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Film

Nicolas Cage names his favourite movie he's ever made

@Russellisation

The American acting icon, Nicolas Cage, hasn’t always been such a melodramatic meme. Whilst in modern culture he is considered something of a comedic actor, it’s easy to forget that Cage is an Oscar-winner, taking home the coveted statuette for Best Leading Actor in his 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas.

Dubbed “the jazz musician of actors” by master filmmaker David Lynch in an interview with the Washington Post, Nicolas Cage’s experimental approach to his craft first appeared in the 1988 film Vampire’s Kiss. Here, Cage engaged with a new operatic form of performance involving stylised body movements and accentuated facial expressions. His role as protagonist, Peter Loew, a man convinced he’s becoming a vampire, became Cage’s own sandbox of research and development. 

Fast forward to the cataclysmic explosion of internet culture in the early 21st century, and Nicolas Cage quickly evolved into a figurehead of internet surrealism, becoming an icon and meme on forums as early as 2005. This quickly built momentum and led to popular flash animations in 2010, along with an auction of $1,000,000 for a photograph of Nicolas Cage’s 1870 lookalike. The identity of Cage was quickly becoming commodified. 

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Speaking to The Guardian in 2013 about his newfound online fame, the actor stated, “I don’t know why it is happening. I’m trying not to… lemme say this: I’m now of the mindset that, when in Rome, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, and to some extent, this is precisely what he did. 

Almost a decade after his interview with the publication, Cage appeared in the 2022 meta comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a film that consolidated and arguably broke the facade of the actor’s charm. Ultimately a lame nostalgia trip that works to do little but reference classic taglines of the actor’s career and run the meme of Nicolas Cage to its breaking point, the identity of the Oscar-winner is truly fascinating. 

Though, whilst Cage’s expressionistic performances are often mocked, it is exactly this that the actor holds so dear, calling Vampire’s Kiss his favourite movie that he’s ever made. Speaking to GQ in 2018, the actor stated, “I made a movie called Vampire’s Kiss which I considered my laboratory, and in that movie I really wanted to find a way to express again my kind of German expressionistic dreams”.

Referencing some of his favourite expressionists, Cage explained that his performance was based on “extraordinary phases of body language that were not necessarily natural but expressionistic”. Concluding he adds, “that’s my favourite movie I’ve made by the way”. 

His 1988 movie would become home to some of Nicolas Cage’s most iconic memes, with his performance inviting mockery from internet fans looking for the ‘greatest freakout’ as well as some of the strangest movie moments. 

Take a look at the trailer for Nicolas Cages’ favourite film role, below.