Nicolas Cage says he identifies as a ‘thespian’ because ‘actor’ means ‘liar’

Ghost Rider star explains perceived difference between the two words

Maanya Sachdeva
Friday 31 December 2021 09:20 GMT
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Nicolas Cage has said he would rather be called a “thespian” than an “actor”.

The Ghost Rider star explained his perceived difference between the two words, and why he was more inclined to self-identify as a thespian, in a new interview with Variety.

On the latest episode of Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast, which was released on Thursday (30 December), Cage said: “For me it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar.’”

So, Cage said, he prefers the term thespian despite the risk of sounding like a “pretentious a**hole”.

“‘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,” said the 57-year-old, who has starred in more than 100 films since the 1984 rom-com Valley Girl catapulted him to fame.

Most recently, Cage starred in Michael Sarnosi’s debut film Pig, which was released in July.

Cage’s portrayal of a reclusive Oregon chef, desperate to rescue his kidnapped truffle hunting pig from gangsters, in Sarnosi’s revenge-thriller earned him rave reviews.

In her four-star review for The Independent, Clarisse Loughrey said Cage’s performance in Pig was a “beautiful demonstration” of his ability to forge a “profound connection” with the role of Robert “Rob” Feld.

The Oscar-winner said he was surprised by the film’s success but that it was “nice to have an enthusiastic response”, in an earlier interview.

In September this year, Cage claimed he would never retire from acting, likening his profession to a “guardian angel”.

“I’m healthier when I’m working, I need a positive place to express my life experience, and filmmaking has given me that. So I’m never going to retire. Where are we now, 117 movies?” he had said.

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