Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964 in Long Beach, California), known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor, known for collaborating many times with film producer Jerry Bruckheimer. He changed his last name to Cage (after Luke Cage) because his uncle is the great director, Francis Ford Coppola, and Cage didn't want an unfair advantage pursuing success in film on his own efforts.
Cage pursued acting as a career, making his debut on television in 1981. Cage has featured in numerous "bad boy" roles, and has won numerous awards, beginning in 1989 with his Independent Spirit Award, an Academy Award for Best Actor for his lead role in Leaving Las Vegas, and his most recent Toronto Film Critics Association Award in 2002. Cage has appeared in over 60 films including Face/Off (1997), National Treasure (2004), and Ghost Rider (2007).
He is an avid comic book fan, with his surname coming from Marvel Comics' Luke Cage, and naming his second son Kal-El (so his son's full name is Kal-El Coppola Cage). He played Ghost Rider, and was considered for Superman in a movie that struggled and never came out. (He eventually got a chance to voice him, however, in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.) In 2010, he got a serious fanboy moment co-starring in Kick-Ass as Crazy Awesome badass Big Daddy, who wipes out warehouses full of mobsters single-handedly.
Leaving Las Vegas and the Palme d'Or-winning Wild at Heart (directed by David Lynch) are probably the most noteworthy things he's been involved with. He has made quite a few lesser works over the years, although this may fall under the category of Ham and Cheese, which is why he gets some Memetic Mutation. Cracked.com once pitched the theory that he is attempting some sort of experiment where he takes only the best and worst films offered to him, and absolutely nothing in between. Others might say that he just takes any role offered to him, because he loves what he does.
Roger Ebert named a specific trope after him; the Nicolas Cage Wig-Out Scene, as nobody plays a grown man throwing a screaming tantrum quite like Mr. Cage, and for a while it seemed an indispensable part of every one of his films. It's been lampshaded and parodied by Saturday Night Live's own Andy Samberg for the Weekend Update segment "Get in the Cage" (one such segment even had the real Nicolas Cage as a clone of Samberg's Cage created so Samberg's Cage can star in every movie ever made).
Cage is also the subject of another popular meme, "Nic Cage as Everyone", which is photo manipulations of Nicolas Cage as film/TV characters, historical figures and current celebrities. Beware, serious Uncanny Valley ahead; albeit done in utterly hilarious fashion. You will not look at The A-Team the same way again. Especially Baracus. He also has several memetic songs made from his lines, which have also become memetic.
...And when you thought things couldn't get weirder, turns out there's a Grindcore band based on his movies. And also a Horrorpunk band named after the gravesite he purchased in New Orleans.
- Valley Girl (1983) — Randy
- Rumble Fish (1983) — Smokey
- Racing With The Moon (1984) — Nicky
- The Cotton Club (1984) — Vincent Dwyer
- Birdy (1984) — Al Columbato
- Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) — Charlie Bodell
- Raising Arizona (1987) — H. I. McDunnough
- Moonstruck (1987) — Ronny Cammareri
- Vampire's Kiss (1988) — Peter Loew (played so over-the-top that it created a meme, You Don't Say?)
- Wild at Heart (1990) — Sailor Ripley
- Zandalee (1991) — Johnny Collins
- Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) — Jack Singer
- Amos & Andrew (1993) — Amos Odell
- Red Rock West (1993) — Michael Williams
- Deadfall (1993) — Eddie (Cage at his hammiest.)
- It Could Happen to You (1994) — Charlie Lang
- Guarding Tess (1994) — Doug Chesnic
- Kiss of Death (1995) — Little Junior Brown
- Leaving Las Vegas (1995) — Ben Sanderson
- The Rock (1996) — Stanley Goodspeed
- Con Air (1997) — Cameron Poe
- Face/Off (1997) — Castor Troy / Sean Archer
- City of Angels (1998) — Seth
- Snake Eyes (1998) — Rick Santoro
- 8mm (1998) — Tom Welles
- Bringing Out the Dead (1999) — Frank Pierce
- Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) — Memphis Raines
- The Family Man (2000) — Jack Campbell
- Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001) — Captain Antonio Corelli
- Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001) — Jacob Marley
- Windtalkers (2002) — Sgt. Joe Enders
- Adaptation. (2002) — Charlie and Donald Kaufman.
- Matchstick Men (2003) — Roy Waller
- National Treasure series — Benjamin Franklin Gates
- National Treasure (2004)
- National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)
- Lord of War (2005) — Yuri Orlov
- The Weather Man (2005) — David Spritz
- The Antbully (2006) — Zoc
- The Wicker Man (2006) — Edward Malus
- World Trade Center (2006) — John McLoughlin
- Ghost Rider (2007) — Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
- Grindhouse (2007) — A cameo as Fu Manchu in trailers.
- Next (2007) — Cris Johnson a.k.a. Frank Cadillac
- Bangkok Dangerous (2008) — Joe
- G-Force (2009) - Speckles (voice)
- Knowing (2009) — Dr. John Koestler
- Astro Boy (2009) — Dr. Tenma
- Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) — Lt. Terrence McDonagh
- Kick-Ass (2010) — Big Daddy
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) — Balthazar
- Drive Angry (2011) — Milton
- Season of the Witch (2011) — Bemen von Bleibruck
- Trespass (2011) — Kyle Miller
- Stolen (2012) — Will Montgomery
- The Croods (2013) - Grug
- The Frozen Ground (2013) -Detective Jack Holcombe
- Left Behind (2014) — Rayford Steele
- USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (2016) — Captain McVay
- Mom and Dad (2017) — Brent Ryan
- Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) — Superman
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) — Spider-Man: Noir (voice only)
- Mandy (2018) — Red
- Primal (2019) — Frank Walsh
- A Score to Settle (2019) — Frank Carver
- Color Out of Space (2020) — Nathan Gardner
- History of Swear Words (2021) — Host
- Willy's Wonderland (2021) — the Janitor
- The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2021) — Himself
Nicolas Cage in Fiction:
- Cage is mentioned in Homestuck, by way of the film Con Air. It's John's favourite movie (or was), but his favourite actor is stated to be Matthew McConaughey.
- However, he's Vriska's favourite actor.
- According to Hussie, in-universe he survived the meteor apocalypse and ascended to the God Tiers, becoming the Nick of Time. Given how lightly Hussie treats canon, who knows whether this is to be taken seriously, but...
- Nightmare Fuel.
The hidden "Dark Cage" animations take an image and vocal clips of Cage, and turn them into
- He is a fighter in Smash Bros. Lawl.
- He's a recurring character in Leet Fighters, serving his role as a teacher and a cop. No, really.
- On Community, Abed (a TV and movie addict with an Ambiguous Disorder) gets Professor Sheffield's critical analysis class on Who's the Boss? cancelled after successfully answering, with conclusive proof, the supposedly unanswerable question of who exactly "the boss" was (it was Angela). In a later season, he tries the same thing in Professor Garrity's class, "Nicolas Cage: Good or Bad?", but said question proves too much even for him, and he ends up going quite insane.
- On Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake Peralta is a big fan of Cage and has all of his films in a large DVD collection he brings to a safe house he is staying at with Captain Holt and his husband Kevin. Kevin, a high culture aficionado, resents Jake for making him watch blockbuster action films like National Treasure and Face/Off. He only becomes angrier at the end when, after leaving the safe house, he learns Jake's collection also included Cage's more dramatic, heavy subject matter films such as Leaving Las Vegas that he might have actually enjoyed, but Jake considers boring.
- Adam Westing: In recent years, it's become clear that Cage is completely aware of his reputation as a hammy Cloudcuckoolander, and has mocked himself a few times. His appearance on Saturday Night Live and the behind the scenes interviews on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ('Oh, you want me to go full Cage?') are evidence of this.
- Taken to its logical conclusion with him hosting the Netflix documentary History of Swear Words, where his literal first words are "Fuck are you lookin' at?" followed by him recreating famous lines in film (as well as two famous celebrity tantrums) with 'fuck' in them... with his own spin. Throughout the series, he also uses pieces of his own filmography to illustrate the use of swear words.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Expect to be disappointed if you want to see Cage exclaim "YOU DON'T SAY!!!" in Vampire's Kiss.
- Doing It for the Art: Cage created and manages Saturn Films, which, if you follow the link, has a record of producing utterly terrible flops that all star Nicolas Cage. Neither the quality nor the lack of appeal of these films seem to put him off. This film company may have something to do with his financial troubles elaborated on below.
- Hidden Depths: It's a common misunderstanding that Cage is a 'bad' actor. He's an interesting actor, as he always makes different choices on different movies to avoid any one particular note (the adage goes that if you can remember an actor's performance, then they must have done something right, and Cage has a lot of memorable performances). He has been part of some of the biggest blockbuster movies, worked with some great directors, and in interviews he is highly insightful, citing obscure artists and references as basis for his performances.
- Large Ham: It's what Nic's most well-known for. The man could over-act the alphabet, for crying out loud.
- Money, Dear Boy: Formerly a well-regarded actor and a box office draw. He's now considered something of a joke as he's taken every piece of work available to him, no matter how bad or low-brow, after having racked up a significant tax debt (spending like this tends to do that to you) and needing to pay off the IRS.