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Nicolas Cage explains why he prefers the term ‘thespian’ to ‘actor’: ‘Sorry if that is pretentious’

Cage clarified his past comments, stating he never said for people not to call him an ‘actor’

Annabel Nugent
Friday 14 April 2023 11:05 BST
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230414-nicolas Cage Explains Why He Prefers 'Thespian' To 'Actor'-

Nicolas Cage has explained why he prefers the term “thespian” to “actor”.

The Pig star made an appearance during Wednesday night’s episode (14 April) of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote his forthcoming horror-comedy Renfield.

Cage has previously said that he identifies as as “thespian” as opposed to an “actor”.

Host Stephen Colbert quoted Cage to himself, and asked the Mandy star to explain the reason behind his preference.

“I’m curious why being pretentious is appealing to you,” joked Colbert.

Cage clarified that he never told people not to refer to him as an actor.

“OK, that’s a great thing you brought that up. What I was saying was, of course you can call me an actor. By the way, I never said, ‘Don’t call me an actor. Call me a thespian,’” he said.

“That’s what clickbait universe was putting out there and somehow got picked up by CNN. I’m not sure how it got picked up by CNN – I’m sure they have more important things to report on.”

Going on to explain his reasoning for his preference, Cage said: “I see acting as storytelling and what it is is trying to get to the truth of a character and the first actor in Europe was someone called Thespus and what happened there in Greece was that he broke free from the chorus and started narrating and started telling a story truthfully.

“So to me, acting is trying to find the truth of a story.”

He continued: “Now what’s interesting, literally the word ‘actor’ in Greek means ‘hypocrite’. Well, I don’t want to be thought of as a hypocrite. I’m sorry if that sounds pretentious.”

Elsewhere during the interview, Cage named his top five Nicolas Cage films, leaving out some big fan-favourites.

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