Nicolas Cage is sucking the life out of a bad rumor.
The “Renfield” star, who plays an Andy Warhol-inspired Dracula onscreen, reflected on a past December 2021 comment claiming that he prefers to be referred to as a thespian instead of an actor.
“What I was saying was, of course you can call me an actor,” Cage said during “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” “By the way, I never said, ‘Don’t call me an actor. Call me a thespian.’ That’s what clickbait universe was putting out there and somehow got picked up by CNN. I’m not sure how it got picked up by CNN – I’m sure they have more important things to report on.”
He continued, “I see acting as storytelling and what it is is trying to get to the truth of a character and the first actor in Europe was someone called Thespus and what happened there in Greece was that he broke free from the chorus and started narrating and started telling a story truthfully. So to me, acting is trying to find the truth of a story.”
Cage added, “Now what’s interesting, literally the word ‘actor’ in Greek means ‘hypocrite’. Well, I don’t want to be thought of as a hypocrite. I’m sorry if that sounds pretentious.”
The “Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” star told Variety in December 2021 that the term actor had certain historical contextual implications.
“For me it always implies, ‘Oh, he’s a great actor, therefore he’s a great liar,'” Cage said, admitting he might sound like a “pretentious asshole.”
“‘Thespian’ means you’re going into your heart, or you’re going into your imagination, or your memories or your dreams,” Cage said at the time, “and you’re bringing something back to communicate with the audience.”
Cage recently looked back on one of his most underrated roles with 1989 film “Never on a Tuesday.”
“I don’t recommend the entire film. But it was a performance I did, I didn’t get paid but the agreement was with the director and whoever was financing the picture that if I do it, they would let me do whatever I wanted,” Cage said. “So it was a complete avant-garde experiment.”