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Pedro Pascal Channeled Nicolas Cage in ‘Vampire’s Kiss’ to Play ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Villain

Pascal has long been a fan of his "Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" co-star's signature "Cage rage."

WONDER WOMAN 1984, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, 2020. ph: Clay Enos / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Wonder Woman 1984”

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

As they say, art imitates life, and for Pedro Pascal, playing a Nicolas Cage superfan wasn’t too far from the truth.

Pascal stars as a billionaire who offers $1 million to a fictionalized version of Cage to attend his birthday party in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” in theaters April 22.

And while Pascal’s “Unbearable” character has villainous intentions, the “Narcos” alum noted that he previously tapped into an inspired “Cage rage” to play DC evil mastermind Max Lord in “Wonder Woman 1984.”

“I remember shooting a scene in ‘1984’ and, in the instant, I was like, what kind of energy do I need here?” Pascal told Entertainment Weekly. “And I remembered Nicolas Cage — before I ever met him, before the thought of ever making ‘Massive Talent’ existed — I remembered him jumping on the desk in ‘Vampire’s Kiss,’ kind of torturing [co-star] María Conchita Alonso. I remembered that scene and his energy, and obviously not deciding to do that, but just wanting a fraction of that kind of chaotic energy to make the scene that we were shooting that day work.”

Pascal’s admiration for Cage’s 1989 performance in “Vampire’s Kiss” is just one of the many Cage films the “Wonder Woman” star grew up loving.

“We got cable television in my house when I was quite young, so, on cable, ‘Valley Girl’ and ‘Birdy’ and ‘Racing With the Moon’ and ‘Rumble Fish,’ they were all playing,” Pascal continued. “Then I went to the theater with my father and I saw ‘Peggy Sue Got Married,’ ‘Raising Arizona,’ ‘Vampire’s Kiss,’ ‘Moonstruck,’ ‘Wild at Heart,’ which starts the ’90s. Then you get into ‘Leaving Las Vegas,’ ‘Honeymoon in Vegas.’ I mean, listen, I’ve really have seen them all.”

Pascal added, “I can’t pick a favorite. But I would say that ‘Adaptation’ is one of the best screen performances in the history of movies.”

Starring in a self-reflective, career-spanning role for “Unbearable” was, well, almost unbearable to Cage himself. “It scared the crap out of me,” the Oscar winner told IndieWire, “so I had to do it.”

Cage also leaned into his “memeification” of past roles. “It is a new audience that has rediscovered some of the facial expressions and attitudes of the characters I’ve played,” Cage said. “As over the top as some people want to call it, it’s genuinely filled with true emotion, which is important to me. I’m hopeful that these mashups like Cage Rage or ‘not the bees’ or whatever they’re having fun with inspires the millennial or the Z generations to go and look at the movies that got them there. I’m playing with their creation, this Frankenstein’s monster of internet meme culture. They built that, so why not have fun with it?”

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