Nicolas Cage’s favorite cult movie role is the one he played for free.
The Oscar winner found out a Reddit AMA with “Renfield” co-star Nicholas Hoult that his favorite of his best undercover roles remains a small cameo in 1989’s “Never on Tuesday.”
A fan asked Cage what his “favorite lesser-known performance from his filmography” was, to which Cage replied, “There was a little cameo I did that lasted about a minute in ‘Never Tuesday.’ .’ I don’t recommend the whole movie. But it was a feat I did.”
The indie film was written and directed by Adam Rifkin and stars Andrew Lauer, Pete Berg and Claudia Christian, a trio who had a car accident. The film was directed to video by Cassian Elwes.
The ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ star added: ‘I didn’t get paid, but the director and whoever financed the film had a deal that if I did it, they would let me do what I wanted. So it was a complete avant-garde experiment, and of course I played a character who had a prosthetic nose that was very long and pointy. And I had this whole idea of this guy who had a really long nose and had a hard time meeting girls, so his dad bought him a Ferrari Testarossa to help him with that. So I showed up on set with a prosthetic nose and a very high voice, driving a Ferrari Testarossa, and of course it was very frustrating for the other actors.”
Cage admitted, “They seem to like it now, but at the time it was like you couldn’t really fire him because that was the deal. You said I could do whatever I wanted, and he did, so it’s my favorite lesser-known show.”
Hoult asked, “But wait, you brought the Ferrari?”
Cage responded during the Q&A: “No, it was somebody’s Ferrari and they took it from me because I was going too fast.”
Hoult added, “What inspired you?” Cage confirmed, “It’s like a troubled live-action version of ‘Pinocchio.’
When later asked what his toughest on-screen challenge has been to date, Cage admitted that playing “The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent” was a daunting task.
“I don’t have any muscle telling me to play myself in a movie, and I wanted to cast someone else,” Cage said.
“Never on a Tuesday,” director Rifkin said Entertainment Weekly In 2019, amid a resurgence of cult films, Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Cary Elwes, Judd Nelson and Gilbert Gottfried each came on set for a day to do a “cute character” and leave. Cage was specifically “given free rein to do what he wanted,” which was a “stipulation” of his contract.
“So he came in with a big rubber nose that he wanted to put on and play this crazy character, which we thought was hilarious,” Rifkin recalled. “Well, there’s an uncut version of his scene that needs to be dug up from somewhere where he says much crazier things. Unfortunately, this version did not make it into the final film. But now I want us to find it, because it’s really very bizarre. But this is the story of how his character came into the film and what a strange character he became.”
And “Never Tuesday” isn’t the only role for which Cage didn’t get paid. “Leaving Las Vegas” writer-director Mike Figgis claimed that neither he nor lead actor Cage “were ever paid.” Cage won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the 1995 film. “They said the movie never turned a profit,” Figgis said The Hollywood Reporter from the production company Lumiere Pictures, which financed the film.
Figgis concluded, “Whatever. I mean, my career then took off again and I paid really well in the next film. And within a year (Nicolas Cage) was making $20 million a movie, so that was pretty good.”
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