Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage made an appearance at SXSW today for an hour-long discussion moderated by his "Joe" writer-director David Gordon Green, and as expected from an actor as idiosyncratic as the Oscar-winner, the talk didn't disappoint.

We'll be publishing a full run-down of the lively event shortly, but wanted to share this quote first. In it, Cage rails eloquently about why it "sucks to be famous right now," and how film criticism is negatively affected by our society's fixation with celebrities.

Below is the full quote from Cage:

I started acting because I wanted to be James Dean. I saw him in "Rebel Without a Cause," "East of Eden." Nothing affected me -- no rock song, no classical music -- the way Dean affected in "Eden." It blew my mind. I was like, "That's what I want to do." This was before everyone had a thing called a Smartphone, and before the advent of the "celebutard" -- just being famous for famous' sake. I'm not complaining, but it really sucks to be famous right now.

Now even the art of film criticism... now in the LA Times, the critic who reviewed "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," incorporated how many homes I bought or sold into the review. What the hell does Lindsay Lohan's personal life have to do with her performance in "The Canyons"? It should always be about the work itself. What difference does it make if Bill Clinton had an affair -- how does that affect his performance as President?

In my opinion, I don't want to see personal aspects of someone's life eclipse the work itself.