The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Answering the Question on Everyone’s Mind: What’s American actor Nicolas Cage Been Up to Lately?


Illustration courtesy of Celia Lober

  San Luis Obispo High School students are demanding to know: what’s Nicolas Cage up to these days?

This is arguably one of the most controversial questions among the student populace.

American actor Nicolas “Nick” Cage has built up a reputation as an otherwise A-list actor (he’s been nominated for and won both Oscars and Golden Globes) whose performances are way over-the-top and who’s in an unfathomable number of movies—in his four decades-long career he’s been in over 110. He’s probably most famous for playing Benjamin Franklin Gates in the movie “National Treasure” (think: “I’m gonna steal the Declaration of Independence”) and as the critically-acclaimed “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.”

  Some might venture to call him a “living meme.”

  To verify this, simply imagine being in an office overlooking New York City with Cage, talking in an unpinnable accent that sounds kind of like Donald Trump, and his therapist. Cage rants about work troubles at her: “How could somebody MIS-file something? What could be easier? It’s all alphabetical, you just PUT IT IN the right FILE, according to alphabetical order!” He stands up and makes rapid hand, arm, and body motions. “Y’know, A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K,” and now clapping, “Elemenopee, Q!-R!-S!-T!-U!-V!-double-u-exwhyzee! That’s ALL you have to do!” Now he’s visibly disturbing his therapist. “I never misfiled ANYTHING! NOT ONCE! NOT ONE TIME!”

  This is Cage in “Vampire’s Kiss,” a 1988 movie about a rude New York office boss who goes crazy and thinks he’s a vampire. In another scene he’s disheveled, walking with a gait, carrying a giant wooden stake, and wearing plastic vampire teeth while shouting at passers-by: “Ahhhhh! I’m a vampire! Kill me!”

  Covering Cage’s recent projects, though, is a big task as just since 2015, he’s been in 27 movies and has six more currently in the works.

It’s imperative to stick to only the most entertaining. 

  His first notable good movie is “Mandy” from 2018, where he plays a man who seeks revenge against a Charles Manson-like cult leader. It’s a horror/thriller film and has been widely praised for unique writing and design. In it, Cage’s performance is very convincing and he does a good job acting out grief. Another of his good roles is as the voice-actor of Spider-Man Noir in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (also from 2018). SLOHS senior Ryana Richards, agreeing, said, “I heard he was the voice actor for Spider-Man Noir in the ‘Spider-Verse’ movie, which was a great movie in general if that counts.”

  But good performances are of little interest to a practitioner of Nicocageology—the scientific study of Nicolas Cage. Such a scientist much prefers to study his weird ones. 

  A tame place to start is “Outcast” (2015), which is set in Dynastic China and also stars Hayden Christensen (a.k.a. Prequel Anakin). There is fighting over who should be the next emperor and both Cage and Christensen take a break from the Crusades to get involved (“white knights,” if one wills). The cinematography is confusing and erratic, and the dialogue is bad.

  Introduce Cage, however, and the movie becomes interesting. True to fashion, Cage’s character speaks in an accent that’s almost British, but not quite, which combines with his overacting to make his scenes very entertaining. For some reason he has a snake coiled around his hand and rubs it against his chin at random times when he’s talking.

  Even gods like Nick Cage have parents and this next movie, “Mom and Dad,” released in 2017, is an interesting twist on parenting. “Mom and Dad” is a horror-comedy that stars Cage as a dad in a strained suburban family household. 

  The plot is that a mysterious static noise compels parents to kill their own kids and Cage and his wife, played by Selma Blair, reignite their love by working together to try to murder their children. It is a ridiculous movie and is actually decent. Because it’s so over-the-top, Cage does really good in it. All of his weird nuances fit right in.

  As an example, there’s one scene where he’s having a heart-to-heart chat with his son. At one point Cage sighs and then nonchalantly creepily licks the edge of his beer. There’s another where he aggressively builds a pool table and then subsequently destroys it.

  Why is Nicolas Cage such an odd actor? Why is he in so many movies?

  These are necessary and proper questions. A good scientist knows that a cause always precedes an effect and a Nicocageologist is the most noble scientist of them all.

  Cage is not very good with money. He managed to amass a 150 million dollar fortune, which he then squandered with extravagant purchases: 15 mansions, (including a $25 million waterfront one in Newport Beach, two castles in Europe, and a deserted island in the Bahamas), a $150 thousand pet octopus, a $500 thousand Lamborghini that belonged to the (now deposed) emperor of Iran, a $250 thousand dinosaur skull, and the first Superman comic. He now owes the government $6.3 million in taxes and basically has to accept any role offered to him.

  The good side, though, is that he likes keeping busy and prefers to be an unconventional actor. His weird performances are less the result of his ineptitude than of him not sticking to realism. He likes to act in the exaggerated style that was popular when movies were a new invention. 

  Many agree that Cage is good at his job. Speaking for the silent majority, senior Evan Clausen said, “Nicolas is, in truth, a fantastic actor. His best work is definitely as the mole [‘Speckles’] in ‘G-Force.’ The reveal that he was the mole/spy the whole time was shocking and hit me right in my emotions. Nick really stole the show there.” Additionally, although it may seem nonsensical, every tone change and body gesture of his performance in the “misfile” scene from above was carefully planned out by Cage.

  Outside of movies, in 2019 Cage married a woman named Erika Koike and then separated four days later. He claims that he was too drunk when they got married to understand what he was doing.

  Mr. Cage is not going anywhere. He appears to be on track to keep being in ridiculous movies until he dies. He is an American icon. 

  He’s so iconic that right now, he’s starring in a movie being made called “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” He plays himself and has to perform some of his most famous “freakout” scenes in order to appease a Mexican billionaire who’s holding his wife and daughter hostage.

  Whether one loves him or hates him, they have got to admit that he has left his mark on the world. 

  What a man.

  God bless Nicolas Cage.


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