One of cinema's greatest gifts is a viral video montage of Nicolas Cage's best on-screen meltdowns, but the actor is revealing that he initially struggled with complex emotions over the clip — until he found a screenplay that allowed him to channel his frustrations into a juicy character.
Following Saturday night's world-premiere screening of his new comedy Dream Scenario at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, the 59-year-old revealed how his pent-up feelings over the YouTube compilation inspired his performance in the film as a man whose life turns upside-down after he inexplicably begins appearing in disturbing (often brutal) dreams shared by millions of people around the world.
"What happened to me, I think I might've been the first actor who woke up one morning and somebody had put a montage of me, meltdown moments, cherry-picking from different movies, and then put it online," Cage told the audience during a post-screening Q&A. "I think it was called Nicolas Cage Losing His S---. It went viral overnight around the world, I kept going, 'What is happening to me?'"
GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Nicolas Cage at TIFF world premiere of 'Dream Scenario.'
"It kept exponentially compounding on itself and getting bigger," the Oscar winner continued. "Nothing I could do could stop it. I couldn't stop it legally, I couldn't stop it any way. I sat there and it started going to this meme-ification, with Photoshopping.... I said, well, I've got to put this somewhere, and then I read Dream Scenario and I said, yes, now I can turn this lead into a little bit of gold."
Since its debut in 2011, editor Harry Hanrahan's compilation has been viewed millions of times online, and includes comically juxtaposed scenes from the actor's movies — including the infamously grim ending of the 2006 horror remake The Wicker Man, which sees his character attacked by a swarm of bees.
Directed by Kristoffer Borgli and produced by Ari Aster, Dream Scenario — also starring Julianne Nicholson, Michael Cera, Dylan Gelula, Dylan Baker, and Tim Meadows — is set for release on Nov. 10 via A24.
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