Massive Nerd Nicolas Cage Insists That He's Not A Massive Nerd
After playing angels, demons, cavemen, and wizards, Nicolas Cage's next movie finds him playing his second most outrageous character yet: Nicolas Cage. (The first would be "John Travolta with Nicolas Cage's face.") Cage portrays a version of himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, but you can tell the character isn't completely faithful to reality because, at least based on the trailers, he fails to mention the most important thing about himself: the fact that he's definitely, definitely not a nerd.
See, there's a common "misperception" (in his words) about Cage being a nerd simply because he has spent millions of dollars on comics, has a comic book character's face permanently tattooed to his body, and, oh yeah, he even named himself after one. Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola, but he changed his name early in his career because he didn't want people to think he was only getting roles because of his famous uncle Francis Ford (right before accepting two roles from his famous uncle Francis Ford). So, after considering names like "Nicolas Blue," "Nicolas Faust," and "Nicolas Mascalzone" ("bad boy" in Italian), he settled on Cage because of "an African American comic-book superhero I love, Luke Cage." By the way, even the guy who played that character on Netflix had serious troubles telling Luke Cage quotes apart from Nicolas Cage dialogue.
Despite all that, and having named his son Kal-El after Superman, and keeping Ghost Rider comics framed around his house, Cage is quick to debunk the idea that he's a nerd whenever someone brings up his fandom. In 2012, he said:
"There is a bit of a misperception about me," he says, leaning forward to make his point. "I don't want you to think that I'm up late reading a stack of Spider-Man comics and eating a tray of lemon cookies while sucking my thumb. I'm not doing that. But I am loyal to the influences of my childhood."
The next year, he added:
"Look, the truth is I'm not obsessed with comics. I don't read comics as a 49-year-old man. Not that there's anything wrong with that but I have other interests that are more in tune with where I'm at right now." (Like buying stolen dinosaur skulls or searching for the Holy Grail.)
Also in 2013, he elaborated more on the subject, explaining:
"... people have attached words to me like 'comic book geek' or 'comic book nerd' or this, that or the other, but the truth of the matter is that I'm loyal to my childhood. I grew up reading comic books -- they're how I learnt o read -- and they stimulated my imagination ... in a shamanic way, even, and I had no doubt that when the time came, with the technology (required), that those comic books would translate into some of the greatest entertainment the world has ever seen, and lo and behold, it's a multi-billion dollar industry, so how big of a nerd can I be?"
So he's not a nerd, you see: he simply tapped into the zeitgeist via shamanistic abilities or something. Presumably, when he goes on million-dollar buying sprees at comic conventions, it's also "in a shamanic way" and not in a nerdy way. Whatever you say, poindexter.
Top image: Lionsgate