Actor Nicolas Cage has had a lot of ups and downs in his career. However, he recently told PEOPLE that he’s doing some of the “best work” of his career right now and he’s not wrong.
After wrapping up the critically acclaimed “Pig,” he is now facing new applause for playing a fictional version of himself in his latest film, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.”
The “National Treasure” actor, 58, sat down with PEOPLE to talk about the movie’s overwhelming success.
Nicolas Cage Talks ‘The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent’
In his new film, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”, the “Face/Off” star plays a fictionalized version of himself who is constantly searching for his next big role to reclaim the former highs of his acting career. While reflecting on his early career, the publication asked Cage what words of wisdom he would give to his younger self if he could.
“I would say it’s gonna be alright,” Cage replied. “I would say that your dreams — the real Nicky, the Nicky that watched Midnight Cowboy for the first time on a funky old television in Louise Vogelsang, my grandmother’s house and had his heartstrings pulled and his heart torn out — I would say that we’re going to make some movies down the road that you’re going to have that feeling again.”
He added, “I’m also gonna say that no matter what people think, whatever the media wants to say or they want to marginalize your so-called ‘direct-to-video’ movies, you’re going to do some of the best work of your life in the last 10 years that will hold up to any of the first 30 years.”
“I’ll put Mandy next to Face/Off. I’ll put Pig next to Leaving Las Vegas. It goes on: Bad Lieutenant, Joe,” he continued. “So for me, I’m feeling very blessed right now.”
Nicolas Cage Needed Some Convincing To Play Himself In The Film
Director Tom Gormican revealed that Cage needed “convincing” to play a fictionalized version of himself. He and co-screenwriter Kevin Etten wrote Cage a personal letter, which “helped get him over the line.”
“[We] made it clear that our intentions were to celebrate his vast body of work,” Gormican explained. “We talked to him about excelling in every genre of film. He’s done them all equally well, and we thought if we pull this movie off correctly, he’ll be able to do all of those different genres in one film. I think that really got him going.”
Cage admitted that he thinks it’s important for one to never take themselves too seriously.
“I always say to myself, ‘I never had a career, only work.’ What I mean by that is sometimes — and I won’t mention names — but when you get into this career-minded perception of one’s self it can be a slippery slope, and it can lead to things where you start believing in your own mythos and you start taking yourself way too seriously,” he explained.
He added, “You become pretentious and then you fall into the realm of diva, and that’s when mistakes happen in your personal life and on camera.”
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” also stars “The Mandalorian” Pedro Pascal, “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris, comedian Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinholtz, Lily Sheen, and Sharon Horgan.
The film hits theaters on Friday, April 22. The trailer for the film can be found below.