Nicolas Cage explains why it took over 100 films to finally make a Western
Nicolas Cage He has been in 112 films since he began his film career in 1982 Fast times at Ridgemont High. But there is something instantly recognizable about its latest release, the old way.
It is his first western.
“I always thought I could wear boots and a hat,” Cage, 59, tells us in a new interview. “You know, I grew up in California. I know people laugh about it, but that’s as far west as you can get. I live in Nevada. It’s not like I’m playing Hamlet. It’s not like I’m in medieval England. So I thought it was a good match.
“And I’ve been scratching my head as to why it took [so long]. I mean, I’ve been doing this since I was 15. I’ve been doing this for almost 45 years. I’ve made over a hundred films and this is the first time anyone has called me to do that [a Western]. I thought, “Maybe I’ll do it now before it’s too late.”
Cage plays Colton Briggs, a notorious cold-blooded ex-sniper settled in Quiet Life who runs a convenience store and lives at home with his wife (Kerry Knuppe) and daughter (Ryan Keira Armstrong). Briggs returns to his shooting ways, though, when a gang of criminals invade his home and kill his wife–even bringing his son with him for revenge.
The experience was all Cage had hoped for, he says, pointing to the one classic performance that influenced him the old way.
I loved it. I mean, I grew up watching [them]. My favorite western performer is Charles Bronson [as Harmonica] in Once upon a time in the West. This is one of my favorite movies ever, really, if not my favorite. And he was able to do so much with so little of it. There was only majesty in his calmness, and dread in his calmness. I wanted to try [pay] Say hello to it, or get as close to it as possible. I don’t know if you did that or not. Because he was so cool about it. But it was always on my mind, his performance at that. I felt great. I mean, I even designed the hat after his hat in that movie. It must be perfectly balanced. I did not want [have] One of those stupid 10-gallon cowboy hats.”
Even more of the time-honored type had Cage dipping his boots for the first time, the veteran Leaving Las Vegas And face off The actor was drawn to the father-daughter story at the center of the Brett Donohue-directed Carl W. Lucas film.
“The thing that really compelled me to make the movie was that relationship between two misfits, father and daughter,” he says. “Yes, they are a family, but they both suffer from this condition, which is never named, in which they cannot feel. At the same time, they have a tendency towards violence. So somehow these two misfits who are biological father and daughter are in this tragedy.” And on this wild ride, they learned to love, and that really got me going.”
And yes, Cage admits he was reminded of the other time he played a violent socially misfit father with a violent, socially misfit daughter, as Big Daddy opposite Chloë Grace Moretz’s Hit-Girl in 2010’s Favorite Comic Book kick ass.
“He. She [crossed my mind] Shortly after I made the movie.” “Like I said, what was in the script that forced me to say yes was the father-daughter relationship. But then it occurred to me, “Oh my God, I actually did something like that kick ass with Chloe. And I thought, ‘Okay, that worked… Let’s try [it again]“And I am glad I did.”
the old way Now showing in select cities and premiering on video-on-demand Friday, January 13th.
Watch the trailer: