Nicolas Cage came up with the idea for one particularly “surreal and awful” scene in his new Tom Gormican-directed Lionsgate feature The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.
You know — the one where present-day Nicolas Cage makes out with his younger self, the alter-ego character called Nicky.
Cage giggled as he explained the genesis of the scene.
“I wrote that in the script, because, to me, this whole thing is such an ouroboros-like experience, playing not one but two versions of myself. I mean, it’s everything that making out with oneself would be — it’s both revolting and kind of exciting and horrifying,” he told MovieMaker in our latest cover story.
“To me, that just spoke volumes about the meta nature of the film itself. In my opinion, it was the most amusing, ultimate cubist gesture to have Nicky grab Nick and French kiss him. It’s just so surreal and awful.”
If you haven’t already seen The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, maybe this will convince you. The Nicky character looks exactly like Cage when he famously appeared on the British talk show, Wogan, in 1990. You know, the one when he takes off his shirt and starts throwing money at the audience. It’s a moment now cemented into Nicolas Cage lore.
In Massive Talent, Nicky acts as a sort of devil on the shoulder of modern-day Nick Cage.
In fact, Cage also told us that without that Nicky character — which originally started out looking more like the Fabio-haired, action-movie-buff Cameron Poe from Con Air — Cage may not have agreed to do the film in the first place.
“I think that the Nicky character was really what put the hook in me to do this movie,” Cage says. “Originally, it was just ‘Young Nick,’ it wasn’t Nicky. But when I was growing up, my name was Nicky, and my family members call me Nicky.”
But just like the making-out-with-himself scene, Cage added his own personal insight in order to mold the Cameron Poe character into Nicky, which felt more authentic. He would know — he’s playing himself, after all.
“I said, well, that’s not Nick Cage, that’s Cameron Poe. If you want Young Nick to have attitude and be kind of wild and be this character that’s constantly picking on contemporary Nick, then look at the Wogan show when I went on for Wild at Heart and was doing front handsprings and throwing money at the audience and taking my leather jacket off and giving my t-shirt to Terry Wogan,” Cage says. “That’s the guy that I think is Young Nicky, who is obnoxious.”
Main Image: Nicolas Cage behind the scenes of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, courtesy of Lionsgate. Photo by Karen Ballard.