Nicolas Cage does not want to be called an actor.

He told Variety that the term implies, “Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar.”

“So with the risk of sounding like a pretentious a--hole, I like the word ‘thespian,’” he continued.

He said thespian means “going into your heart, or… imagination, or your memories or your dreams…”

“…and you’re bringing something back to communicate with the audience.”

Cage’s acting has been criticized as over-the-top at times, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

“You tell me where the top is and I’ll tell you whether or not I’m over it,” he replied.

He added, “Stanislavski said the worst thing an actor can do is imitate.”

“Being a bit of a rebel, I wanted to break that rule,” he concluded.