50 Interesting Facts About Nicolas Cage: How he Created His Own Method of Acting

Actor Nicolas Cage, star of such films as Moonstruck and The Rock, is known for his intense on- and off-screen personality, as well as his passion for method acting. Here are 50 interesting facts about this talented actor.
  1. Nicolas Cage was born on January 7, 1964 in Long Beach, California.

  2. His real name is Nicholas Kim Coppola.

  3. He is the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (a brother of director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang.

  4. He is of Italian (father) and German, English, and Polish (mother) descent.

  5. Cage has two older brothers, Marc and Christopher Coppola, both of whom have worked in the film business.

  6. He attended Justin-Siena High School in Napa, CA, during the early '80s.

  7. He is the nephew of film director Francis Ford Coppola and, as a youth, visited his uncle often at his San Francisco home. Nicolas Cage fell in love with acting at age 15 during a summer class at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

  8. He dropped out of Beverly Hills High School after passing the GED, which boasts star alums Rob Reiner, Lenny Kravitz, and Betty White, to name a few.

  9. Nicolas Cage changed his name early in his career to make his own reputation and not to follow under the light of his famous family members. He chose Cage as his stage name to honor comic book superhero Luke Cage.

  10. Cage's first movie role was as a cook in 1982's 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'.

  11. Following his first movie role, he was unable to find further acting gigs so he resorted to odd jobs here and there. One of them was selling popcorn in a movie theater.

  12. The following year in 1983, he was able to get some more acting gigs. He made a name for himself with the cult comedy "Valley Girl" and uncle Francis Ford Coppola's "Rumble Fish" and never looked back.

  13. He was once engaged to Kristen Zang.

  14. Cage has long been a believer in method acting and one of his first big sacrifices for a movie role was in 1984's "Birdy" in which he had two of his teeth surgically removed in order to better portray the character.

  15. He also slashed his arm for Racing With the Moon (1984) and swallowed a live cockroach for Vampire's Kiss (1992).

  16. The highest and the lowest rated Nicolas Cage movies, Deadfall (which received 0% on Rotten Tomatoes) and Red Rock West (which received 95% on Rotten Tomatoes) both came out in 1993.

  17. He met his first wife, Patricia Arquette, at a deli in Los Angeles. When they first met, he said he instantly fell in love with her and predicted that they would get married. Unfortunately, the couple later divorced in 2001.

  18. Cage has said Jim Carrey offered him a role in Dumb and Dumber, but that he turned it down for a part as an alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas (1995), according to a 2012 interview with The Huffington Post.

  19. He owns a Lamborghini that used to belong to Prince Ali-Reza Pahlavi, the former Shah of Iran.

  20. In fact, his performance in that film earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1996, which includes a memorable, somber scene in which he dances in a liquor store.

  21. By 1994, Cage was valued at about $4 million per picture, but agreed to star in Mike Figgis's Leaving Las Vegas (1995) for only $240,000 because of the strength of the role. It paid off- his portrayal of the alcoholic screenwriter earned him an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

  22. On July 31, 1998, he was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  23. In 2001, Cage received an honorary doctorate from Cal State Fullerton. He had previously dropped out of UCLA.

  24. Cage and Lisa Marie Presley met at a birthday party for rock guitarist Johnny Ramone, and the Ramones star was the best man at their wedding.

  25. Cage and Michael Jackson were both married to the same woman - Lisa Marie Presley.

  26. Cage donated $1 million to Hurricane Katrina victims.

  27. Cage is 6' (1.83 m) tall.

  28. In December 2002, Cage launched his directorial debut, the $5 million independent film Sonny, about a male gigolo who struggles to free himself from his madam mother.

  29. Cage filed suit against Kathleen Turner, his co-star in the 1986 film "Peggy Sue Got Married," after she wrote in her 2008 tell-all that he'd once stolen a Chihuahua.

  30. As of Oct. 2013, he is the "Best Global Actor in Motion Pictures" - at least in China, according to the judges of the Huading Awards.

  31. He is known to buy extravagant items. He owns a castle in Germany and England.

  32. He also owns an island in the Bahamas.

  33. He was once photographed by TMZ wearing two pairs of sunglasses.

  34. In the 2012 Empire web chat, he also told fans that he would love to do a third National Treasure film in South America.

  35. He hewed his girlfriend, 20-year-old former waitress Alice Kim, at a private ranch in Northern California in August 2004. The couple announced the birth of a son, Kal-el Coppola Cage, on October 3, 2005.

  36. Cage is a huge fan of Superman and in honor of this, he gave his son the name Kal-El which is Superman's birth name.

  37. While he was living in Orange County at the time with his wife and his two-year-old child. His kid was in another room. He woke up at 2 am next to his wife. He looked at the foot of the bed and saw a naked man wearing nothing but Cage's leather jacket eating a fudgesicle just standing there. Cage managed to talk him out of the house. The man apparently had mental problems, so Cage didn't press charges.

  38. Cage says he has created his own form of acting. In his own words: "By the time I got around to Vampire's Kiss and then Bad Lieutenant and now this movie, Drive Angry and then also Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, I had realized that I'd developed my own style and process and school of acting which is called Nouveau Shamanic. That's the new style of acting and at some point I'll have to write a book."

  39. He has been part of 75 movies in only 31 years. That's 2.4 movies per year.

  40. In 2007, Nicolas Cage outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for a dinosaur skull at $274 000 for the artifact.

  41. He has an extensive comic book collection. Cage's comic book collection was considered one of the most impressive. He actually sold his collection in 2002 for $1.6 million, which included some landmark pieces like the first comic that featured Robin (it fetched $120,000). However, the collection he sold wasn't complete. A bunch of his comics were stolen in the year 2000.

  42. In 2011, a mint condition Action Comics #1 was found in a storage locker in San Francisco. That comic featured the first appearance by Superman. It was revealed to be Cage's copy that had been stolen. The comic was valued at $1 million, and in 2011 it was rumored to be sold for a world record $2.16 million!

  43. In Sean Penn's Oscar acceptance speech for Mystic River, Penn referred to Cage's performance in the critically acclaimed film Matchstick Men as being among the best performances of the year.

  44. Cage owns a 9 foot tall pyramid-shaped tomb in a New Orleans cemetery.

  45. Not only did Cage play Ghost Rider in the movie, but he also has a tattoo of Ghost Rider.

  46. Tim Burton cast Cage in his doomed Superman project. Cage even did fittings of the costume.

  47. He suffers from vertigo.

  48. He trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Royce Gracie.

  49. On Reddit, he has an entire community devoted to him called "One True God.".

  50. He became a grandfather for the 1st time at age 50 when his son Weston Cage welcomed a son, Lucian Augustus Coppola Cage on July 1, 2014.

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