Nicolas Cage Defends Himself Over Exaggerated "Operatic" Acting Style

Over the course of his career, Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage has become most iconic for his eccentric acting styles, often portraying emotionally vibrant characters across his countless projects. Despite critical acclaim, some have criticized him for his over-the-top performances, and now Cage has come to his own defense.

Joining Variety recently on its Awards Circuit Podcast,  the actor revealed why he chose such an alternative method of playing some of his characters. “It was my aunt Talia Shire who first said to me, ‘Naturalism is a style,’” the creative explained. “And I was also a big believer in arts synchronicity, and that what you could do with one art form you could do and another meaning. You know, in painting, for example, you can get abstract, you can get photorealistic, you can get impressionistic, why not try that with film performance?”

“Stanislavski said the worst thing an actor can do is imitate,” Cage continued. “Being a bit of a rebel, I wanted to break that rule. So I tried with Wild at Heart, a Warhol-like approach to the Sailor Ripley character. In movies, like Prisoners of the Ghost Land or even Face/Off or Vampire’s Kiss, I was experimenting with what I would like to call Western Kabuki or more Baroque or operatic style of film performance. Break free from the naturalism, so to speak, and express a larger way of performance.”

When asked about whether he considered his acting over the top, he simply remarked: “Well, when they say that to me, I say, ‘You tell me where the top is and I’ll tell you whether or not I’m over it.’”

Cage’s latest project Pig is now streaming on Hulu.

Elsewhere in entertainment, Keanu Reeves donated 70% of his earnings from The Matrix to cancer research.
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