Nicolas Cage Explains Why He Stopped Making "Big" Movies: "There's More Oxygen in the Room"

Don’t you dare try to put the Cage in a box.

Okay, that might sound a little redundant to the uninitiated, but you know what we mean. Fresh off his lowkey and sneakily nuanced performance in Pig, actor Nicolas Cage has been making the rounds and imparting his wisdom onto anyone within earshot. You may have heard that we here at /Film are sincere and unironic fans of the man and we strongly propose that what he has to say is worth listening to.

Looking Back And Moving Forward

In a conversation with Variety, Cage shares some choice comments on the seemingly disparate paths he and Hollywood have found themselves on over the years. In fact, this struggle with past fame is not too dissimilar from what his Pig character Rob experiences in the film. Cage explains why this has led to him reconsidering whether or not he’d ever make a grand return to the blockbuster scene.

“I do feel that I’ve gone into my own wilderness and that I’ve left the small town that is Hollywood. I don’t know exactly why Rob left his stardom. It’s never fully explained, and I like that about the movie. But as for me, I don’t know if I’d want to go back. I don’t know if I’d want to go and make another Disney movie. It would be terrifying. It’s a whole different climate. There’s a lot of fear there.”

It’s tough to argue with any of that, particularly in light of how increasingly IP-focused the studio system has become in recent decades. Don’t forget: Disney has even resorted to mining Cage’s own National Treasure series for whatever value it has left, rather than attempting to find their next original hit that could maybe kickstart a new franchise. That puts a conveniently emphatic exclamation mark to his overall point, no?

Cage goes on to share the money quote on how he chafed at the restrictions imposed on him by these big-budget productions. That might seem like a bit of a “Well, what else did you expect?” situation, but the frustration remains all the same.

“When I was making Jerry Bruckheimer movies back-to-back, that was just a high pressure game. There were a lot of fun moments, but at the same time, there was also ‘We wrote this line. It has to be said this way.’ They’d put a camera on you and photograph you, and order you: ‘Now say the roller skate training wheels line.’ I’d say, ‘I’ll do that but I’d also like to try it this way.’ On independent movies, you have more freedom to experiment and be fluid. There’s less pressure and there’s more oxygen in the room.”

From the sound of it, maybe don’t hold your breath on Nicolas Cage starring in a hypothetical Ghost Rider 2 one of these days. In fact, this would seem to splash some cold water on the idea of Cage reprising his role for the in-development Face/Off continuation, but that remains to be seen. Either way, his larger point here rings true. As far as we’re concerned, we’ll happily take more performances and roles like his turn in Pig.

Pig is currently playing in theaters.

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