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Nicolas Cage Reacted With 'Absolute Horror' When He Was First Pitched Film Playing Himself

Daisy Phillipson

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Nicolas Cage Reacted With 'Absolute Horror' When He Was First Pitched Film Playing Himself

Nicolas Cage has revealed he reacted with ‘absolute horror’ when he was first pitched the film in which he plays himself. 

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent sees Cage play - you guessed it - Cage in what is described as a meta-action film.

Set to drop later this month, the movie’s central star is a warped version of himself who, faced with creative unfulfillment and financial ruin, must accept a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan.

Speaking about his initial thoughts of the idea, the 58-year-old star told Variety that he was apprehensive to say the least. 

“There was no muscle in my body that told me I should play a character named Nick Cage, it was absolute horror,” he said. 

“However, the director wrote me a very intelligent, sensitive letter, and in that letter I knew he was a true film enthusiast that likes some of the earlier work. 

“He wanted to make a movie that was about people, not about caricatures or cartoons.”

Credit: Lionsgate
Credit: Lionsgate

Per the official synopsis, the plot takes a wild turn when Cage’s Cage is recruited by a CIA operative and is forced to live up to his own legend by channeling many of his beloved on-screen characters. 

In other words, this is Nick Cage at his Cagiest.

“It was a balancing act,” he added. “Like I’m on a high wire, and if I slipped it was a pretty big fall. I had to facilitate the vision of so-called Nick Cage.”

Director Tom Gormican went on to tell the outlet: “[Cage] just wanted to make sure we weren’t out to make fun of him or make fun of the things he’s done. 

“We took it seriously, and once he understood that, he became more and more comfortable with [co-writer Kevin Etten] and I as filmmakers.

“I think he was a little put off until he understood. We said to him, ‘There are ideas people have of who you are and there’s actually who you are, and somewhere in the middle we’re gonna find the movie.’ 

“We said this entire thing is the chance to take the reins of that narrative and become a big piece of performance art. Once he looked at it that way, he started to come around.”

Credit: Lionsgate
Credit: Lionsgate

And it looks like it paid off, with the film receiving rave first reviews and a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

"There’s something for everyone in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. It’s one of the funniest movies of the year," wrote IndieWire's Jude Dry.

Praising Cage's performance, Deadline's Pete Hammond said: "This is first and foremost the Nicolas Cage show, and as both the past and present star that he is, Cage is perfect in the role of his life – literally."

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is due to hit cinemas on 22 April 2022.

Featured Image Credit: Lionsgate

Topics: TV and Film

Daisy Phillipson
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