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Exc: Nic Cage talks Humanity Bureau & which supervillain he'd like to play

04.05.2018

Being an entertainment journalist can be a hell of a lot of fun. Sure, it can get monotonous at times, but man, I never look a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to some of the cool shit I get to do sometimes and that includes talking to the one and only Nicolas Cage. Despite a bumpy road the last few years, Cage has continued to churn 'em out, making a string of hidden gems and a string of best-left-forgotten ones, but never taking his name out of the game. And I'm damn thankful for it. Cage was a blast to talk to and I seriously could sit and pick his brain for hours over his entire film catalogue. We only had a small amount of time, but it was more than enough to talk about his new film, THE HUMANITY BUREAU, The Comic-Book Genre and his GHOST RIDER days, the pull to the science fiction genre, which DC and Marvel villains he's always been interested in playing, what his relationship with Sean Connery was like on THE ROCK and, finally, where he believes his RAISING ARIZONA character would be today.

You have worked in every genre imaginable and you've been crankin' them out like crazy. What spoke to you about THE HUMANITY BUREAU as your next project?

Well, as you know, science fiction is one of my favorite genres. I've always felt that with science fiction you can really exercise your right to freedom of speech and really speak to what's happening currently that may or may not concern you, simply by virtue of the fact that with that particular genre you can put it in another planet or in the future and you can speak to what's happening now, i.e. George Orwell "1984"...look at DISTRICT 9, to me was really kind of a movie about apartheid and with THE HUMANITY BUREAU I felt that it was an opportunity to not so much be a message movie, but perhaps reflect, hold a mirror to what I see could happen down the road in terms of industry and it's effect on the Earth and global warming and of course what's happening with immigration. And so, it was a way to maybe speak to that a little bit, not in in a message way, but more neutral in terms of what I see happening right now.

I've always felt that you could do that with science fiction and it's something that I hope stays strong as a genre and stays very much in the forefront, because I think that it is one of the last places where you can do that and not be censored or be punished for it.

Do you ever have any fear that maybe you can go too far into that aspect and take people out of the movie in that way? How do you approach that?

I think it's a delicate balance. You're right, you have to be aware of it. You have to be conscious of it and cognizant of 'Are we going over the line too much?' to the point where it's becoming sanctimonious or preachy or pedantic or downright obnoxious. That is something I'm not interested in and I feel that if you approach a movie with the idea that you're going to make a message movie then you're going about it the wrong way. Then you're negelecting story and just trying to make a message film and I've never wanted to do that. I've simply wanted to be more neutral and hold a mirror up to what I see and then leave it up to the audience to make their own decisions, but always try and have a story that is compelling enough to keep the audience engaged and along for the ride, whatever that ride may be.

Are there any comic book roles out there now that you're itching to play or any characters that you're super into that you'd be interested in?

I mean, I think my comic book days are kind of...I'm on to other things, but I always thought I'd make a great Joker and I always thought that I would've been a good villain in one of the Marvel [movies] like Doctor Doom. But, Doctor Doom you have to wear that mask, but I thought the story leading up to Doctor Doom could've been interesting. At this point if I was to go back into the format it would probably have to be as a villain.

Man, now that you've said "Nicolas Cage Joker" I'm not gonna be able to get that out of my head. That needs to happen somehow...

It would be the perfect one for me to go even more off the rails than I've ever done before and, y'know, it'd be fun.

You were in another film, THE ROCK, and everybody wants to know if you have any cool or fun or very memorable Sean Connery experiences. You're like a modern icon now and at that time you're working with this old-school guy. Are there any stories that stick out from that time?

I mean, the thing about Sean is that he was always very willing to talk about life...I was always asking him questions. I was in a place where I was working with one of my heroes and I'd go to work with him in the morning, I'd get him from his trailer and we'd walk to set together and I would always call him "maestro". He was someone I always grew up with, primarily with DR. NO. But, after I got over the fact that he was one of my childhood heroes, it became a very avuncular relationship and I wanted to know, like, how he achieved what he achieved and he was very helpful. I mean, these aren't funny stories per se, but I remember I was doing a scene in THE ROCK where I had to pull the string of pearls out and went through that whole monologue about how I drive a beige car and cut me some slack and Sean always went first so I had to do that scene over and over and over again and by the time the camera got over to my side I was just wiped out and I had overthought it.

And I remember him saying, 'Just let it go, don't think about it anymore' and then everything started coming back into high gear and flowing again. I think avuncular would be the best way to describe it. He was helpful to me in terms of how to navigate switching into a different mode in terms of going from independent movies and more into mainstream adventure films and he was very, very helpful.

You also did RAISING ARIZONA with the Coen Brothers. What do you think H.I. would be up to today?

Y'know, what I would like to think is that he would be kind of like the ending itself, that his vision of the old couple not being screwed up and neither were their kids or their grandkids. I get the idea of him just enjoying being at home just with these grandkids running around and living a much simpler life, not one that involved robbing convenience stores, but one where he could just enjoy his oversized chair and maybe a nice beer and some television with the kids playing around. That's where I kind of see him ending up.

THE HUMANITY BUREAU is in limited theaters and VOD on April 6th!

Source: JoBlo.com

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