unbearable Weight of Tremendous Talent”
“It was a high wire, it was terrifying,” Cage told the crowd at the festival. “No muscle in my body told me to play any version of myself in a movie. Because that scared crap out of me, I knew I had to.”
He also told the audience that he was “trying to go back to my dramatic roots and get back into independent films, which is my rule.”
“I will always come back to it,” Cage said. “And I was thinking a lot about Tony Curtis.” How did Tony Curtis get to play the Boston Strangler and then be in movies like ‘Sweet Smell of Success’ and ‘Some Like It Hot.’ And I think, ‘Okay, this guy has scope, let’s go back to some comedy,’ Let’s hook up a bit and do the comedy and drama.” Luckily, Kevin and Tom let me do it with this.”
There’s even a moment when Cage accepts his younger ego, who appears in the movie multiple times. That was Cage’s idea, according to Gurmechan. “It’s the thing you only get with Nick; he comes up to you and says, ‘Tom, I’d like to kiss myself in French.'”
“It was very emblematic of what was going on,” Cage said of his creative proposal. “I’m actually making a movie about two versions of myself… It’s like making yourself in the weirdest way. So we might as well do it symbolically and make them kiss each other.”
Everyone involved in the movie loved Cage and his movies. Pascal, according to cast members, was perhaps the biggest fan of the group.
When Pascal was asked on the red carpet if his “Mandalorian” character liked Grogu (Baby Yoda) more or if Javi liked Nic Cage more, he replied, “It’s an impossible question to answer.”
As for Pascal himself? “I grew up watching Nick Cage movies,” he said. “I think whether I know it or not, I think I’m an actor because of the Nick Cage movies. I really do know that. And so the next level of surrealism is to be a partner with him on the scene.”
On set, the two’s link went beyond the premise of the meta-movie. They even participated in the recordings of the film.
“I knew more about Nicolas Cage’s films than I did,” Pascal said of Gormican and Etten.
As Cage, who was dressed in a plaid suit, walked down the carpet to enter the crowded Paramount theater, fans burst into cheers and chants of “Nick! Nick! Nick!”
He stopped to take pictures for a few, and answered questions from the audience, who gave him a standing ovation after the movie ended.
Cage accepted a rose from a fan, and thanked the festival after presenting him with a huge belt buckle in recognition of “40 years of huge talent”.
“I will wear this… and that will encourage me to keep trying to surprise and entertain you.”
So what’s next for the actor? Cage said at the film’s premiere that he would like to do music at some point in his career. Looks like it’s time for Etten and Gormican to crack up on Cage’s next text.
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