Since he first popped up in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” 28 years ago, Nicolas Cage has forged one of the most unpredictable careers in Hollywood, proving he’s just as comfortable in popcorn flicks as Oscar-winning dramas. In his latest, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” he applies his oddball streak to family entertainment as a master of magic. Just don’t call his performance “over the top,” he tells Metro.
How do you approach a character like this?
There has to be a spooky kind of mystery to him, but he also had to be on the right side of the line and still make you laugh. If you can find a way to do that, then the kids will love it. I made the movie for families, because that really is the best way for me to apply myself.
But you haven’t been doing that exclusively.
No. I have some contradictions to send out there. I’m pretty eclectic. I am considered by some to be a somewhat unorthodox personality. So how can I entertain the audience? There’s three ways: I play a guy that’s totally crazy like “Vampire’s Kiss,” or I play a guy who’s just riddled with drugs like “Bad Lieutenant,” or I play an angel or sorcerer because I’m interested in the abstract. When a painter decides he wants to be abstract, he’s called surreal. But when an actor decides he wants to be abstract, he’s called eccentric. They can’t delineate between performance and personality.