Nicolas Cage: ‘I Didn’t Get Into Movies to Be a Meme’ and ‘I Had No Control Over It’

Nicolas Cage is one of the internet’s most beloved actors. Social media platforms like X/Twitter and Reddit are constantly flooded with clips of and tributes to his larger-than-life performances. Google “Nicolas Cage memes” and you get list upon list devoted to the Oscar-winning actor. But such viral attention is an afterthought for Cage.

“I got into acting because I was moved by film performance more than any other art form. I didn’t get into movies to become a meme,” Cage recently told The Guardian on his press tour for A24’s “Dream Scenario,” opening in theaters this month. “That was new. I made friends with it but it was an adjustment. I thought maybe they would compel someone to go back and look at the movies. But I had no control over it. The same thing happens with Paul in ‘Dream Scenario’: he has no control over this inexplicable phenomenon.”

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“Dream Scenario” stars Cage as a college professor who becomes famous after he inexplicably begins to appear in the dreams of strangers, though his celebrity status faces complications once the world’s visions of him become terrifying.

Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge had strong praise for Cage in the film, hailing his “uncommonly low-key performance.” He adds: “The timeless-looking film engages with up-to-the-minute ideas, from cancel culture to going viral, ultimately revealing itself to be a sly social satire.”

Cage most recently went viral for his blunt thoughts on artificial intelligence. “AI is a nightmare to me,” he told Yahoo! Entertainment. “It’s inhumane. You can’t get more inhumane than artificial intelligence.”

He also criticized his cameo appearance as Superman in “The Flash.” Toward the end of the Warner Bros. tentpole, Cage’s Man of Steel is seen battling a giant spider as the multiverse begins to collapse, a reference to Tim Burton‘s axed “Superman Lives” movie, which the actor was set to star in.

“What I was supposed to do was literally just be standing in an alternate dimension, if you will, and witnessing the destruction of the universe,” Cage explained to Yahoo. “Kal-El was bearing witness [to] the end of a universe, and you can imagine with that short amount of time that I had, what that would mean in terms of what I can convey. I had no dialogue [so I had to] convey with my eyes the emotion. So that’s what I did. I was on set for maybe three hours.”

“When I went to the picture, it was me fighting a giant spider,” Cage added. “I did not do that. That was not what I did. I don’t think it was [created by] AI. I know Tim [Burton] is upset about AI, as I am. It was CGI, OK, so that they could de-age me, and I’m fighting a spider. I didn’t do any of that, so I don’t know what happened there.”

“Dream Scenario” opens in theaters Nov. 10 from A24.

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