There’s hardly a more meme-able actor out there than Nicolas Cage. Anyone using social media for long enough will stumble upon a GIF of a wild-eyed Cage performance in one form or another.
Unsurprisingly, becoming a form of visual shorthand used the world over for snark online commentary was not the reason Cage got into acting.
Speaking with The Guardian this week to promote the new A24 film “Dream Scenario,” the Oscar-winner says when it first happened he “didn’t understand how to process what was happening”.
These days though, he says he’s made peace with the viral memes that involve him:
“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. 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.
He also believes he may “have been the first actor who went through a kind of meme-ification”. One thing he does seem to have more of an issue with are mashup clips, especially those that have taken scenes of his various characters having meltdowns without showing off the context:
“One person had cherrypicked from all these different movies where I was having meltdowns, but without any regard for how the character got to that place. I was frustrated because I didn’t know what people were taking from the movies other than that.”
Cage’s role in “Dream Scenario” sees him playing Paul Matthews, an unlucky family man who finds his life turned upside down when he starts to appear in millions of stranger’s dreams. His newfound stardom gets complicated when the dreams become nightmares.
“Dream Scenario” opens in cinemas on November 10th.