Nicolas Cage has said he doesn’t wish to be labelled as an ‘actor’ anymore, instead saying he considers himself a ‘thespian’.
The Oscar-winning star explained that he believes people associate actors with being ‘great liars’, and considers his craft instead more akin to ‘shamanism’.
Cage, who acknowledged at the top of his comments that his thoughts might risk him ‘sounding like a pretentious a-hole’, revealed his opinions on his job title during an appearance on Variety‘s Awards Circuit podcast.
‘I like the word thespian because thespian means you’re going into your heart, or you’re going into your imagination, or your memories or your dreams, and you’re bringing something back to communicate with the audience,’ he said. ‘I think it’s more like recruiting imagination. Dare I say it, it’s more like a shamanism.’
‘What early shamans would do is go into flights of imagination to find answers to help their village. I like looking at it like that, with the risk of sounding completely absurd and ridiculous. I like the idea of it being something a little more organic and less artificial.’
Elsewhere during his appearance on the podcast Cage discussed his previous and more recent work, and discussed his famed method acting style.
‘You’ve got to go towards what is in some ways dangerous or scary, but it can’t ever lapse into the realm of hurting yourself or someone else,’ he explained. ‘Which is why, for me, it’s about imagination. For me, I don’t need my cat to die to play the scene. I can imagine it and it can break my heart and I can get there and, thank God, I can get back.’
Cage also acknowledged that he’d been previously criticised for his ‘over the top’ approach to his roles, but defended himself, saying, ‘When they say that to me, I say: ‘Well, you tell me where the top is and I’ll tell you whether or not I’m over it’.’
The 57-year-old most recently starred in Pig, a film about a reclusive truffle hunter.
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