Nicolas Cage instinctively knew how to play Rob, the melancholy truffle food in the center of “Pig”. The indie film explores Rob’s connection to his pet pig and his tortured relationship with his former celebrity as a famous chef. Cage, one of the best action stars of the late 1990s and early aughts, related to Rob’s complicated feelings of fame and shared a desire to live off the net.
“I feel like I’ve gone out into my own wilderness and that I’ve left the small town that is Hollywood,” Cage says. “I do not know exactly why Rob left the star. It is never fully explained and I like that about the film. But as for me, I do not know if I want to go back. I do not know if I want to make another “Disney movies. It would be scary. It’s a completely different climate. There’s a lot of fear there.”
Cage is no longer the box office he used to be when cartoons like 2007’s “Ghost Rider” and Jerry Bruckheimer blew them up as 1996’s “The Rock” and 1997’s “Con Air.” He’s spent the last decade or so on showing up at cheap fare, some of it forgettable (“Kill chain,” anyone?), Some criminally under, as was the case with his sore ride in David Gordon Green’s “Joe . “But Cage says that even when driving high, he sometimes encountered the commercial constraints imposed on his performances.
“When I was making Jerry Bruckheimer movies back-to-back, it was just a high-pressure game. There were a lot of fun moments, but at the same time there was also ‘We wrote this line. It must have been said this way,'” Cage recalls. . “They would put a camera on you and photograph you and order you, ‘Now say the roller skating wheel in line.’ I want to say, ‘I do, but I also want to try it this way.’ In independent films, you have more freedom to experiment and be fluid. There is less pressure and there is more oxygen in the room. “
“Pig” was an opportunity for Cage to remind moviegoers that he is capable of performing subtle work after a stretch of scaling of opera heights in films like “Mandy” and “Prisoners of the Ghostland,” where the latter made him to act what it would be like to have a testicle ruptured.
“I wanted to remind myself and also remind some people maybe in the audience or in the media that I could also apply myself to a much quieter and measured performance style,” Cage says. “I had gone on this tear, mission almost, to break shape with filmmaking and what was considered good performance by being naturalistic or photorealistic or minimalist.”
For a film like “The Prisoners of the Ghostland,” Cage says he choreographs every stroke of his performance, using a state of acting that he marks as “Western Kabuki theater,” one that draws on off-beat vocalizations, German expressionism, and unbridled intensity. create your very own style. Memes, many of them, have been devoted to the achievements of the landscape. It also inspired a devoted follower, with no less an expert than Ethan Hawke, who praised Cage as “the only actor since Marlon Brando who has actually done anything new with the art of acting.”
“It created a kind of culture of what has been labeled‘ Cage rage, ’” Cage says. “I’m glad it landed. I’m glad it was communicated. I’m glad there was an ID there that I shared with others in the cinema who were interested.”
With “Pig” he chose to do something else.
“I just wanted to show up on stage, walk into a room and carry what my life experiences, what my memories were, what my bad dreams last night were and just tell the story,” Cage says. “I wanted to return to a much more haiku in the absence of a better word, performance. When I say I mean it quite literally. Haiku is five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables, and it is really the quiet spaces that you are led to consider who is inspired by the words and the syllables. That’s how this movie is. “
“Pig” is not just a character study. The film also explores the intense bonds that can develop between humans and animals. In Rob’s case, his truffle-hunting pig is his best friend and sole source of unconditional love. For Cage, there is a similar bond with his cat, Merlin.
“I was always close to my animals,” Cage says. “I think a lot of people who are in the public eye probably feel that too. There’s a truth there. Sometimes when you meet someone who knows you from a movie but does not know you as you will “they somehow undercut you or see you as a competition. You don’t get that with animals, so the animal conditions are closest to the family. They become the ones who have nothing to hide and just want to share this moment with you.”
“Pig” opens July 16, and reviewers hail it as a return to the form of Cage, but don’t expect the actor to give up his outreach projects. Cage will soon be seen in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” which plays a fictional version of himself, an aging star recruited to help the CIA.
“I will never see this movie,” Cage says. “I’m told it’s a good movie. I’m told people love it and enjoy the ride, but I made it for the audience. It’s too much for me to go to the premiere and sit there with everyone. Psychological it’s too bizarre and turned out for me. “