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Creator / Nicolas Cage

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"Cage is a good actor in good movies, and an almost indispensable actor in bad ones."

Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964 in Long Beach, California), known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor, known for his many collaborations with film producer Jerry Bruckheimer. He changed his last name to Cage (after Marvel Comics' Luke Cage and the composer John 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 effortsnote .

Cage pursued acting as a career, making his debut on television in 1981. He has won numerous awards, beginning in 1989 with an Independent Spirit Award and Academy Award for Best Actor for his lead role in Leaving Las Vegas. He has appeared in over 60 films, including Face/Off (1997), National Treasure (2004), and Ghost Rider (2007).

His career is noted for lying in the extremes. He proved himself to be an actor of great talent who can create compelling and moving characters in complex, critically acclaimed films. He then established himself as a bankable leading man in massive, explosion-filled blockbusters. After seeing his career slump thanks to some poor choices, coupled with owing millions to the IRS in unpaid taxes, he turned to the DTV market and started churning out poorly received work done purely for the money. After a few years of this, he swung back with films like Mandy and Pig, dark character studies in which he reminded the world why he's an Oscar-winning actor. Those two films led to a career resurgence that brought him somewhat back into the mainstream. In this new phase, Cage has embraced the public perception of him as being a Large Ham and even turned in a well-received Adam Westing performance As Himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

Cage's interesting acting choices, and the broad range of quality in his filmography, has made him the subject of mass Memetic Mutation over the years. Cracked 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.

Cage's style of acting is idiosyncratic enough that 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 was lampshaded and parodied on Saturday Night Live by Andy Samberg, who had a recurring segment on Weekend Update called "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 could star in every movie ever made).

He is also an avid comic book fan. Apart from the aforementioned partial inspiration of his stage name, he named his second son Kal-El (so his full name is Kal-El Coppola Cage), played Ghost Rider, and was cast as Superman in Tim Burton's cancelled Superman Lives. (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 the Crazy Is Cool badass Big Daddy (redesigned in the film to resemble/evoke Batman), who wipes out warehouses full of mobsters single-handedly.

Cage is also the subject of another popular meme, "Nic Cage as Everyone", which revolves around photo manipulations of Cage as film/TV characters, historical figures and current celebrities. Beware — it's creepy, but also pretty hilarious.note  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 horror punk band named after the gravesite he purchased in New Orleans. And a subreddit dedicated to him under the name "One True God".

He is also the universal constant which unites us all. After all, that was the plan: to give you a boner. And you got one. Congratulations, you're human.

Notable for:

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.
  • 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 mental issues) 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. Shirley eventually proposes that Cage, like the Cenobites, is a "demon to some, angel to others", which helps Abed find peace.
  • 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.

Tropes associated with Nicolas Cage's roles:

  • Adam Westing:
    • Later films in his career make it clear 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.
    • And then it became the subject of an entire movie by itself.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Expect to be disappointed if you want to see Cage exclaim "YOU DON'T SAY!" in Vampire's Kiss.
  • 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: Something to note is how much of his filmography is made up of films where his involvement has been motivated by having to take 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.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • He is an unabashed comic book admirer (his stage surname was partially inspired by Marvel's Luke Cage), and has starred in several comics-based films.
    • He has a tattoo of Ghost Rider on his arm. He would play the character twice on film, for which he needed the tattoo covered up.
    • He named his own son Kal-El, after Superman's Kryptonian name. Cage was cast as the Man of Steel in Tim Burton's Superman Lives, but owing to numerous behind the scenes troubles, the film ultimately went unmade. (Cage did get to voice the character, in 2018's Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, and would perform motion capture for his Superman Lives-inspired CG cameo in The Flash.)