Nicolas Cage Begged Francis Ford Coppola to Cast Him in ‘Godfather Part 3’

"I really think I ought to be in your movie, Uncle. I really think it’s a good idea."
Nicolas Cage attends the Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage may be part of a Hollywood filmmaking dynasty, but that doesn’t mean he’s received any special favors over the course of his career, even when he specifically asks for them.

In a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cage joined fellow actors Peter Dinklage, Andrew Garfield, Jonathan Majors, and Simon Rex to discuss their 2021 films. In response to a question about a film they would want to make that no one would let them, Cage chimed in with a story from his past involving his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola, and the final installment of “The Godfather” trilogy.

“This is a very embarrassing answer to your question, OK, because it involves family,” he said. “So Uncle [Francis Ford Coppola] was doing ‘Godfather III,’ and I said, ‘I really think I ought to be in your movie, Uncle. I really think it’s a good idea if you would cast me. I think I could play this part.’ He was going to cast Andy Garcia, and I said, ‘But I just see myself more as James Caan’s son, and he’s playing Sonny’s son. He’s not playing Michael’s son. He’s Sonny’s son. I just feel a little more James Caan.’ It just wasn’t going to happen. Nope, not going to happen. So that was a movie I didn’t get let in that I really wanted to be in. There.”

Garcia was ultimately cast as Vincent, the illegitimate son of James Caan’s Sonny, in Coppola’s 1990 film, and went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for his performance. Though his ploy didn’t work out, Cage had previously worked with his uncle on 1986’s “Peggy Sue Got Married,” starring Kathleen Turner.

Cage joined the roundtable to discuss his performance in 2021’s “Pig,” directed by first-time filmmaker Michael Sarnoski. “I had the luxury of them, Michael and Vanessa [Block], writing just a script that sung to me,” Cage said. “I knew I had the life experience, the dreams, the imagination, to be able to be Rob without forcing it. We didn’t do more than one or two takes.”

Cage has earned some of the best reviews of his career for the film, which is currently streaming on Hulu.

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