The phrase “either you love him or you hate him” is too cliché, but in the case of the protagonist of your book it seems inevitable. What is it about Nicolas Cage that causes so many passions, so many mixed feelings?
Paco Alcazar: For years, his way of acting has been very personal. Cage decided early in his career to break with the naturalistic tradition of the famous acting method and use techniques closer to silent movies or even Japanese kabuki theater, where the performances do not aspire to be realistic. This resulted in films in which he put weird voices, “overreacted” or improvised unexpected things. To one part of the commercial cinema viewers this generates rejection or ridicule, but to another part it fascinates us (and amuses us), I think because of what is original and brave.
Torïo García: On the other hand, the presence of his memes on the internet has been multiplying for a decade. Like it or not, you are going to meet Nicolas Cage, either on TV or on social media. I get the impression that there is a tendency to have an opinion on everything and everything has to be a masterpiece or absolute rubbish, without nuances. I think Nic, as a phenomenon, has also gotten a bit caught up in this.
How did you come up with the idea of dedicating a book to your first 100 films? Why 100 and not 50, or wait for 150 (a figure that could possibly reach in a few months if it maintains its production rate)?
P. A.: Ha ha, it is possible, yes. Well, when I started planning the book I looked at IMDB and saw that it was close to a hundred movies. I figured that during the book’s production time, Cage would easily reach a hundred and it seemed like a good title.
T. G.: What of The 100 it was funny for being a round number. The idea is that the book kept this title, there would be 98 or 102 of his films at the time of publication. The 100 fair has been a happy coincidence.
The book not only focuses on Nicolas Cage’s filmography, but is also a mini-encyclopedia about the actor: life and work, stories and legends, loves and marriages … I suppose the fact that Torïo García had been working on the blog for years and a fanzine from the “NicCagepedia” facilitated the documentation work.
T. G.: Sure, I had already done some of the work. Even so, I began to review all his filmography again, rereading several biographical books and researching articles and interviews with him. But yes, having been with the NicCagepedia project for 10 years has certainly been a good foundation. Otherwise, you almost certainly wouldn’t have had on your shelves full of Nic movies and books about her figure.
You analyze the different stages that Cage has gone through based on his hair styling, his clothes and accessories, his professional moment… What has been the most complex stage to illustrate for Paco Alcázar?
P. A.: The whole second chapter of the book, in which the portraits are more realistic than my usual style, cost me a lot because I am a fatal portraitist / cartoonist, that was one of the challenges of the book for me. Specifically, his superstar phase in the late 90s-early 2000s where he gets prettier made me sweat blood.
Nicolas Cage has been a great Hollywood star in the 90s and early 2000s, he has descended into the hells of the industry accepting crazy projects due to his problems with finances in the late 2000s and, finally, he has reinvented himself by becoming a cult actor. What role have the internet and social networks played in this latest rebirth?
P. A.: I think that this interaction between Cage and the networks is something almost historical, in the sense that his entire filmography has been used to express all kinds of emotions. Other actors and actresses have also been the result of memes, but Nicolas Cage’s level is not even comparable and they have given him an unexpected projection, of course. Probably for another actor the whole phenomenon of memes on the internet would have been the professional grave, but in Nic’s case it has become quite an impulse, turning his career into a kind of genre in itself. At the same time, I find it very interesting how those scenes from Cage’s films are reinterpreted when decontextualized, take on another meaning and are now part of a new vocabulary.
In your biographical notes, those that appear in the book, you mark the stages of your life according to Cage films. Do you think they could become a unit of time?
P. A.: Haha, as you say, for us it already is. Furthermore, Nicolas Cage has made such iconic films at every stage of his career that it is easy to relate many people’s memories to his filmography.
T. G.: In the NicCagepedia I usually refer to that we live in the Cage Era. For example, we are year 57 of the Cage Era calendar, which we could also call the year Willy’s Wonderland (at least until we have another premiere of his).
If you had to schedule a Nic marathon, what three movies would make it up?
P. A.: I would stay with “Adaptation”, “Con Air” and “Wild heart”.
T. G.: Well, a marathon is not the same as saying my three favorites, so I would look for a common thematic thread, but with variety. I think i would say Arizona Baby to start with comedy, Red Rock West to continue with one of intrigue and entanglement and end in style with Con Air, which is my favorite. All three run through the southeastern United States and there is also a certain progression in Nic’s hairstyles.
On television they broadcast Nicolas Cage films almost every week, at all hours, but mainly on weekend after-dinner meals. Could it ever unseat Eric Roberts as king of this time slot?
T. G.: His level of production in recent years has meant that, by force, he has many films that are evening movie meat. But be careful, because there are also many good and less well-known films, which for some reason always broadcast outside the prime time. I don’t know if Cage will unseat anyone, late-night movies count as their own star systemBut for Nic to have movies that your grandmother can watch and enjoy on a Saturday afternoon seems cool to me.
Do you plan a second part of the book when Cage shoots another 100 films?
P. A.: Torïo and I have been crazy about the subject and we want to continue drawing and collecting anecdotes from the next Cage films. I do not know if it will give for another book, but this is already a vital mission.
T. G.: I am a bit pessimistic in my optimism, I think that now that their economic problems are more or less resolved and with several series projects ahead, surely their production rhythm will relax and quality will begin to prevail over quantity. But hey, that’s two or three movies a year almost certainly.
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Nicolas Cage’s first 100 films