“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” brought Nicolas Cage back into the spotlight this spring, highlighting his eclectic filmography, willingness to commit to any role he takes on, and undeniable passion for cinema. One of the more memorable running gags in the meta buddy comedy was Javi (Pedro Pascal) introducing the fictional version of Cage to “Paddington 2.” Cage is originally confused about why his new cinephile friend has such an affection for Paul King’s children’s film, but he eventually agrees to watch it and finds himself moved to tears.
As it turns out, art imitates life. Though many of Cage’s traits in the film (like his alcoholism and the fact that he has a daughter instead of sons) were made up, the actor really does love “Paddington 2.”
“I think the movie is terrific,” Cage said in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I particularly loved Hugh Grant and I thought he was marvelous — it’s a deliciously wicked performance. I really laughed.”
Cage also explained that his experience of re-evaluating his career to make “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” caused him to examine what draws him to certain roles and refine his criteria for accepting future projects.
“My favorite experience is when I go to a movie, and I go, ‘That’s what I’m trying to get close to. The movies that speak to me, to my instrument, to my tastes,” Cage said. “So ‘Ordinary People,’ ‘East of Eden’ and ‘Last Tango in Paris.’ I want film performances that break my heart, that shatter me, that are vulnerable.… James Dean with Raymond Massey trying to give him money on his birthday and having a nervous breakdown on camera, or Marlon Brando trying to talk to his wife while she’s in the coffin and having a nervous breakdown…Those are the experiences that, as an audience member, got me into wanting to be a film actor. So if there’s a movie like ‘Mandy’ or ‘Pig’ or ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ and I can say I’m just starting to get close to that experience I felt in the cinema when I was 14 watching James Dean or Brando, that’s my goal.”