Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage

Actor
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Life Story

Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola in Long Beach, California, the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (whose brother is director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang. He is of Italian (father) and Polish, German, and English (mother) descent. Cage changed his name early in his career to make his own reputation, succeeding brilliantly with a host of classic, quirky roles by the late 1980s.

Initially studying theatre at Beverly Hills High School (though he dropped out at seventeen), he secured a bit part in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) -- most of which was cut, dashing his hopes and leading to a job selling popcorn at the Fairfax Theater, thinking that would be the only route to a movie career. But a job reading lines with actors auditioning for uncle Francis' Rumble Fish (1983) landed him a role in that film, followed by the punk-rocker in Valley Girl (1983), which was released first and truly launched his career.

His one-time passion for method acting reached a personal limit when he smashed a street-vendor's remote-control car to achieve the sense of rage needed for his gangster character in The Cotton Club (1984).

In his early 20s, he dated Jenny Wright for two years and later linked to Uma Thurman. After a relationship of several years with Christina Fulton, a model, they split amicably and share custody of a son, Weston Cage Coppola (b.1992). In 2004, he married Alice Kim Cage, with whom he has a son.

Family
Alice Kim Cage (30 July 2004 - present) ( separated) ( 1 child)
 

Trivia

His father was of Italian descent. His maternal grandfather was of approximately three quarters German and one quarter British Isles (English, Scottish) ancestry. His maternal grandmother was of Polish descent.
2000: Filed divorce papers in February, withdrew them in April.
October 1997: Ranked #40 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
Was engaged to Kristen Zang.
Nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and Talia Shire.
Got Johnny Depp his first acting job.
Close friend of Tom Waits, Crispin Glover and Rush drummer Neil Peart.
Stage name taken from comic book character Luke Cage.
Owns a Lamborghini that used to belong to Prince Ali-Reza Pahlavi, the former prince of Iran.
Younger brother of Marc Coppola and Christopher Coppola.
Grandson of Carmine Coppola.
Proposed to Patricia Arquette on the day he met her in the early 1980s. Arquette thought he was a bit strange but played along with his antics by creating a list of things Cage would have to fulfill to win her. When he started to work his way through the list, Arquette got scared and avoided him. They met again many years later and later went on to marry.

Personal Quotes 

To be a good actor you have to be something like a criminal, to be willing to break the rules to strive for something new.
There's a fine line between the Method actor and the schizophrenic.
I am not a demon. I am a lizard, a shark, a heat-seeking panther. I want to be Bob Denver on acid playing the accordion.
[about his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley] I'm sad about this, but we shouldn't have been married in the first place.
Hollywood didn't know if I was an actor or a nut or if I was this crazy character I was playing. I had developed an image of being a little bit unusual, different and wild.
I'm at the point now where I know I'm doing something right when a movie gets mixed reviews, because then I'm not in the box. I don't want to make it too easy for people and I don't want to make it too easy for myself. I want to try something unusual. I feel good about the bad reviews because I feel like I've affected them on some level. They may not know what I was trying to do but they felt something.
I want to make all kinds of movies. I do want to make big movies that are a lot of fun to go to, but I also want to make movies that are going to stimulate some thought and maybe raise some awareness. And so please don't think you're gonna go on a roller-coaster ride with those movies.
It's very risky for an actor who's a bankable star to make pictures like The Weather Man (2005) or Lord of War (2005) because they inevitably promote them like big studio releases. And they're not big studio movies, they're more edgy, thought-provoking, independent-spirited films. What happens is, it goes into the computer, and everyone says they can't open the movie because they thought it was X when it actually was Y.
I needed to change my name just to liberate myself and find out I could do it without walking into a Hollywood casting office with the name Coppola.
[Pablo Picasso] said art is a lie that tells the truth. What if you just want to tell the truth and not lie about it?
It's good to make movies that are tragedies, where people can think about things in life that are undeniable, that everyone has to deal with. But at the same time, it's also healing to make movies that are entertaining, that are a lot of fun, where you don't have to think about your problems.

Filmography

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