The Retirement Plan: Nicolas Cage Reveals Why He Left Hollywood

Nicolas Cage had an instinctual understanding of how to play Rob, the melancholic truffle forager at the heart of “Pig.” Rob’s love for his pet pig and his tumultuous relationship with his former celebrity as a renowned chef is explored in this independent film. Cage, a popular action star in the late 1990s and early 2000s, understood Rob’s conflicted sentiments about fame and shared his desire to live off the grid.

Why Nicolas Cage left Hollywood?

In an interview with US media, Cage said, “I definitely feel like I’ve gone into my own wilderness and that I’ve abandoned the small town of Hollywood.”  “I’m not sure why Rob quit his celebrity. It’s never fully explained, which is one of the aspects of the film that I enjoy. But, as for myself, I’m not sure I’d want to return. I’m not sure if I’d want to make another Disney film. It’d be a nightmare. It’s a completely different environment. There’s a lot of terror in that place,”. 

Cage is no longer the box office draw he was when he starred in Jerry Bruckheimer action flicks like 1996’s “The Rock” and 1997’s “Con Air,” which were based on comic books. He’s spent the last ten years or so appearing in low-budget films, some of which are forgettable (“Kill Chain,” anyone?) and some of which are unjustly under-appreciated, as was the case with his sympathetic performance in David Gordon Green’s “Joe.” Even when he was at the top of his game, Cage says he resented the commercial limits placed on his performances, according to reports.

“It was a high-pressure game when I was working on two Jerry Bruckheimer films back-to-back. There were a lot of good times, but there were also some awkward moments. This must be stated,” Cage told US media while looking back at on his life. “They’d picture you and tell you to say, ‘Now say the roller skate training wheels line.’ ‘I’ll do that, but I’d like to try it this way, too,’ I’d add. You have greater leeway to explore and be fluid when working on an independent film. In the room, there is less pressure and more oxygen,” he noted.

‘I’m not sure I’d want to go back’: Nicolas Cage

After a run of reaching operatic heights in films like “Mandy” and “Prisoners of the Ghostland,” in which he acted out what it would be like to have a testicle blasted off, Cage used “Pig” to remind moviegoers that he is capable of doing nuanced work.

Cage says he choreographs each beat of his performance for films like “Prisoners of the Ghostland” and uses a style of acting he calls “western Kabuki theatre,” which combines off-beat vocalisations, German expressionism, and untamed emotion to produce a unique style. Countless memes have been dedicated to the scenery-chewing effects. It has also earned Cage a devoted following, with Ethan Hawke hailing him as the first actor since Marlon Brando who’s truly done something new with the art of acting.

Cage explained that he just wanted to come up on set, walk into a room, and tell the story with whatever his life experiences, recollections, and horrible nightmares from the night before were.” For want of a better description, he wanted to return to a lot more haiku-like manner of performance. That is exactly what I mean when I say that. Haiku is composed of five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables, and the words and syllables stimulate you to contemplate the silent gaps. That’s how this movie feels”, he said.

“Pig” is much more than a character study. The film also looks at the powerful ties that humans and animals can form. Rob’s truffle-hunting pig is his best friend and the only source of unconditional love in his life. According to the report, Cage has a similar relationship with his cat, Merlin.

“Pig” will be released on July 16, and while critics are welcoming it as a return to form for Cage, don’t expect him to abandon his more bizarre endeavours. Cage will next be seen in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” in which he will portray a fictionalised version of himself, an ageing star recruited by the CIA. “I’m not going to see this movie,” Cage declared. He said that it’s been recommended to him as a nice film. People say they like it and are having a good time, and he made it for the audience. He told US media that going to the premiere and sitting with everyone is too much for him. That’s too odd and outrageous for him on a psychological level, he said. 

Picture Credit: AP

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