Nicolas Cage Improv’d ‘Transcendent’ F-Bomb Outburst on ‘Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’

"That'll make them drop their popcorn."
Nicolas Cage in "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent"
"The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent"
Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

Nicolas Cage’s Noveau Shamanic acting technique and onscreen “Cage Rage” has been the inspiration for memes, viral moments, and even an Oscar.

Cage’s most recent role playing a fictionalized version of himself, one who grapples with his movie star persona (embodied by a de-aged “Nicky” character) and his indie arthouse personal taste, now provides yet another already-iconic Cage scene.

In “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” in theaters April 22, Cage reportedly went off script to improvise one of the longest f-bombs in film history. Cage as Nicky yells “I’m Nick f—iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing-ow-wow Cage!” when trying to psyche himself up.

“That’s not a direction I gave him,” writer-director Tom Gormican told Entertainment Weekly. “We call action on this thing, and we’re watching the scene go down. I have no idea what’s going to happen. He just does it. We call cut and take off the headphones, and Nic gets up, walks over to the monitors where we’re sitting, 20 feet away, and he looks at us, and goes, ‘I wanted it to be transcendent!'”

Gormican continued, “I just started laughing and thought, you’re not getting this with any other actor. It’s truly incredible. And then he goes, ‘That’ll make them drop their popcorn.’ And he walks back in and he goes, ‘I need another one.’ He gave that performance every single time, every take.”

Cage later described the Nicky alter alter-ego as providing a “Jekyll-and-Hyde polarity” to the three Nic Cages onscreen. “That’s really where my heart is with the film,” Cage told EW.

While reflecting on his career as a whole, a theme in which “Unbearable Weight” is rooted, Cage told IndieWire that he approaches every role in a “sincere” way, even if some of his former flicks were flops.

“If I can get at least one or two scenes that linger in your imagination I’ve done my job,” Cage concluded. “That’s why I’m able to find things in movies that perhaps to other actors might be considered not appropriate to one’s career trajectory. That doesn’t bother me, because I like to work.”

IndieWire’s Jude Dry reviewed “Unbearable,” writing that the film is a “hilarious brom-com” and “one of the funniest movies of the year” thanks to Cage’s all-or-nothing performance.

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