If Nicholas Cage Doesn’t Like Violence, Why Does He Pick Those Roles?

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If Nicholas Cage Doesn’t Like Violence, Why Does He Pick Those Roles?

By Movieguide® Contributor

While Nicholas Cage has appeared in almost every genre of movie out there, the prodigious actor revealed the projects that he dislikes and the projects he still gets excited about today during a recent interview with The New Yorker.

Though Cage’s recent movies have included a string of violent characters, such as his portrayal of Dracula in 2023’s RENFIELD — which Movieguide® rated a -4 and called “one of the most bloody, violent mainstream horror movies ever made” — or his role the upcoming serial killer horror LONGLEGS, the actor revealed he doesn’t like violence and instead gravitates towards projects about people.

“I don’t like violence,” Cage said. “I don’t want to play people who are hurting people. One of the things that I like about this potential show [SPIDER-MAN NOIR] is that it’s fantasy. It’s not really people beating people up.”

Instead, Cage likes to take roles that would have inspired him as a kid — roles that focus on excellent moviemaking and storytelling rather than movies for the masses that earn him a major paycheck.

“People want to learn something from what these characters are going through. I’m interested in 50mm, right in your face — I’m interested in the psyche,” he told The New Yorker. “I want to see people going through their hardships and their celebrations and relate to it, or find something to it that makes me feel less lonely in some way. I’m not interested in, you know, a $100 million science fiction. I do love science fiction, but I’m not necessarily going to the movie for the spectacle.”

“I like movies about people — that’s just my taste — and smaller stories,” Cage continued. “That’s why I’ve gravitated toward independent film. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do more adventure films, or I wouldn’t do something that’s more popcorn. I’m considering it right now as we speak.”

“But the movies that made me want to be a film actor are movies like Elia Kazan’s, or RAGING BULL — movies that were about people who were contending with the issues of life,” he added.

Cage’s gravitation towards projects that excite him — whether they are similar to things he has done in the past or not — brought him to his upcoming TV show SPIDER-MAN NOIR.

“I saw Bryan Cranston in BREAKING BAD stare at a suitcase for half the episode,” Cage said. “Just him on the floor looking at a suitcase thinking, ‘What’s in it? Do I do this? Don’t I do it?’ I thought, ‘We don’t have time do that in movies.’ So that to me seemed like an opportunity to open it up a little. I don’t know if the project that I’m exploring has room for that. I think this is a much more sort of popcorn-entertainment [show].”

Movieguide® previously reported on Cage:

Nicholas Cage recently shared his thoughts on AI as the technology becomes more prevalent in movie making. 

“AI is a nightmare to me,” Cage said. “It’s inhumane. You can’t get more inhumane than artificial intelligence…I would be very unhappy if people were taking my art…and appropriating [it].”

He recently had a cameo in THE FLASH, which received a -2 content rating from Movieguide®. The actor revealed that the scene he was featured in on screen was completely different from what he filmed. 

“When I went to the picture, it was me fighting a giant spider,” Cage said. “I did not do that. That was not what I did. I don’t think it was [created by] AI. I know Tim [Burton] is upset about AI, as I am. It was CGI, OK, so that they could de-age me, and I’m fighting a spider. I didn’t do any of that, so I don’t know what happened there.” 

He expanded on what was actually supposed to take place.

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