Nicolas Cage on Memes, Myths, and Why He Thinks AI Is a ‘Nightmare’

Nicolas Cage is aware of he’s a meme. He’s not completely happy about it. After making the error of googling himself a couple of years again, the charismatic actor found that his massive on-screen performances had been translated into single-frame quips and supercuts, taken—like all memes, actually—out of context, performed for lolz, and in a fashion that, frankly, makes Cage seem to be a graduate from the Jim Carrey faculty of rubber-faced appearing.

“Something like ‘Nick Cage loses his shit,’ where they cherry-pick meltdowns from different movies I’d made over the years,” he says. “I get that it’s all done for laughs, and in that context it is funny, but at the same time, there’s no regard to how the character got there. There’s no Act One, there’s no Act Two.”

This, Cage says, isn’t why he acquired into making motion pictures. Back within the Eighties, when he was displaying up in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and because the romantic lead in Valley Girl, there was no web, nobody turning him into a TikTook template. “So, as I’ve watched these memes grow exponentially and get turned into T-shirts and ‘You don’t say?’ and all that stuff,” Cage says, “I’ve just thought, ‘Wow, I don’t know how I should feel about this,’ because it’s made me kind of frustrated and confused.”

That’s a part of the rationale Cage signed on to do his newest film, the A24 drama Dream Scenario, during which he performs Paul Matthews, a downtrodden college professor who all of the sudden begins to seem within the goals of hundreds of thousands of individuals all over the world. Directed by Sick of Myself’s Kristoffer Borgli, the movie is a intelligent have a look at the trimmings of instantaneous fame and at what it seems like when somebody’s fame turns into greater than they is likely to be themselves—one thing Cage, who truly modified his identify and leaned right into a extra bombastic persona early in his profession, is aware of slightly one thing about.

To mark Dream Scenario’s launch, WIRED talked to Cage about the place he’s at along with his meme-ification as of late, his dislike of social media, and why he’s going to make rattling positive that nobody could make an AI-generated Nick Cage after he shuffles off this mortal coil.

WIRED: Over the course of the film, Paul struggles with who he thinks he’s and who the world thinks he’s, and the way that’s always shifting round him. Is that one thing you’ve needed to take care of over the course of your profession by way of “Nick Cage, Hollywood actor” versus “Nicolas Coppola, father and human being”?