Nicolas Cage praises ‘Paddington 2’ and calls Hugh Grant ‘hilarious’

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a fiction, but sometimes art imitates life.

"The unbearable weight of massive talent"

“The Unbearable Weight of a Huge Talent”

©Lions Gate/courtesy Everett Collection

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” brought Nicolas Cage back into the limelight this spring, highlighting his versatile filmography, willingness to commit to any role, and undeniable passion for cinema. One of the most memorable running gags in the meta-buddy comedy was Javi (Pedro Pascal), who introduced the fictionalized version of Cage in Paddington 2. Cage is initially confused as to why his new cinephile friend has such an affection for Paul King’s children’s film, but he eventually agrees to watch it and is brought to tears.

As it turns out, art mimics life. Although many of Cage’s traits in the film (like his alcoholism and having a daughter instead of sons) were made up, the actor genuinely loves Paddington 2.

“I think the film is great,” Cage said in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I especially loved Hugh Grant and I thought he was great – it’s a gloriously evil performance. I really laughed.”

Cage also explained that his experience of re-evaluating his career to make “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” led him to examine what draws him to certain roles and refine his criteria for accepting future projects.

“My favorite experience is when I go to the movies and I’m like, ‘This is what I’m trying to get close to him. The films that appeal to me, my instrument, my tastes,” Cage said. “So ‘Ordinary People’, ‘Beyond Eden’ and ‘Last Tango in Paris’. I want film appearances that break my heart, that shake me, that are vulnerable… James Dean with Raymond Massey trying to give him money on his birthday and having a nervous breakdown on camera, or Marlon Brando trying to be with talking to his wife while she’s in the coffin and having a nervous breakdown… These are the experiences that made me, as a viewer, want to be a film actor. So if there’s a movie like Mandy or Pig or Leaving Las Vegas and I can say that I’m just beginning to get closer to the experience that I had in the cinema when I was 14 years old when If I saw James Dean or Brando, then that’s my goal.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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