How Nicolas Cage went from the top to the bottom and back to the top in Hollywood

It’s hard to find a Hollywood career quite as bombastic and surprising as Nicholas Cage‘s, and we wanted to walk you through it as best we could. Considering we’re in the midst of a full-blown Nicolas Cage renaissance, it felt like it was time to introduce our national favorite in the best way possible. In this article, we’re going to talk about his beginnings, his rise to superstardom, his fall, and the subsequent recapture of his legacy that we’ve witnessed over the past few years.

We’re so thankful to live in a time when Nicolas Cage exists, and while his ‘neo-shamanism’ (whatever that means) acting style isn’t for everyone, we wanted to make it clear that there’s a lot more to Nicolas Cage , than you can see at first glance.

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Early rise to fame

Nicolas Cage kidnapping scene in Raising Arizona

Nicolas Cage has always been a prolific actor since his early days in show business. Originally referred to as Nicolas Coppola The best ever And Fast times at Ridgemont High, he adopted the stage name Nicolas Cage to distinguish himself from his famous uncle, the director Francis Ford Coppola. He didn’t want people to think he got his early roles through nepotism alone, and he was probably right about that.

But the thing about nepotism is that while it can get you a job, ultimately it’s your own merit that determines whether you actually keep the job. During this period of the ’80s and ’90s, Nicolas Cage made a name for himself with films like… Valley girl, Peggy Sue got married wild at heart And Raising Arizona. And things just got better and better for Cage during that time. He was a young actor full of panache and enthusiasm, and it was always his unwavering dedication to his roles that eventually made him a household name in the mid-’90s.

Related: Nicolas Cage Reveals Top 5 Nicolas Cage Movies

Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas

Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas.
MGM/UA Distribution Co.

In 1995, Nicolas Cage won the coveted Oscar for his leading role in ” leave Las Vegas. A harrowing story about Ben Sanderson, the film takes us through his final trip to Las Vegas, during which he plans to drink himself to death (which he does). It’s Cage’s commitment to this role of self-destruction that led to more serious roles in the ’90s. But it was this film that showed the filmmakers his true potential, and at this point in his career, everyone wanted a piece of Nicolas Cage.

Sought-after action hero

Nicolas Cage Castor Troy Face/Off
Paramount Pictures

Cage continued to take leading roles in the action/adventure genre throughout the mid to late ’90s, and his momentum seemed unstoppable at the time. After leave Las VegasCage acted in films like The stone, Con Air, Face/Off, And Gone in 60 seconds. Part of his charm at this point in his career is that he didn’t come across as your typical action hero, but he was always committed to his roles. Nicolas Cage wasn’t the souped-up, testosterone-fueled action hero we’re used to in the ’80s, and he often played likable characters who find themselves in outlandish situations.

This was a refreshing take on the genre because while Nicolas Cage wasn’t expected to deliver the qualities in a big budget action film, he was pretty good at delivering one-liners and he had a natural chemistry between everyone his co-stars. If you have any doubts about us in this regard, please give us The stone Look again and tell us he wasn’t a perfect contrast to Sean Connery.

Farewell to big budget films

Nicolas Cage in Matchstick Men.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Although we’re using the term “big budget” a little loosely here, the late ’90s and early ’00s brought us the next phase in Nicolas Cage’s career. He stopped running away from massive explosions and worked his way back into more nuanced roles that weren’t as tense as the ones we’ve come to expect him in. One of his more notable achievements was portraying the exhausted paramedic driver Frank Pierce in Martin Scorsese Bring the dead to life.

And in that time, we’ve seen Cage once again show his comedic skills in more dramatic films. If you don’t know what we mean by that, we strongly recommend films like stick figure, And The Weatherman. These films show us a more reserved Nicolas Cage, but he still delivers powerful performances that are not only emotional but, in some cases, downright hilarious.

“Taking on every role, literally”

Nicolas Cage tied up Mandy
RLJE films

In the late 2000s and 2010s, Nicolas Cage appeared in numerous films Direct-to-Video Movies without theatrical release. A big misconception at this point in his career is that he had significant debts to pay off with the IRS and that he “literally took on any role” to get a quick paycheck. While there’s a lot of truth behind this sentiment, there’s more to it beneath the surface. While it’s no secret that Cage has taken on some questionable roles, e.g Grand Isle, Running With the Devil, Pay the GhostAnd the frozen ground, We still see Cage in top form, even if some of these films are flawed in many ways.

In fact, director Guillermo del Toro put it on record, “He absolutely never does anything other than his best — I’ve said it before: There hasn’t been, and never will be, an actor quite like Nicolas Cage. A master.” And he has not wrong if he thinks so, there have been several similar accounts of it Nicolas Cage is an absolute professional throughout his career.

Even as he was making four films a year, he gained a reputation for being professional, courteous and always prepared for his role. In other words, while taking on so many questionable roles during this period was financially motivated, he still took his job seriously and still put out some excellent films, e.g Joe, Mandy, color from outer space, And Pig.

Related: 10 Lead Roles Nicolas Cage Neither Got nor Turned Down

Meme Renaissance (r/onetruegod)

Nicolas Cage You Don't Say Vampire's Kiss 1200x630
Shirtale Film Corporation

If you troll on Reddit, it’s worth noting that Nicolas Cage has quite a presence on the r/onetruegod subreddit. With the tagline “All Hail Nicolas Cage,” this part of the web is home to humorous Cage photo shops and shows the world how dedicated his fans are to his craft.

Even at the lowest point in his career, Nicolas Cage stayed relevant by leveraging online communities that celebrate all of his films, no matter how successful or horrible they turned out to be. And the best part about this meme presence of our “one true God” is that Nicolas Cage is aware of it and he seems to be a good joke of all the jokes being made at his expense.

Ultimate comeback by leaning into his madness

Nic Cage lowers his red sunglasses by the water in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

As we head into the 2020s, it seems there’s simply nothing that can stop the power of Nicolas Cage. Renfield, which just came out earlier this year, was very well received, inspiring casual Nicolas Cage fans to delve into both his deeper plays and his classics. And since Cage is the prolific actor, he’s likely to star in several upcoming releases over the next year or two, including The Flash, Sympathy for the Devil, Dream Scenario and Longlegs.

Though Cage has gone on record in the past that he will eventually retire from acting to pursue more directing roles at some point, it looks like he’s changed his mind, and as long as he’s out there doing his thing, we will continue to watch his films as long as he releases them.

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