Like a whirlwind of awesome, Nicolas Cage blew through the Austin Convention Center earlier today for an hour-long discussion with filmmaker, and Texas native, David Gordon Green, who directed Cage's excellent new movie Joe (in theaters April 11). Joe made its stateside premiere last night as part of SXSW's film program, a screening prefaced by Nicolas Cage taking a ton of selfies with fans waiting outside. Which, in and of itself, confirms that Nicolas Cage is the coolest man alive. But during his chat with Green, though, The Cage went above and beyond in his effortless quest to confirm that he is, in fact, the man.
Candid and loose, Cage's discussion covered everything from the making of Joe to his thoughts on all of those memes people keeping making of him on the Internet. About those, Cage said, simply, and with a knowing smile on his face, "I try not to think about it. I don't know why it happened."
Later in the conversation, he backtracked a bit to offer a possible explanation for why everyone loves having fun with his crazy facial expressions and screen captures of his wildest movie performances, most notably, his bonkers portrayal of the world's least stable bloodsucker in the 1988 cult favorite Vampire's Kiss. "I think there's a little bit of Vampire's Kiss in everybody. Everybody wants to lose it, and maybe that's where all of the memes come from. Maybe people can relate to that side of the performances."
A few other highlights from the sit-down with Mr. Cage:
** If he hadn't become an actor, Cage thinks he would have fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a fisherman, maybe even "writing on the water like Herman Melville."
** Back in his younger, early Hollywood days, Cage and his buddy Johnny Depp split a whole bottle of tequila and, while heavily intoxicated, had a contest to see who could hang off the side of a building the longest. "I hung on the longest," he said, proudly.
** Adding onto his earlier mention of loving the water and wanting to be a fisherman, Cage said that there are two roles he'd love to play at some point: Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or Captain Ahab in Moby Dick.
** He's not a fan of "celebutards" who put their famous lives on display, nor does he appreciate how outlets like TMZ cover a celebrity's every single move. "It sucks to be famous right now," he said."
** During the fan Q&A portion of the event, one Nic Cage lover asked him what his favorite movies he's ever made are. Clearly uninterested in critics' reviews, he said, bluntly, that his personal favorites are The Wicker Man and Vampire's Kiss. That's right, two of his worst-reviewed movies over acclaimed films like Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation, and Moonstruck. #NoFucksGiven
** A known comic book and superhero lover (see: this amazing pic of Cage dressed as Superman), Cage made no mystery as to who his all-time favorite Batman is: Adam West, the hammy star of the cheesy but lovable 1960s Batman television show. For his performance as Big Daddy in Kick-Ass, Cage channeled Adam West's work as the Bruce Wayne/the Caped Crusader as much as possible, even though Kick-Assdirector Matthew Vaughn wasn't on-board with it at first.
** He may be one of the most quotable actors of all time, with a plethora of memorably weird one-liners making his craziest movies all the more enjoyable, yet Cage's personal favorite line of dialogue he's ever said isn't in any of his past films. It's in one he recently shot in Romania, The Dying of the Light. It's a line he says to co-star Anton Yelchin: "Hey, man… Let's get drunk."
The world—and more specifically, Hollywood—needs more men like Nicolas Cage. The few hundred people who spent an hour with him in the Austin Convention Center this afternoon surely feel the same way.
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