Nicolas Cage Once Opened up About Feeling Like an Outsider in Hollywood

Actor Nicolas Cage is no stranger to taking chances in his film career. Although these risks once helped catapult Cage to megastardom, it also had critics questioning his later career choices. Eventually, this constant criticism led Cage to feel isolated in Hollywood.

Nicolas Cage once explained why he wasn’t sure he wanted to return to Hollywood

Nicolas Cage smiling while wearing a black suit.
Nicolas Cage | Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Although Cage hasn’t stopped making films, the kind of movies he’s starred in these days aren’t the blockbusters he once headlined. But Cage shared that it was a transition in his career he made willfully.

“I do feel that I’ve gone into my own wilderness and that I’ve left the small town that is Hollywood,” Cage said in an interview with Variety.

However, it’s a small town the National Treasure star wasn’t sure he was ever willing to return to.

“But as for me, I don’t know if I’d want to go back. I don’t know if I’d want to go and make another Disney movie. It would be terrifying. It’s a whole different climate. There’s a lot of fear there,” he shared.

Cage later elaborated on the differences between making independent films and the blockbusters he’d starred in during his career peak.

“When I was making Jerry Bruckheimer movies back-to-back, that was just a high-pressure game. There were a lot of fun moments, but at the same time, there was also ‘We wrote this line. It has to be said this way,’” Cage recalled. “They’d put a camera on you and photograph you, and order you: ‘Now say the roller skate training wheels line.’ I’d say, ‘I’ll do that but I’d also like to try it this way.’ On independent movies, you have more freedom to experiment and be fluid. There’s less pressure and there’s more oxygen in the room.”

Nicolas Cage felt like an outsider in Hollywood

When it came to the movies he’s made over the years, Cage has no regrets despite some of the criticism they’ve received. In fact, Cage stood by his career choices.

“I’m proud of the chances I’ve taken. They haven’t all worked, but I had a concept and I’ve pushed for it,” he told The Times (via Contact Music). “It’s probably annoyed a lot of critics and a lot of people who didn’t get in step with it, but I’m proud I did it. Tolstoy said something to the effect of, it doesn’t matter whether the response you get is love or hatred, because you’ve created an effect. What’s not worthwhile is when it sits there and people forget about it. But whether people love it or hate it, at least you’ve done something. That gives me some solace.”

Cage also believed his films were sometimes targeted by critics because they didn’t quite see the big picture.

“Sometimes I feel like an outsider,” he said. “When you’re endowed with an original way of thinking, or with a highly active imagination, you can become quickly ostracized. You can feel isolated and misunderstood.”

Nicolas Cage felt there were many misconceptions about him

In an interview with The Guardian, the Vampire’s Kiss actor took the time to address some common theories about him that he wanted to debunk. If only because he wanted to set the record straight about the kind of person he is.

“There is a misperception, if you will, in critical response or even in Hollywood, that I can only do exaggerated characters. Or what they would call over-the-top performances,” Cage said. “Well, this is completely false.”

He also felt other common misconceptions of him included doing movies solely for the paycheck, and being comic book-obsessed.

“The other big misconception, which needs to be cleared up in my opinion, is a video on demand,” he added.

The actor didn’t feel that a movie going straight to video or demand classified it as a failure. This was something he felt critics frequently did.

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